Term of Award

Fall 2007

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 Liston

Committee Member 1

Peggy Hargis

Committee Member 2

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 3

William Reynolds

Abstract

Using Black feminist thought as the theoretical framework and autobiographical inquiry as methodology, I explored ways in which adversity fostered resiliency of character. Despite difficult circumstances, such as growing up in a poor, single-parent household and becoming pregnant in the 9th grade when continuing one's education after pregnancy or marriage was not permitted in the Deep South, with the help of others, I fought to finish my high school education and succeeded in college. I credit a close bond with a supportive adult and my own development of racial awareness with helping me to turn obstacles into successes. My intent was to draw lessons from my own experiences that can be used by educators and social service workers alike when interacting with teen mothers and their families. I conclude my personal narrative with a set of recommendations for helping teenage mothers to become educational successes.

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