Term of Award

Spring 2009

Degree Name

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

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Cordelia Zinskie

Committee Member 1

John Weaver

Committee Member 2

Daniel Chapman

Committee Member 3

Danny R. Dixon

Committee Member 3 Email



This dissertation explored the relationship between racial identity of biracial children (defined as fifty percent Black and fifty percent White) and their academic experiences in a southern elementary school setting. This dissertation ventured further to explore the curriculum in a southern elementary school setting and whether it meets the academic needs of the biracial child and includes the biracial child. This dissertation reflected on artifacts collected and analyzed narratives from the participants involved. These participants included six biracial female students in grades three through five. The current research employed Critical Race Theory as its theoretical framework. Critical Race Theory is an analytical framework which focuses on inequalities related to race, class, and gender. It was firmly based in the field of Curriculum Studies. The researcher provided a history of the south, multiculturalism, and whiteness in the United States. The researcher also included past and current curriculum researchers and the results of their studies as compared to the present research. Included in this dissertation are reviews of the current research including qualitative data through student drawings and interviews of students as well as parents, teachers, and administrators. It also included quantitative data through the analysis of CRCT scores and administrative records. The conclusions of the current research were 1) there is a relationship between racial identity and academic experiences and 2) the biracial child was not included in the textbook, however, the biracial child's academic needs were met for purposes of standardized test scores. One hundred percent of the biracial students felt they had a positive educational experience in this southern elementary school. However, the researcher found this not to be accurate after further review of all the data. The parents felt their biracial children were welcomed at this school and while suffering some racial prejudices such as picking, they felt it was no more than the average elementary child. The teachers acknowledged the lack of information for the biracial child in their textbooks and searched to find information for the biracial child through videos, classroom libraries, and media centers. The researcher notes that while these teachers did attempt to fill the gaps left in the curriculum, it was at a minimal level and much more needs to be done. The teachers in this school system do maintain they incorporate race in the units they are teaching as well as how race relates to all individuals involved in the past and the present. They search out the previous avenues for all children. However, in the case of the biracial child and all children, this must be done on a daily basis and not just when a chapter calls for the discussion.

Research Data and Supplementary Material