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Toward an Anti-Racist English Language Arts Practice: Engaging in Critical Literacy Education Through Equity-Based Coaching

Leeper, Abriana L (2023) Toward an Anti-Racist English Language Arts Practice: Engaging in Critical Literacy Education Through Equity-Based Coaching. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Current English Language Arts programming and pedagogy, having evolved from colonial and racist histories, continue to employ instructional practices set to exclude, deculturalize, and assimilate America’s marginalized citizens. Today's literacy educators continue to play a crucial role, regardless of intention, by further marginalizing their students and imposing Eurocentric cultural and linguistic standards in the classroom. This study sought to provide teachers with a research-based approach toward sustained, transformational pedagogy that would challenge the Eurocentric standard by providing all students with a critical, culturally sustaining, and anti-racist literacy experience.
Using Django Paris and H. Samy Alim’s work on Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy and Albert Bandura’s theory on teacher self-efficacy as theoretical frameworks, this study was guided by the following inquiry question: How might coaching and professional development specific to the literacy curriculum increase teacher self-efficacy in consistently embedding culturally sustaining teaching practices and cultivating an anti-racist learning environment? Six English Language Arts teachers participated in a six-week anti-racist-based coaching model. Data collected throughout the study consisted of field notes taken during classroom observations, professional development sessions, and weekly surveys. A thematic coding system based on Elena Aguilar’s “Mind the Gap” coaching framework (2018) was used to provide a precise qualitative analysis of the piloted coaching model’s effectiveness in aiding the participants in increasing their teacher self-efficacy throughout the study.

This study illuminated the importance of building a coaching culture that supports teachers engaging in anti-racist and culturally sustaining pedagogy. Providing stepping stones for intentional coaching strategies that shift teachers towards sustained, transformational change, this study highlights various types of educators and the dissonance between strong teacher self-efficacy and authentic implementation of culturally sustaining instruction. These findings indicate the crucial role of coaches and effective coaching systems, encouraging the intellectual development of in-service educators, shifting teacher practice, and ultimately school culture toward equitable and impactful change.
Research findings also highlight the need for intentional connections between pre-service educational institutions and school districts to better prepare future instructors for diverse and urbanized classrooms while also auditing existing accountability systems to better support coaches and instructional staff in anti-racist and culturally sustaining pedagogical practices.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Leeper, Abriana LAbriana.l.leeper@gmail.comALL108
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDelale-O'Connor, Loriloridoc@pitt.eduloridoc
Committee MemberBoyd, Kendriakdb70@pitt.edukdb70
Committee MemberKinloch, Valerievkinloch@pitt.eduvkinloch
Date: 11 January 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 27 June 2022
Approval Date: 11 January 2023
Submission Date: 7 January 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 119
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: literacy, critical literacy, culturally sustaining pedagogy, anti-racist, coaching, coaching cycles, anti-racist teaching, English Language Arts, ABAR, ABAR teaching
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2023 19:26
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2023 19:26


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