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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Creating “Fugitive Spaces” in Educator Professional Development: A Critical Case Study of Transformative Adult Learning for Equity and Inclusion
by Woicke, Kathryn S., Ed.D., Lewis and Clark College, 2020, 302; 28314999
Abstract (Summary)

Despite policy efforts over the last few decades to address racial disparities in education, often in the form of educator professional development, racism still manifests in educator practice, and Whiteness is often centered in the very processes designed to address exclusion. While research exists critiquing how systemic racism and Whiteness are reproduced in educator professional development, there is far less empirical exploration of more transformative adult learning practices to advance equity and inclusion. Utilizing critical adult learning, critical race theory, critical whiteness studies, and sociocultural transformative learning theory, this study identifies a potential “fugitive space” in educator professional development designed to disrupt this reproduction of Whiteness. This critical case study of transformation utilized culturally responsive interviews of 16 participants and document review to understand how both participants of color and White participants describe transformation in this program and the challenges transforming educators face.

This study revealed that participants described transformation as a deeply personal and embodied experience and the creation of critical community as essential. However, racial differences emerged in how the transforming “self” was described. Participants of color described a transforming self that was reintegrated, validated, and empowered as a “leader” with a sense of agency. Most White participants described a new understanding of a “White” self—one that was newly uncomfortable, conflicted, and made mistakes—leading them to a sense of “responsibility,” but not yet an identity as a “leader” filled with a clear sense of agency in equity and inclusion efforts. Lastly, participants described the challenges of an increasingly fugitive-like life they experience beyond the program year as transforming educators advocating for equity and inclusion in their school communities. These findings offer new considerations for educator professional development in districts, higher education, and the broader community seeking to foster transformation both in educators and the education system.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Galloway, Mollie
Commitee: Roebuck Sakho, Jacqueline, Kiros, Frewine , Huggins, Elise
School: Lewis and Clark College
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: DAI-A 82/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Educational administration, Multicultural Education, Teacher education
Keywords: Critical adult learning, Equity, Equity professional development, Fugitive space, Transformative learning, Whiteness
Publication Number: 28314999
ISBN: 9798569921256
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