Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Black World Language Instructors in Higher Education: Social Justice-Based Perspectives and Pedagogies
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The field of world language education is one that has historically been dominated by traditional pedagogical practices and perspectives that limit the opportunity for rich, critical examination of course content. This often leaves much to be desired in students’ learning experiences for many students, and frequently causes students of color to feel alienated from the language learning process. There has been a recent shift within the field in which social justice pedagogies are utilized by educators in an effort to create more meaningful learning experiences for students. This study explores the former learning experiences of three Black, post-secondary Spanish instructors and examines their pedagogical practices as they explore social justice-based phenomena and question and challenge systems of inequity and injustice with their students through use of the target language. The pedagogies implemented within the classrooms are based on the educators’ own perceptions of what it means to teach for social justice. Furthermore, these practices are the educators’ intentional efforts to prepare their students to be globally-minded, critical thinkers who work to disrupt systems of privilege and power within our world. This study is centered on the following questions: (1) What are the world language instructors’ interpretations of social justice pedagogy related to world language education? (2) How do the instructors’ interpretations of social justice inform their pedagogies in the world language classroom? and (3) What were the instructors’ K-20 (and beyond) experiences as world language learners? How might their experiences influence their interpretations of social justice within the world language classroom? Critical Race Theory, Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, and Social Justice Pedagogy are used as the conceptual frameworks to analyze and examine data collected from interviews and classroom observations completed by each participant. This project is a major contribution to the field in that it focuses on the ways in which participants’ experiences inform their pedagogy, and contributes to a more contemporary understanding of the experiences and perspectives of African Americans who teach and study world languages.