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Title:Emphasizing relations in an accountability driven era: a qualitative study of a caring-centered after school program for black and Latina/o students
Author(s):Rakha, Shameem
Director of Research:Pak, Yoon K.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Pak, Yoon K.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Anderson, James D.; Larson, Reed W.; Stake, Robert E.
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):qualitative inquiry
qualitative
Minority
race
racism
case study
Narrative inquiry
Black
African American
Latina
Latino
Hispanic
caring
caring-centered
relations
relationships
responsive relations
engagement
afterschool
after-school
informal learning environment
teaching and learning
teaching
learning
achievement gap
achievement
scholarship
opportunity
opportunity gap
responsive
engagement gap
cultural sensitivity
culturally relevant pedagogy
belonging
culture
small-urban
micro-urban
enrichment
student-centered enrichment
science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
classroom observations
community
university partnerships
community partnerships
school partnerships
high school
pre-service teacher training
preservice teacher
cultural competence
anti-racist pedagogy
socio-cultural learning theory
critical race theory
participant observation
Abstract:This research examines an after school program situated within a small urban school district with a documented history of discrimination against students of color. I aim to reveal the complexities of Project [em]POWER, the learning opportunities provided to its participants, and the experiences of the students themselves. I conducted this research of Project [em]POWER due to my interest in the goals of the program that include both academic excellence and providing high-quality enrichment opportunities primarily to students who have been historically marginalized within the public school environment. By employing qualitative research methods, I engaged in a semester-long observation of Project [em]POWER, conducted both semi-structured and naturalistic interviews with students and program staff, and observed students within their classrooms. I used these qualitative methods in order to answer the question, “What are the qualities of experiences, interactions, and learning opportunities provided by Project [em]POWER and how do the students take advantage of them?” Critical data analysis reveals that Project [em]POWER offers many opportunities for its participants, but that they did not come in the form that was initially expected. Opportunity came in the form of student engagement. The program provided a caring, responsive relational environment that allowed students to engage in learning; providing a space where students had a sense of belonging due to an embracing of the students’ race; and by providing engaged learning activities. In the chapters that follow, I explore the nature of the opportunities provided to the program participants. I also provide a historical and social context of Project [em]POWER. I discuss the nature of the relations found within the program, and provide a model for understanding the way in which responsive relations were operationalized in this setting. I also discuss the sense of community provided by the program, and the teaching and learning I observed. I conclude with my findings, which suggest that creating caring-centered, culturally conscious programs for students of color increases student engagement and therefore, access to opportunities to learn.
Issue Date:2013-05-24
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/44266
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Shameem Rakha
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-24
Date Deposited:2013-05


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