College of Education Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 7-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Karen Monkman

Second Advisor

Ronald Chennault

Third Advisor

Gayle Mindes

Abstract

Social justice curriculum argues that preparing students for life should involve a process of dialogue and schooling as a place of power disruption versus an approach built on social and political neutrality. This study examined the experiences and perceptions of urban Black male youth who participate in social justice curriculum. Through narrative inquiry, I used the concepts of Black “curricular protest” (Watkins, 2005) and concenticization (Freire, 1993) to understand how urban Black male youth who engage in curriculum as critique come to understand their own “transformative citizenship development” (Banks, 2008). Across three interviews, participants shared their experiences to inform more deeply what occurs in the process of learning to become a “transformative citizen.” The study concluded that participating and learning such a curriculum void of action left the participants informed but with a feeling of frustration and a sense of hopelessness. Implications revealed that for social justice curricula within urban communities to be intentionally action oriented, a stronger connection between school and community is needed and issues should be selected by the constituents themselves.

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