Author

Kate Hanigan

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, Ed.D.

Department

Education

First Advisor

Sally Hood

LC Subjects

Educational equalization; Occupations--Sociological aspects; Women--Education

Abstract

The purpose of this mixed methods study was to seek a better understanding of the phenomenon of intersectionality of gender and race/ethnicity as is it is experienced by White female K-8 teachers. The study explored the possibility that a positive relationship might exist between teachers' intersectionality awareness and their dispositions as culturally responsive educators and social justice activists. Twenty-one K-8 classroom teachers from a Pacific Northwest metropolitan school district completed the web-based Identity and Equity Awareness Survey which included items related to participants' equity training experience and perceived benefits. Additionally, thirteen items borrowed from social psychology and Women's Studies research were related to participants' understanding of intersecting social identities. Qualitative data were collected through participants' written comments.

Although a weak positive correlation (.20) was found between teachers' amount and satisfaction with equity training experiences and their intersectionality awareness, discrepancies and contradictions found between the quantitative and qualitative data suggest that the survey instrument did not measure dispositions of culturally responsive educators. Furthermore, the findings suggest that teachers' increased participation in standardized equity professional development increased their use of 'equity speak' and associated protocols. The equity language and protocols likely prevented teachers' from developing the critical consciousness and authentic language needed to interrogate and contest the inequities they have learned to name. The implication being that the dominant culture epistemological approach to equity professional development reifies the systemic oppressions it claims to transform.

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