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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Lifting as we climb: An exploratory study of critical methods and approaches of the late nineteenth-century African American woman activist-educator
by Sartin, Natalie M., Ed.D., California State University, Fullerton, 2015, 178; 3662873
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative study examines the critical methods and approaches brought fourth by late nineteenth-century African American women educators Anna Julia Cooper and Frances E. W. Harper in their task of imparting skills for the regeneration of the Black race. Too few people have explored the ways in which their work speaks to the importance of culturally relevant education. Fewer have argued on the relevance of their writings, philosophies, and approaches to present-day educational deficiencies in higher education settings. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore Cooper and Harper's written work and extract themes that may speak to the importance of culturally relevant education. Second, this study sought to offer a critical examination of the possible contributions that Cooper and Harper can make to the pedagogical model of teaching African American students.

The following published works written by Cooper and Harper were used in this study: "The Colored People in America" (Harper, 1854), "Duty to Dependent Races" (Harper, 1891), "The Intellectual Progress of the Colored Women in the United States since the Emancipation Proclamation: A Response to Fannie Barrier Williams" (Cooper, 1893), and "On Education" (Cooper, 1930s). A close analysis of each text was performed, and patterns and emerging themes were extracted. The data was then coded and reasonable conclusions were drawn about their written work.

Five key themes emerged from Cooper and Harper's written work: commitment to faith, commitment to freedom, commitment to sacrifice, commitment to resistance and struggle, and commitment to the future – all of which were characterized under the overarching concept of tradition. The written data demonstrated clear evidence of thought and practice grounded in African culture and tradition. The findings for this study reveal a number of significant ways that the pedagogies of Cooper and Harper can contribute to the pedagogical model of teaching African American student populations in their pursuit of academic success and achievement.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Person, Dawn
School: California State University, Fullerton
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Black studies, Pedagogy, Higher education, African American Studies
Keywords: African American, African American Achievement Gap, African American Studies, Black Studies, Higher Education, Pedagogy
Publication Number: 3662873
ISBN: 978-1-321-76306-5
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