Evolving spaces through authenticity, dialog, and action: The learning 'home' in urban education, and multiplicities, of student identities
Dickerson, Stephanie Renyet
MetadataShow full item record
The study is centered on the approach to present day reforms in education through a historical review of past educational reforms and past reformation movements to transform ideals of schools and educational institutions. As it is premised, educational reform has multiple circumstances fostered by a particular perspective, point of view or agenda. References are made to the overarching concepts of educational reform. Particular attention is drawn to the reformation practices of the past to develop understandings of the stages education has undergone in order to conceptualize the need for continued reforms within education. However, these reforms are better determined and executed on a school level as opposed to district or state level. A close look at one low income urban elementary school revealed the potential for successful educational reform through the practice of teacher reflection and empowerment, developing effective tools and creative strategies to promote achievement. In an attempt to identify how best to create a landscape of equality and efficacy within the field of education, the current research employs various models and theories including Critical Theory, Positioning Theory, and Ethics of Care to conceptualize the educational disparities that persist across demographic lines. The current research explores literature that investigates the role of reform and positive effects of teacher reflection and school-based reform focused on student success to combat obstacles to student achievement and inclusion. Utilizing a qualitative case study approach through interviews, vignettes, and on-site research, this study attempts to obtain clear insight of a low income elementary school personnel’s perspective on reform, reflection, empowerment, and ways to create student success. The findings of this study demonstrate that through teacher empowerment, teacher reflection, and personnel buy-in, students did achieve and authentic reforms were made possible at a building level. The participants attached importance and value to meeting students where they were, based on their learning levels, backgrounds, and interests, and to having a willingness to continual reflect on their practice. Also, they valued having a school-wide initiative and goal as a contributor to students’ success. Further, the school personnel valued having a voice and being valued as a full participant in school reform. The results substantiated some past reform research. The research implications recommend methods and practices for authentic effective reforms that would see a positive change in the school environments and benefit learning of disenfranchised students in urban low-income schools.