Theses Doctoral

Breaking the Fourth Wall: An Ethnodrama of Blackgirls’ Life Notes on Urban Schooling

Devereaux, Cathryn Andrea

This study explored the K-12 urban schooling experiences of four Blackgirls attending an alternative high school in New Jersey from their perspectives and in their own words. Through the use of focus group interviews, semi-structured individual follow-up interviews, participants’ compositions of life note entries, participatory data analysis, and the co-construction of a participatory ethnodrama, this qualitative study was grounded in Endarkened Feminist Epistemology.

The research explored the participants’ rich, meaningful, and culturally indigenous ways knowing and conveying their lived experiences to provide educators insight into the ways in which Blackgirls encounter and navigate urban schools and the intersections of those experiences with their personal lives. Themes that immerged included identity development, invisibility, school trauma and failure, connectedness, and personal transformation, which expand understandings of culturally responsive, trauma-informed approaches to urban schooling, anti-racism and racial literacy, educator sustainability, and prioritizing student voice in school improvement reform.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Curriculum and Teaching
Thesis Advisors
Gooden, Mark
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
October 27, 2021