Term of Award

Summer 2013

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

Sabrina Ross

Committee Member 1

Daniel Chapman

Committee Member 2

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 3

Donyell Roseboro

Abstract

This qualitative inquiry explored the educational relocation experiences of AfricanAmerican families residing in predominately-White and northern Gwinnett County, Georgia, who relocated to pursue improved educational opportunities for their children. For poor families or African- American families with limited resources, school choice is determined largely by where one lives. Historical oppression at the local, state and federal level has encouraged the concentration of African-American families into segregated communities and segregated housing patterns (Massey & Denton, 1998; Rice, 2009; Squires & Kim, 1995), which are often associated with educational inequality (Royce, 2009). The historical oppression and racial injustices in society challenges us to think more critically about education, curriculum and the role segregated housing patterns plays in perpetuating systematic educational inequality. Using Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a theoretical framework, this inquiry explored the subjectivities and realities associated with the sociopolitical, economic, cultural, linguistic, ethical, and historical context of African-American families and the pursuit of educational equity.

Despite many advancements and achievements of African-Americans during the past decades, findings of this inquiry revealed that there is more work to be done. Key findings indicate that African-American students are still underserved in educational settings and

continue to experience systemic racism. Research findings also indicated that despite moving to more affluent all White suburban neighborhoods with the expectation of excellent educational opportunities, African-American families desperately need social support networks to survive and thrive in these settings. Findings from this study are significant in that they shed light on relationships between race, space, and educational equity. In so doing, this study provides new information and knowledge for policymakers, administrators, teachers and society interested in improving the education of African-American learners.

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