Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Education/Leadership in Urban Schools

First Advisor

Patricia Krueger-Henney

Second Advisor

Abiola Farinde-Wu

Third Advisor

Panagiota Gounari, David O. Stovall


The K-12 teacher demographic is over 80% white, female, mono-lingual, and middle class, and many reported being under-prepared to work with and serve marginalized students. In response, teacher education programs added one or two semester-long multicultural education classes to their curriculum that present marginalized communities as problems and encourage diversifying posters on the wall and books in the library. The isolated courses, however, evade discussions of whiteness and ideology as social, political, and economic structures that perpetuate inequities. This research employed an appreciative inquiry informed critical ethnographic case study methodology to examine a single teacher education program in the northeastern U.S. that committed its curriculum to tackling whiteness and ideology. The participants included 13 faculty members, 8 students, 6 alumni, and 27 alumni survey respondents. Grounded theory method was used to analyze interviews, seminar transcripts, survey responses, artifacts, and documents. The main findings of this study revealed that the faculty used “investigative pedagogy” and “a praxis of ‘bringing the world into the classroom” to probe ideas and ideologies that students brought to the seminars. Analyzing the data through the theoretical framework of dialectical materialism and anti-coloniality, the implications point to pedagogies for teacher education and social movements.


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