An autoethnographic inquiry into an African American, class-based perspective in educational delivery / by Stassi Thomas Anderson.
Stassi Thomas Anderson An autoethnographic inquiry into an African American, class-based perspective in educational delivery Under the direction of Lucy Bush, Ed. D Research has given us the understanding of the demographic disparity between white, largely middle class teachers and diverse lower socioeconomic school children (Grious & Silva, 2010), as teachers from the middle class society wrestle with meeting the needs of their culturally diverse students. In efforts to bridge the social and academic gap, resources have been spent on hiring more minority teachers into the classroom. However, few studies have been conducted on the efforts, struggles, and triumphs of teaching disadvantaged students from the seldom-depicted perspective of a Black teacher of privilege. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of cross-class interaction within the same race – i.e., the teacher and the students both being Black yet reared in different economic environments—upon the development of the teacher. The two guiding questions for this autoethnography are: (a) As a Black teacher of socioeconomic privilege, what has been the influence on my own pedagogical development of my interaction with disadvantaged students of the same race? (b) Is my experience unique or do other Black teachers of privilege question or encounter similar issues of student connectivity? Data was generated from a collection of self-reflective data and interview data; focus group responses to interview questions; and several autoethnographic vignettes. Three findings were gleaned from the data: (a) Black privileged teachers in this study taught from a similar cultural gaze as their white middle-class counterparts, based on their exposure to the dominant culture’s educational and social philosophy and practices; (b) additional research is necessary when merging non-traditional privileged Black teachers into Black disadvantaged teaching environment; and (c) further research is needed to evaluate the pre-service teaching programs for all privileged teachers entering lower socioeconomic neighborhoods to teach. It becomes imperative that we examine our own position towards culture and race internally before being placed in culturally and racially diverse settings.
Anderson, Stassi Thomas