Term of Award

Fall 2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Delores D. Liston

Committee Member 1

Yasar Bodur

Committee Member 2

Erik Brooks

Committee Member 3

Hsiu-Lien Lu

Abstract

Author's abstract: The requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 has forced school systems throughout the United States to consider the achievement gap between White students and non-White students, which had not previously been a factor in determining school success for federal and state funding. However, acknowledging the gap is not enough. Schools must move beyond acknowledging the gap to developing strategies to close the gap. A professional development course entitled Courageous Conversations About Race, written by Curtis Linton and Glenn E. Singleton was taught to thirty-seven teachers in a rural South Georgia school system. Eight of the teachers agreed to participate in this research project. The teachers, two Black females and six White females with teaching experience ranging from one to over twenty years, represented elementary, middle, and high schools. The participants' reflections on racism, institutional racism, whiteness, and white privilege were analyzed through the theoretical framework lens of Critical Race Theory. Findings of this research show that teachers express a desire to move toward developing strategies to close the racial achievement gap. However, the history of racism in the patriarchal South is deeply embedded into these women's personal identity and presents challenges that must be overcome before real change can occur.

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