Term of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Curriculum Studies

Committee Chair

Delores D. Liston

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

Sudha Ratan

Committee Member 3

William Reynolds


This is a storytelling and story-questioning project. The storyline is woven around issues of identity; themes of race, ethnicity, gender, and social class as experienced and interpreted by the characters whose life histories and narratives shape the emerging theories. The characters are three 'black' Caribbean immigrant women elementary school teachers. The women's stories are used as a channel through which their worldviews and agency are explored. Specifically, this study explores these questions: How do 'black' Caribbean immigrant women teachers interpret their experiences in regards to race, ethnicity, gender, and social class both in the United States and their home countries? How do they interpret race, ethnicity, gender, and social class as experienced by their students? How might a realist exploration of their interpretation (and my interpretation of their interpretation) of their lived experiences help them and us advance a more equitable teaching agenda? Throughout the study, the teachers participate in structured and unstructured interviews in which they share and eontextualize their stories in the larger sociopolitical milieu. The interview transcripts and field notes were reviewed and the narratives coded and analyzed. These were used to create the research text. The themes that emerged from the narratives and those that emerged by omission form the core of this study. These themes when taken across participants' stories reveal how participants' upbringing in the postcolonial Caribbean impacts the ways in which they experience the world. Further, this study does much to highlight the socially constructed nature of identity and teaching. It also helps to diversify the category 'black' teachers in the United States while offering perspectives on race, gender, social class as they relate to education from outsiders within. The teachers' reflections challenge all of us to acknowledge the impact of social constructions on our lives and the lives of our students, reflect on our role in students' lives, and challenge us to work to create a more equitable social order.

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