Storying a Social Drama: How Discourse and Practice Prevent Transformation Through Culturally Relevant Pedagogy

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Abstract

In a sociohistorical moment during which racism has become more widely accepted as a social fact, U.S. scholars and practitioners of education continue to struggle with how schooling might participate in its eradication. In suburban, elite, Midwestern Pioneer City Public Schools, a series of initiatives I refer to as “the transformation” aimed to eliminate racial predictability in standardized test scores through efforts (a) to redistribute children from a racially and economically isolated elementary school across the district's four elementary schools, and (b) to train all district staff in a particular brand of culturally relevant pedagogy. In this article, I argue that Pioneer City School District was unable to address the transformative goals of culturally relevant pedagogy—in part because of irresolvable tensions between an explicitly anti-racist theory and the authoritative discourses suggesting that racism is a thing of the past.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-34
Number of pages9
JournalMulticultural Perspectives
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017

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