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Title:Classwork: Examining the Practices, Socialization, and Identities of Elementary School Teachers With Working Class Origins Through Their Oral Histories
Author(s):Binkley, Russell Eugene
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Susan Noffke
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Sociology of
Abstract:This qualitative study examines how working class elementary school teachers experience identity, socialization, and practice. Oral history interviews were collected from six elementary school teachers, five female and one male with working class origins. Five were white and one was Latina-African-American; they had taught from 2 to 30 years. Because participants risked disclosing personal matter with potentially emotional content, the interviewer's own working class educational autobiography was included. Participants recollected their antecedents' schooling and explored their own educational narratives. As transcript data was collected, it was coded and analyzed through the lenses of feminist theory, Critical Race Theory, Whiteness Studies, and Critical Pedagogies. Participants discussed early awarenesses of material disparities, exclusion from dominant discourse, lack of cultural capital, importance of informal mentorships, institutional indifference, surviving in inhospitable middle class educational sites, seeing themselves in their working class students, and recognizing degrees of racial and economic privilege. Recommendations include nurturing informal mentorship, finding ways to encourage working class students to encounter math and science more positively, opening up higher education to young working class mothers, including social class and working class history as legitimate, ongoing curriculum, inviting working class families into more meaningful, appropriate school participation, and teaching students to critique and decode differing discourses.
Issue Date:2005
Description:381 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3198927
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2005

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