Becoming "Urban": A Cultural-Historical Examination of a College of Education Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Willox, Lara
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • This dissertation presents a case study of a College of Education as it began the process of becoming an urban focused organization within an urban institution. This study explores teacher educators' conceptions of urban education and the tensions that appear to influence the process of change. Data was drawn from historical background knowledge, on site observations, document reviews, and interviews with teacher educators engaged in the process to answer the following questions: 1) What tensions influence a College of Education going through the process of institutional change with the goal of becoming an urban focused organization within an urban institution? 2) What meanings does the term "urban" have in these programs? Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) is used to explore the tensions within and between the specific entities involved in the process of change. CHAT was "designed to be used to understand human activity situated in a collective context" (Yamagata-Lynch, 2007, p. 453). The tensions exposed were ideological and procedural in nature. These tensions are centered on community relationships, understandings of the term urban, differences between newer and older faculty members, and procedural expectations by outside agencies. The findings suggest that greater attention needs to be paid to the historical and cultural elements of institutional change processes that are at work but often go unexamined. In addition teacher educators expressing a commitment to urban education should spend time analyzing their understandings of urban education and deliberating on the concept that will guide their practice.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Anderson, Janice
  • Bolick, Cheryl
  • Grumet, Madeleine
  • Glazier, Jocelyn
  • Tyson, Karolyn
  • Eaker-Rich, Deborah
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2011

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