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Reflection to action a grounded case study of an intentionally designed racial justice curriculum /

by Roosa Millar, Elizabeth A.

Abstract (Summary)
iii This study addresses the problem of enlisting support from the white majority to combat racism. Innovative educational interventions are needed within higher education to promote the development of racial justice allies. Racial justice allies are individuals of the white race who purposefully project attitudes and actions that promote positive interracial interactions in an attempt to eliminate race-based inequality (Reason, Roosa Millar, & Scales, 2005). The research illuminated how an intentionally designed racial justice curriculum influences the racial justice ally development process during college by addressing the following questions. How do white, undergraduate students at a predominantly white institution experience an intentionally designed racial justice curriculum? And, how do these educational interventions influence their racial justice ally development? The qualitative paradigm of this study consists of a case study research design and data collection methods, and a grounded theory approach to analysis. The data is presented in the voices of the nine participants who richly describe their attitudes, values, and influential learning experiences related to racial diversity, race relations, and racial justice occurring before and during college. From the emergent themes and sub-themes, the influences of a racial justice curriculum on racial justice ally development are revealed. The racial justice curriculum consists of two formal educational interventions, SOC 119 and SOC 300, which contain various learning contexts. The results of the study revealed that a complex set of influences contribute to the racial justice ally development of white students experiencing an intentionally designed iv racial justice curriculum. The following concepts play a predominant role in this process: the developmental complexity/intercultural maturity of the learner; an invitation from a trusted other providing an opportunity to participate in racial justice activities; and the distinctive educational conditions found within the varying learning contexts of SOC 119 and SOC 300 i.e., support from others and racial justice role models; “minority” experiences; interracial interactions and racially diverse friendships; and the opportunity to practice varying degrees of racial justice action.
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School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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