Developing White Teachers' Sociocultural Consciousness Through African American Children's Literature: A Case Study of Three Elementary Educators
Catherwood, Lauren Elizabeth
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Changing the existing framework for how schools operate and the "deficit frame of reference" for students of color begins with teacher awareness of differing social and cultural norms and values that privilege some and oppress others (Villegas and Lucas, 2002). These normalized cultural values are exacerbated by the fact that they are generally "invisible" to the white teacher majority. Quaye (2012) and Zuniga et al. (2002) use the term "consciousness-raising" to describe the process of developing an awareness of these norms and values. Using a Critical Race Theory lens, this study aimed to capture the process of "consciousness-raising" in a white teacher book club examining ten different African American children's picture books. The study design was supported by an Intergroup Dialogue model, developed by Zuniga et al. (2002) and adapted for white facilitators by Quaye (2012). Data Analysis was guided by a continuum of white racial identity developed by Helms (1990) and modified by Lawrence and Tatum (1998). Transcripts of participant narratives were analyzed for signs of status change along the continuum and each teacher demonstrated varying degrees of socio-cultural awareness. The researcher journal was analyzed to capture reflections on the Intergroup Dialogue Model for facilitation. Principal findings of the study include the replication of themes found in the existing whiteness literature as well as the value and limitations of the continuum of white racial identity as a tool for analysis.
- Doctoral Dissertations