Theses Doctoral

Lifting as We Climb: Womanist Pedagogy and Anti-Racist Teaching as Discussed by Black Women Science Teachers

Riley, Alexis D.

The purpose of this narrative study is to share a comprehensive and holistic understanding of the teaching philosophies of Black women science teachers. The theoretical lenses of Critical Race Theory and Black Feminist Thought are used to explore historical and contemporary experiences of Black teachers over time, to explain how and why there are so few women in science classrooms today. The pedagogical practices of Black women of the past are explored to reveal what is possible and needed in today’s science classrooms. The qualitative study used open-ended questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and Sista Circles to center the narratives and experiences of the 32 participants, honoring their counter-stories and valuing their experiences. The findings of the dissertation are shared as two manuscripts: the first focuses on how Womanist Pedagogy is exemplified in Black women science classrooms.

The second findings chapter focuses on how the participants discuss anti-racist teaching in their science classrooms as described in three frameworks: liberatory pedagogy (hooks, 1994); Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (Ladson-Billings, 1994); and Historically Responsive Literacy (Muhammad, 2000). Historically relevant science pedagogy is a theoretical contribution offered by the author to the science education community to enact anti-racist practices. By highlighting the pedagogical practices of Black women science teachers, this study aims to transform the practices within science teacher education and professional development fields.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Science Education
Thesis Advisors
Moore Mensah, Felicia
Emdin, Christopher
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
January 12, 2022