Term of Award

Spring 2005

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

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

Leon Spencer

Committee Member 3

Lori Amy

Abstract

As the population of the United States becomes more diverse, and the teaching force remains predominantly White, multicultural education becomes more and more important. Many White elementary educators, however, treat multicultural education in a very cursory, shallow way. Some educators, however, have moved beyond a cursory approach to multicultural education. Utilizing feminist standpoint theory informed by postpositivist realism and critical race theory, this study examines the experiences of three White female elementary educators in the same school system in the Metropolitan Atlanta area who have moved beyond cursory implementation of multiculutral teaching. Potential participants were screened using the White Racial Identity Attitude Scale (WRIAS) and classroom observations. Two interviews were held with each paricipant that examined racial memories, understandings about multiculutral education, White privilege, and racism. These interviews were then analyzed to determine if there were moments of rupture that impacted the participants' identity, which then in turn has helped them understand the importance of multicultural education principles. The understandings of these teachers are important to both practitioners and teacher educators who are seeking to develop these understandings in the upcoming teaching force, as diversity shall continue to be an everpresent force in our schools, and the teaching population is forecasted to remain predominantly White and female.

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