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McConnel, Christine

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This narrative inquiry study focused on the experiences of reputationally excellent White educators working in diverse urban high schools. Using methods from participatory narrative inquiry (Kurtz, 2014), this study asked three participants to explore their respective journeys as educators in diverse urban settings and to use story and reflection as well as more traditional narrative inquiry methods of observation, interviews, and artifact analysis to identify emergent themes about what made these White educators successful and how their definition of success changed throughout their career. The focus on White educators was important because of the demographic divide between students in urban communities and the teachers who occupy the classrooms. The findings from this study suggested the participants in this study were able to create an inclusive classroom space, were constantly evolving as people and as educators, were vigilant against policies and practices that would hinder their student’s success, and were grateful for the way their students had impacted and shaped them as educators. The study also suggested that before these dispositions could be developed, White educators must be willing to go through a process of deconstructing their identity to manifest the identified themes in their classroom. This personal deconstruction is a long and challenging process many educators will avoid but if they endure, they will develop dispositions that would allow them to be more effective educators for diverse students. This study was important because it focused on how White educators could transform their beliefs and behaviors in a way that positively impacts students in diverse urban high schools.


157 pages

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