Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Breaking Bars and Cultivating Community: Educating Educators to Create Collaborative Space
by Morton, Brittany L., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2020, 163; 27963365
Abstract (Summary)

Higher education is proven to reduce recidivism. However, lack of knowledge and supportive space on the community college campus is detrimental to student experience. Historically, ally trainings have been utilized to create cultivating spaces for students through educating faculty and staff. Prior to this project, an ally training for students with incarceration experiences on community college campuses did not exist in Southern California. Through this project the researcher worked with faculty, staff, and students with incarceration experiences (referred to as consultants), to co-construct and implement an ally training for students with incarceration experiences. Additionally, consultants reflected upon the impacts of the training on faculty, staff, and themselves.

The training is meant to create cultivating climates for and in partnership with students with incarceration experiences. Using Danny Solórzano and Dolores Delgado Bernal’s transformational resistance theory and tool of counter-story, and Eve Tuck’s desire-based pedagogy, this ally training seeks to unmask the historic violence that led to the creation of mass incarceration as well as the gaps and barriers on historically discriminatory institutions through utilizing personal voice to share student experiences and recognizing student strength, experiential knowledge, and academic wisdom to create campus change. Overall, the training educates faculty and staff on how to best work with and support students with incarceration experiences and encourages educators to work in collaboration towards campus change.

In addition to using a collaborative approach to create and reflect upon the training, this project also used an archival analysis of previous ally trainings, qualitative research through focus groups and surveys, and member checking through sharing notes and research reflections. Our consultants (a) met in 5 focus groups; (b) developed a training; (c) implemented the training at a community college in Los Angeles County to a group of faculty, staff, and student works (participants); (d) reflected on the impacts of the training by reviewing participant surveys and consultant responses; and (e) planned for the future of the training. Participant surveys and consultant reflections made evident that the training was impactful as it centered the voices of experts (individuals with incarceration experiences) and highlighted student strength in the pursuit of educating campuses to create change.

The creation of this training was a collaborative process and is only possible due to the incredible wisdom and undeniable passion of our expert consultant team. We hope this project inspires further co-constructive academic and communal work.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Flores, Nina
Commitee: Manyweather, Laura, Binnall, James
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 82/4(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Education, Criminology
Keywords: Ally Training, Co-Constructive Research, Community College, Formerly Incarcerated Students, Higher Education, Transformational Resistance
Publication Number: 27963365
ISBN: 9798684688973
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