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Professional Development: Exploring a Critical Race Inquiry Approach to the Professional Development of Elementary Ethnic Studies Teachers of Color

Sun, April 19, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Virtual Room

Abstract

We draw from critical race pedagogy (Lynn, 1999) and inquiry as stance (Cochran-Smith and Lytle, 2009) to explore how 5 elementary (TK-6th grade) Teachers of Color (ToC) we work with embody their commitment to critical race inquiry as a pedagogical stance and how this is influenced by their life and professional development experiences. We also unpack how the teachers began taking ownership over the inquiry process and pinpoint features of our approach to professional development that they found supportive and sustaining. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were conducted to reveal a critical race inquiry process characterized by four main components: (1) Reflecting on racialized experience (2) Intersectional critiques of personal gaps in knowledge and experience (3) Critiquing and disrupting oppressive bureaucratic demands (4) Feeling supported within an inquiry-based community. This work can inform educators and administrators seeking and creating conditions for professional development that retain and sustain a population of ToC committed to liberatory academically sound learning experiences for their students.

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