Department

Leadership

Date of Paper/Work

2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Dissertation

Advisors

Stephen Brookfield, John Diamond, Eleni Roulis

Abstract

This study explores the ways White educators expose racial injustice and sustain the fight for equity in mostly White school systems. The research involves uncovering one's personal racism as well as unearthing how it functions systemically and it examines effective ways of bringing that to people's attention. The data for this Scholarly Personal Narrative (SPN) study, therefore, is the researcher’s own experiences accumulated over the past 18 years in educational leadership.

I explicate processes a leader must undergo to: 1) explore the social construct of racial identity, 2) develop effective short and long-term strategies to sustain progress, and 3) utilize mindful responses in collegial interactions in order to work for racial justice in school systems. I consider theories, perspectives, and practices from a wide array of scholars and educators in order to examine ways to navigate the tumultuous waters of racialized impacts and outcomes for youth in public schools. In the SPN, research utilizes theory and relevant literature to critique, inform, and explain the author’s experiences—in this case, my experiences in working toward racial justice.

The goal of this research, using the lenses of critical race theory and mindful practices, includes offering insights for White educators in mostly-White districts. I hope to help myself and others avoid pitfalls and build personal and professional skills to address racial injustice. While small celebrations may support further progress, this research concludes with the acknowledgement that missteps provide regular learning opportunities and that self-study never ends. Fear often prevents White educators from the necessary errors that can lead to greater understanding. In addition, several topics related to marginalization and oppression that result in achievement and opportunity gaps in school systems demand further research.

Keywords

implicit bias, racial justice, microaggressions, white fragility, counter narrative, mindfulness

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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