David E. Lawrence, Ph.D. is a 2021 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
David Lawrence at his Dissertation Defense.
From L-R: Dr. Laurien Alexandre, Committee Member, Dr. Donna Ladkin, Committee Chair, Dr. Carolyn M. Shields, Committee Member
- Donna Ladkin, Ph.D., Committee Chair
- Laurien Alexandre, Ph.D., Committee Member
- Carolyn M. Shields, Ph.D., Committee Member
equity, White educators, suburban schools, transformative leadership, minoritized parents, social justice, school improvement, school reform, implicit bias, professional development, equity training
The intent of this qualitative critical incident study was to explore the interpretation of equity by White equity-trained suburban educators (WETSE) and minoritized parents (MP) in a Midwestern suburban school district to address and change inequitable student outcomes. WETSE and MP participated independently in focus groups. The research design used critical incident technique (CIT) as the methodology; focus groups as the data collection tool; and thematic analysis (TA) as the analytical tool. Zones of Mediation (ZONE) and Transformative Leadership Theory (TLT) were used to distill and categorize the research findings. WETSE and MP established an agreement on four themes thought to represent impediments to achieving equity in schools (implicit bias, White privilege, diversity, and power). Two divergent themes (WETSE—deficit thinking and MP—stereotyping) and one emergent theme (Equity Training) were generated. The singular stand-alone theme, assimilation, was a complete outlier, and it was generated by MP. All themes were categorized as “normative” or “political” elements of ZONE, demonstrating that technical changes are disconnected from WETSE and MP equity perspectives. Transformative leadership theory (TLT) is composed of eight tenets. WETSE and MP prioritized two of the eight tenets as essential to achieving equity. These findings indicate that changing mindsets (tenet #2) and redistributing power in more equitable ways (tenet #3) are central to achieving equitable school conditions. This study contributes to existing, albeit minimal, literature detailing longitudinal equity training’s effectiveness at deconstructing beliefs and ideologies of White equity-trained suburban teachers and comparing them to minoritized parents’ interpretation of equity using critical incidents. There is a disconnect between this study’s findings and what researchers and practitioners are doing to achieve equitable school outcomes. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA, https://aura.antioch.edu/, and OhioLINK ETD Center, https://etd.ohiolink.edu/etd
Lawrence, D. E. (2021). Exploring Equity through the Perspective of White Equity-Trained Suburban Educators and Minoritized Parents. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/718
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