Date of Award

1991

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

William Pinar

Abstract

Crises in the economic and social conditions of the underrepresented have led to the analysis of education and the schooling process for responses to and explanations for these inequalities. The purpose of this ethnographically informed, autobiographic case study is to examine the relational and contradictory dynamics of an urban southern school district's systemic process of educational reform from multicultural perspectives. The case study examines the rules, roles and relationships of key change agents and stakeholders as they define education from multicultural perspectives in the process of change. The research further examines the developmental processes necessary to transform the existing curriculum to enable students to view concepts, themes, issues and events from multiple cultural perspectives. This transformation includes the infusion of African/African American history, culture, and viewpoints into the K-12 curriculum using an interdisciplinary, interactive approach. I contend that this approach, designed to promote dialogue, collaboration, and critical analysis among teachers and students, will foster meaningful and relevant learning experiences for urban youth. Research methods include: (a) interviews with instructional specialists, selected teachers, and principals focusing on the developmental process; (b) participant observations; (c) autobiographic reflections of the associate superintendent as researcher; and (d) the review and analysis of videotapes, minutes, narratives, archival records, surveys, and observation documents of the process. Ten model schools, distinguished by varied social, economic, and academic characteristics located in a large urban southern school district provide the data for analysis. The study is based on critical cultural curriculum theories that privilege (a) race with gender and class as dynamic and multifaceted influences on underrepresented students' disadvantaged locations in the educational process and (b) education that is multicultural and social reconstructionist. Conclusions from this research contribute to an understanding of the controversies and change dynamics attendant to redefining education in urban communities through African/African American curriculum infusion. These findings will be used as a theoretical basis to foster dialogue, collaboration, and critical analyses in other schools, so that students and teachers gain a better understanding of education through multicultural curriculum transformational processes.

Pages

503

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