Sister Outsider: Lived Experiences of Black Women Early Childhood Educators Who Employ Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
The lack of current research on the lived experiences of Black women early childhood educators who utilize culturally relevant pedagogy with young children has rendered this group of educators functionally invisible. Using the theoretical frameworks of critical race theory, Black feminist thought, and intersectionality, the purpose of this critical narrative inquiry study was to examine how Black women early childhood educators’ lived experiences inform their use of culturally relevant pedagogies in pre-k to third grade classrooms. This study took place at an elementary public charter school serving students in pre-kindergarten to third grade in the southeast sector of Fort Worth, Texas. The participants were five Black women early childhood educators who teach children in pre-kindergarten to third grade. I employed narrative inquiry methods. Data were collected through individual semi structured interviews, sister circle collective gatherings, Photovoice, and researcher produced life notes. I also analyzed the data collected using Polkinghorne’s narrative mode of analysis to produce life story narratives. Findings from my co-researchers’ stories demonstrated how they (re)membered their culturally situated work with young children and families, (re)imagined how the authentic lives of BIPOC children are reflected in early learning spaces, and (re)cognized the inherent power of cultivating the genius of BIPOC minds. Each woman navigated the intersections of her identity to build meaningful relationships with young children and families. They also created learning environments that centered reciprocal authenticity with children. Lastly, my co-researchers all held an image of children of as wholly competent and capable beings. Implications for early childhood educators, administrators, educational researchers, and teacher educators are offered along with recommendations for future research.
Curriculum and Instruction