Journal Current

(1) Special Issue: Education Research for Equity and Social Justice in Florida

Table of Contents

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Introduction

(1) Introduction to the Special Issue of the Florida Journal of Educational Research on Education Research for Equity and Social Justice in Florida

Cheron H. Davis
Florida A&M University

Alysia D. Roehrig
Florida State University

Tamara Bertrand Jones
Florida State University

Abstract

From pre-K to university, education can confer a host of personal and societal benefits to individuals and the nation. Because of the vital importance of education to civic and economic participation, democratic societies must ensure all citizens have equal and equitable access to education. However, despite broad support for the democratic ideals of equality and equity in education, minoritized populations, particularly in Florida, continue to face inequities due to multiple types of oppression, including racism, sexism, classism, and others, and their intersections in schools. We asked educators and researchers in Florida:

  1. What are the most pressing social justice issues in Florida schools today, and how is education in Florida continuing to reproduce and reconstitute systems of oppressive power, no matter how unintentionally?
  2. How do we address and redress social inequities?
  3. What innovative programs, curricula, and community partnerships are being conducted in and with Florida schools that lead to increased social justice and emancipation?

We are inspired by our colleagues who are champions of social justice, whose activist scholarship highlights and undermines systematic forces of marginalization in Florida’s schools, colleges, and universities. We highlight their impactful work in this introduction, and we encourage you to share and apply the insights and recommendations contained in their policy critiques, program descriptions, literature reviews, research studies, and commentaries in this special issue.

Citation

Davis, C.H., Roehrig, A.D., & Bertrand Jones T. (2021).  Introduction to the Special Issue of the Florida Journal of Educational Research on Education Research for Equity and Social Justice in Florida. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 1-7.

Download: 1Davis.591.pdf (127 downloads)

Socio-Emotional Counter-Stories of Minoritized Voices in Learning Spaces

(1) Evaluation of an LGBTQIA+ Safe Zone Training at a Southern HBCU

Laura L. Myers
Florida A&M University

Keyshawn C. McMiller
University of Michigan

Abstract

The LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, plus) community encompasses people who identify with a growing diversity of categories within the broader area of sexual identity, including sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions, and biological genders. In Florida, it is estimated that almost one million individuals identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer, making it vitally important that LGBTQIA+ competency training be presented to social work students before they move into Florida’s professional social work arena. Safe Zone training attempts to increase people’s knowledge of the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as self-awareness regarding biases and prejudices toward members of this community. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a Safe Zone training when implemented in an undergraduate classroom setting in the Department of Social Work at a southern historically Black university. Findings suggest that the classroom setting may be an effective way to reach these students.

Citation

Myers, L.L., & McMiller, K.C. (2021) Evaluation of an LGBTQIA+ Safe Zone Training at a Southern HBCU. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 8-21.

Download: 2Myers.591.pdf (98 downloads)

(1) Waking Up in Critical Incidents Within the Cycle of Liberation: A Review of the Literature and a Call to Action to the Field of Counseling

Falon N. Thacker
University of Central Florida

Abstract

There has been a growing movement in counselor education to expand the counseling role from its traditional emphasis on solely psychological issues and concerns to a broader focus on social justice and the systemic circumstance that can affect one’s intellectual, social, and psychological development (Ratts et al., 2007; Singh et al., 2010; Sue et al., 1992). However, there is empirical evidence that candidates entering counselor education programs have limited knowledge about multiculturalism, social justice, and advocacy. This article provides an overview of the historical development of multicultural and social justice competence in counseling as well as how multiculturalism, social justice, and liberation are linked in counseling. Further, the article will provide suggestions for training future counselors in the state of Florida and implications for further research.

Citation

Thacker, F.N. (2021) Waking Up in Critical Incidents Within the Cycle of Liberation: A Review of the Literature and a Call to Action to the Field of Counseling. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 22-36.

Download: 3Thacker.591.pdf (66 downloads)

(1) Settler Colonialism in School Choice: A Story of Refusal and Survival From a Traditional Public Middle School

David R. Fisher

Abstract

In the United States, only several, primarily Mid-Atlantic and Southern states legislate county-based school districts. Florida is one of them, and this legislation has created some of the largest school districts in the country. In order to combat the bureaucracy of large school districts, some smaller communities, such as “Buckland,” have turned to charter schools. In 2003, five of the seven schools in Buckland converted, creating a unique charter school district under one superintendent and one board. Tensions have ensued between the charter schools and the two schools that chose to stay with the county-based district. Using Veracini’s (2011) tenets of settler colonialism as a framework, I discuss how the practice of school choice in Buckland has resulted in the displacement of educators, families, and students, inequality between different racial and socioeconomic groups, and the disappearance of traditional neighborhood schools and their communities. I argue that the system of educational choice in the United States is a result of our history as a settler colonial society.

Citation

Fisher, D.R. (2021) Settler Colonialism in School Choice: A Story of Refusal and Survival From a Traditional Public Middle School. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 37-56.

Download: 4Fisher.591.pdf (94 downloads)

(1) Participatory Methods and Narrative Tools: Fostering Youth-Led Social & Emotional Learning at One Orange County Boys & Girls Club

L. Trenton S. Marsh
University of Central Florida

Kim M. Anderson
University of Central Florida

Jasmine D. Haynes
University of Central Florida

Itunu Ilesanmi
University of Central Florida

Norma E. Conner
University of Central Florida

Tasha Robinson-Banks
Boys & Girls Clubs of Orange County

Gary Wilcox
Boys & Girls Clubs of Orange County

Abstract

This empirical study describes a youth-led participatory action research project that engaged a majority Black student population facing adverse childhood experiences, including economic inequities, within their Florida communities. In 2019, one Orange County Boys & Girls Club (B&GC) surveyed its 1,400 members to assess their overall club experience. The needs assessment indicated that club members, ages 9–12 years old, reported more challenges than other age groups relating to emotional safety, physical safety, impulse control, teamwork, and conflict resolution. The B&GC director requested university partners to collaborate with older club leaders, ages 15–19 years old, to develop a means of addressing such concerns. Project results were two-fold: (a) the development of an innovative social and emotional curriculum consisting of skill-building and digital-storytelling for younger youth members, and (b) the elevation of voices and experiences of multiply-marginalized youth to spark club transformation through intergenerational mentoring.

Citation

Marsh, L.T.S., Anderson, K.M., Haynes, J.D., Ilesanmi, I., Conner, N.E., Robinson-Banks, T., & Wilcox, G. (2021) Participatory Methods and Narrative Tools: Fostering Youth-Led Social & Emotional Learning at One Orange County Boys & Girls Club. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 57-71.

Download: 5Marsh.591.pdf (123 downloads)

(1) Capital Identity Projection and Academic Performance Among Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Students

Steven C. Williams, II
Florida A&M University

Novell E. Tani
Florida A&M University

Abstract

This study examines the capital identity projection (CIP) phenomena and the extent to which the presentation of “economic success” in historically Black college and university (HBCU) students contributes to their academic performance (students’ self-reported grade point average [GPA]). The present study adds to the literature by analyzing respondents’ financial literacy before graduation and examining the psychosocial desire for economic success, allowing for an understanding of said desires’ potential effect on collegiate success (e.g., academic performance/GPA). Findings indicate that positive CIP values (e.g., work-college balance and CIP for financial wellness) positively correlate with academic performance. Also, adverse CIP values (e.g., materialism, CIP for status projection, and CIP for ego inflation) negatively correlate with academic performance. Finally, the desire to display status indicative of acquired material goods, in an attempt to present an embellished or false image of economic success, coupled with financial literacy and wellness factors, proved predictive of students’ academic performance. Educational stakeholders are rightly working to afford all students equitable educational experiences, so we provide possible implications of CIP and offer possible solutions to address the social and educational inequities that operate outside the traditional realms of discussions around such topics.

Citation

Williams II, S.C., & Tani, N.E. (2021) Capital Identity Projection and Academic Performance Among Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Students. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 72-89.

Download: 6Williams.591.pdf (88 downloads)

(1) Understanding Successful Learning Experiences of African American Male Student Athletes to Address Deficient Scholarship

Kendrick Scott
Lynn University

Abstract

This study explored the successful learning experiences of African American male studentathletes (AAMSAs) who participated in revenue-generating sports at Division I colleges and universities. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand, from the perspectives of AAMSAs, their successful learning experiences, and those salient leadership experiences that influenced them. This study expands on previous qualitative research of AAMSAs by using appreciative inquiry as a philosophical approach to recognize their successful learning experiences. Five AAMSAs from Florida universities were interviewed to gather information about their learning experiences. A phenomenological hermeneutic analysis was used to determine the meanings of the participants’ experiences. The research indicates that successful learning of AAMSAs is supported by high leader beliefs and expectations. Practical implications from these results reveal that exploration of different learning methods remains necessary for AAMSAs. The findings may provide methods that leaders may use to engender the successful learning of AAMSAs.

Citation

Scott, K. (2021).  Understanding Successful Learning Experiences of African American Male Student Athletes to Address Deficient Scholarship. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 90-105.

Download: 7Scott.591.pdf (196 downloads)

(1) Exploring a Social Justice Learning Ecosystem Embedded in University, School, and Community Partnerships

Sheila D. Moore
University of Central Florida

Abstract

The purpose of this conceptual paper was to examine the literature on university, school, and community partnerships and add to the body of research as it relates to social justice and learning ecosystems. Specifically, a social justice learning ecosystem was explored and conceptualized through school–university partnerships with the purpose of building and strengthening a social justice orientation among multiple school community members to advance student outcomes. Social justice in learning ecosystems is of importance to both educational researchers and practitioners on a national and international platform. As school leaders focus on social justice issues that impede student success, the creation of learning ecosystems will help to aid schools, communities, and universities in providing a system of support and access. Furthermore, the work of this paper concludes with recommending a model for collaborative partnerships through learning ecosystems.

Citation

Moore, S.D. (2021) Exploring a Social Justice Learning Ecosystem Embedded in University, School, and Community Partnerships. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 106-120.

Download: 8Moore.591.pdf (78 downloads)

(1) Exploring the Outcomes of an Academic Leadership Program: Building a Bridge Between Learning Across Difference

Cameron C. Beatty
Florida State University

Erica R. Wiborg
Florida State University

Brittany Brewster
Florida State University

Abstract

The application of leadership learning in a post-collegiate context provides an opportunity for higher education institutions to understand the long-term influence of these programs. Key findings from this Florida university suggest that former students who hold minoritized identities were able to understand the identity exploration question in more detail, whereas students with dominant identities struggled to process the question or had difficulty with application to learning across difference in their post-college lives. Finally, alumni who hold minoritized identities discussed dismantling systems of oppression and creating systemic change, whereas alumni who held more dominant identities cited a general responsibility to their community. We call for academic leadership programs to center social justice concepts in their program outcomes. By not exploring how students are engaging in social justice conversations and learning across difference, universities continue to reproduce systems of oppressive power, no matter how unintentionally these outcomes may be for academic leadership programs.

Citation

Beatty, C.C., Wiborg, E.R., & Brewster, B. (2021) Exploring the Outcomes of an Academic Leadership Program: Building a Bridge Between Learning Across Difference. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 121-135.

Download: 9Beatty.591.pdf (54 downloads)

(1) Bravery Against Silence: A Composite Counter-Story of Minoritized Students

Loraine Martell-Bonet
University of South Florida

Tameka Parenti
University of South Florida

Jennifer I. Perez
University of South Florida

Abstract

This study explores the ways in which racism within education influences the educational experience and prowess of minoritized students in Florida. The authors, who are also students and educators in academic institutions in the state of Florida, pose the following question: Who among us is brave enough to acknowledge, address, and overcome the silence about racism so that minoritized students are educationally unrestricted by racist ideologies? The authors analyze their experiences with racism embedded within educational institutions by constructing a composite counter-story, a tool used by critical race theory scholars to write-back as a form of resistance to majoritarian stories. The authors’ composite counter-story illustrates how minoritized students in Florida face racial discrimination and racial inequities at various levels of education that deplete their sense of accomplishment. Unifying and amplifying their voices unravels majoritarian narratives. This outcome has implications for collaborative storytelling that refuses silence about racism in education as it inhibits student growth and achievement.

Citation

Martell-Bonet, L., Parenti, T., & Perez, J.I. (2021) Bravery Against Silence: A Composite Counter-Story of Minoritized Students. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 136-149.

Download: 10Martell-Bonet.591.pdf (109 downloads)

(1) “It’s Just a Reflection of America”: Experiences of Black Collegians With Racism in the Residence Halls at a Historically White Institution

Tonisha B. Lane
Virginia Tech

Kali Morgan
Georgia Institute of Technology

LaFrance Clarke
University of South Florida

Jimmy Hutchful
University of South Florida

Venice Adams
Virginia Tech

Abstract

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the role of campus housing in being spaces of injustice for Black students at one Floridian, urban, research university. Using critical race theory (CRT) as a theoretical framework, we analyzed focus group interview data of 28 self-identified Black collegians. From this analysis, three themes emerged: (a) navigating everyday racism with White roommates, (b) counterstories of Black resident advisors (RA), and (c) living-learning communities as microsystems of racial oppression. Based on these findings, we argue that if institutions are to become the beacon for diversity, equity, and inclusion that they purport to be, they need to be more intentional about how they add(red)ress racism in campus spaces. This vision is particularly critical for residence halls, which should be a place of respite for students.

Citation

Lane, T.B., Morgan, K., Clarke, L. Hutchful, J., & Adams, V. (2021) “It’s Just a Reflection of America”: Experiences of Black Collegians With Racism in the Residence Halls at a Historically White Institution. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 150-163.

Download: 11Lane.591.pdf (57 downloads)

(1) R.E.F.O.R.M. Café: Understanding Perceptions Related to Frontline Social Justice Reform Among College Students

Kristine M. Fleming
Florida A&M University

Kenya Washington Johnson
Florida A&M University

Abstract

Using the World Café methodology to generate small group constructive dialogue, the R.E.F.O.R.M. Café was created to provide an opportunity for undergraduate students attending a historically Black college and university (HBCU) to voice their concerns about pragmatic components of social justice work. The findings from the study extend the body of knowledge related to undergraduate perceptions on social justice education and change agency in frontline positions. Major discussion topics revolved around perceptions and preparation to act as change agents. Themes emerging from the conversation included individual accountability to serve as a change agent, use of role authority to act as a change agent, importance of supportive environments to African American student success, and desire for improved pedagogy related to race equity reform. Recommendations from the study may assist educators and social justice.

Citation

Fleming, K.M., & Johnson, K.W. (2021) R.E.F.O.R.M. Café: Understanding Perceptions Related to Frontline Social Justice Reform Among College Students. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 164-178.

Download: 12Fleming.591.pdf (57 downloads)

(1) Understanding the Impact of Negative Stereotypic Images on Identity Development in African American Children and Single Mothers: Implications for Educators, School Counselors, and Administrators

Alishea S. Rowley
Florida A&M University

Yarneccia D. Dyson
University of North Carolina Greensboro

Abstract

Historical oppression and stereotypes impact the way African American children from female headed single-parent homes are viewed and perceived in today’s society. Often, their families are judged as unstable, low income, and minimally educated. Stereotypes are impactful and can influence the way people in power interact with children and families. The examination of the role stereotypes play in the lives of Black women is a concept that has been explored and the research has broadened in the past 24 years. This research, however, seldom focuses on the impact of stereotypic images in conjunction with racial identity development in Single African American Mothers (SAAMs) and their children. An investigation of this topic is important because there is a need to highlight oppressive images that impact racial development and academic success in children of color. The outcomes are relevant to educators, counselors, and school leaders in Florida and beyond. This topic is vital to helping professionals and academic leaders to better understand the needs of the population and effective ways to help them. Further, the study highlighted relevant theories to explain racial identity development.

Citation

Rowley, A.S., & Dyson, Y.D. (2021).  Understanding the Impact of Negative Stereotypic Images on Identity Development in African American Children and Single Mothers: Implications for Educators, School Counselors, and Administrators. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 179-188.

Download: 13Rowley.591.pdf (77 downloads)

Programming That Empowers Those Who Are Systemically Disenfranchised in Academia

(1) Mobilizing University Capital to Foster Pathways of College Access for Underserved Youth

Inika Pierre-Williams
Florida State University

Abstract

The capital of Florida engulfs and neighbors some of the most impoverished zip codes in the state. Through a university and community partnership, college access programs have been instituted at local Title I middle and high schools to provide a continuity of academic provisions—creating early college access opportunities for low-income students through afterschool programs. Aiming to narrow the socioeconomic college enrollment disparities between underserved students and their wealthier counterparts, the program has provided students with academic support, mentorship, a three-week residential college-prep summer program, and college and cultural tours at no cost to participants. These efforts are fiscally and logistically made possible through the federal community service work-study program, grants, and university campus partnerships. The success of the program highlights the practicality of designing and improving college readiness and student success efforts through university and community collaboration. To date, the university program has served over 2,500 low-income middle and high students—rising to the call of civic engagement to strengthen the college pipeline for underserved communities.

Citation

Pierre-Williams, I. (2021) Mobilizing University Capital to Foster Pathways of College Access for Underserved Youth. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 189-196.

Download: 14Pierre-Williams.591.pdf (87 downloads)

(1) Exploring Parent Perceptions of Shared Decision Making and Outcomes of IEP Meetings: Power in Play

Chelsea T. Morris
University of West Georgia

Lindsey A. Chapman
University of Florida

Stacey M. Kesten
University of Miami

Batya Elbaum
University of Miami

Abstract

To ensure access to education for students with disabilities, U.S. federal law specifies requirements for developing students’ Individualized Education Program (IEP; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2004). In particular, provisions are outlined for parents of students with disabilities to be included as members of the decision making process. However, studies continue to find that full participation in IEP meetings is an unrealized ideal. The present study was undertaken in order to better understand Florida parents’ perspectives on the decision making and outcomes associated with IEP meetings. A qualitative analysis of written comments provided by parents (n = 614) highlights seven descriptive categories that provide insights about the who, how, and why of IEP decision making and the power dynamics that impede equal, meaningful participation and partnerships. Implications are drawn for practitioners and schools.

Citation

Morris, C.T., Chapman, L.A., Kesten, S.M., & Elbaum, B. (2021) Exploring Parent Perceptions of Shared Decision Making and Outcomes of IEP Meetings: Power in Play. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 197-209.

Download: 15Morris.591.pdf (50 downloads)

(1) The Dismantling Racism Project: Change Through Radical Programming

Janet K. Keeler
University of South Florida

Dustin Lemke
University of South Florida

Tiffany Young
University of South Florida

Abstract

Working collaboratively, a three-person team of student researchers developed The Dismantling Racism Project: Change through Radical Programming to reimagine the University of South Florida’s first-time-in-college student experience through a series of “What if?” scenarios. The project adheres to the tenets of critical race theory (CRT) to challenge dominant ideology with an eye toward social justice—an aim that is stifled by the underrepresentation of people of African, Native, and Latin American descent. While the project uses the University of South Florida as its real-world laboratory, others could institute it elsewhere following the model provided: (a) firsttime-in-college student orientation programming that sets a stage for anti-racism education, (b) required general education courses that dismantle racism, and (c) collaborative ceremonies constructed through nontraditional power sources.

Citation

Keeler, J.K., Lemke, D., & Young, T. (2021) The Dismantling Racism Project: Change Through Radical Programming. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 210-223.

Download: 16Keeler.591.pdf (68 downloads)

(1) Pedagogic Practice as a Form of Social Justice: Exploring Conceptions of Engaged Pedagogy Among Florida HBCUs

Amanda Wilkerson
University of Central Florida

Marcelo Julio
University of Central Florida

Marjorie Ceballos
University of Central Florida

Kimberly Brown-Pellum
Florida A&M University

Abstract

First-Year Seminar (FYS) is a retention tool post-secondary institutions utilize to motivate matriculation from the first to second year of college for first-time in college students (FTIC). Yet, very little knowledge has been published about the pedagogic and teaching methods of FYS instructors, particularly at Black colleges and universities who have a history of centering social justice practices holistically. The emphasis of this analysis is to disaggregate the approaches and perceptions of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) FYS academic instructional practitioners. Additionally, this work clarifies the forms in which these academic agents, primarily instructors, leverage tenets of culturally appropriate pedagogy to actualize social justice in their instructional methods. Six participants were interviewed, and data were coded and analyzed. Thus, the researchers contend that HBCU FYS instructors enact a curriculum of instruction that is influenced by culture and the historic heritages of the universities as an articulation of social justice in teaching.

Citation

Wilkerson, A., Julio, M., Ceballos, M., & Brown-Pellum, K. (2021 Pedagogic Practice as a Form of Social Justice: Exploring Conceptions of Engaged Pedagogy Among Florida HBCUs. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 224-238.

Download: 17Wilkerson.591.pdf (82 downloads)

(1) The Potential Shortcomings of the Proposed Sunshine Scholarship: Analysis of College Promise

Riccardo Purita
Florida State University

Abstract

College promise programs are a new solution that states and cities in the United States are implementing to increase access to higher education. In the 2020 Florida Legislative Session, a bill was proposed to establish the Sunshine Scholarship Program in the hopes of increasing vocational education in the state. This college promise program would have provided full tuition and fees to Florida residents who are part of a household with less than a $125,000 income in exchange for residing and working in the state after graduation. The characteristics of the program had several shortcomings including only covering tuition and fees, having a “last-dollar” structure, excluding part-time students in the eligibility pool, and having a lenient income criterion. All of these factors would have negatively impacted whether students of low-income backgrounds received the scholarship and actually attended college for vocational education as intended. This paper will review college promise programs in the United States and spotlight the potential limitations of the Sunshine Scholarship Program. Finally, it will provide recommendations to eliminate the limitations of this promise program and promote the potential of student recipients from low-income backgrounds in the state of Florida.

Citation

Purita, R. (2021) The Potential Shortcomings of the Proposed Sunshine Scholarship: Analysis of College Promise. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 239-251.

Download: 18Purita.591.pdf (91 downloads)

Literacy as a Social Justice Pathway

(1) Young African American Scholars Make Reading Gains at Literacy-Focused, Culturally Relevant Summer Camp that Combats Summer Reading Loss

Michael P. Mesa
Florida State University

Alysia Roehrig
Florida State University

Chelsea Funari
Florida State University

Shawna Durtschi
Florida State University

Cheyeon Ha
Florida State University

Erik Rawls
Florida State University

Cheron Davis
Florida A&M University

Abstract

A substantial amount of evidence suggests that students, particularly those from economically disadvantaged households, experience summer reading loss. Available evidence suggests this is due to a lack of participation in literacy-focused activities and access to books during the summer break from school. The current study investigated whether participation in Children’s Defense Fund’s Freedom Schools, a free, six-week, literacy-focused, culturally relevant summer camp, may help prevent summer reading loss. The sample consisted of 125 students who participated in three sites of the summer camp and completed pre- and post-test reading assessments. The results of this study suggest that the literacy-focused summer camp provides students with an academically enriching opportunity that may help prevent summer reading loss, particularly for students in Grades 3–5, who experienced small gains on average in vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Recommendations are provided regarding how the program can be modified to maximize potential benefits related to participation.

Citation

Mesa, M.P., Roehrig, A., Funari, C., Durtschi, S., Ha, C., Rawls, E., & Davis, C. (2021).  Gains at Literacy-Focused, Culturally Relevant Summer Camp that Combats Summer Reading Loss. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 252-267.Download: 19Mesa.591.pdf (110 downloads)

(1) Promoting Children’s Reading Motivation With Culturally Relevant Reading Education

Cheyeon Ha
Florida State University

Shawna Durtschi
Florida State University

Alysia Roehrig
Florida State University

Jeannine Turner
Florida State University

Makana Craig
Florida State University

Michael P. Mesa
Florida State University

Chelsea Funari
Florida State University

Abstract

This study explored how a culturally relevant summer reading program may empower young Black students through social action and opportunities for reading engagement, thus supporting their reading motivation. The North Florida Freedom Schools (NFFS) was designed to realize social justice by providing free educational opportunities, especially for underserved children. Within this context, we explored the students’ autonomous reading motivation and relevant variables to explain how the summer programming may support their motivation to read. In this mixed-methods study, we found that students’ autonomous motivation to read was positively related to their self-efficacy, autonomy, relatedness, and controlled motivation to read. Building positive social relationships and supporting autonomy were important factors in explaining students’ high autonomous motivation in NFFS. Moreover, students reported that participation in NFFS inspired them to effectively engage in reading activities and believe in the value of social action (i.e., how people could contribute to making a better community).

Citation

Ha, C., Durtschi, S., Roehrig, A., Turner, J., Craig, M., Mesa, M.P., & Funari, C. (2021) Promoting Children’s Reading Motivation With Culturally Relevant Reading Education. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 268-282.

Download: 20Ha.591.pdf (133 downloads)

(1) Preparing Preservice Teachers to be Agents of Social Justice: Examining the Effectiveness of Using Literature Circles in a Reading Methods Course

Cheron H. Davis
Florida A&M University

Krystal Bush
Florida A&M University

Abstract

This study, rooted in the evaluation of a reading methods course, sought to determine the implications for preservice teachers (PSTs) who participated in literature circles that intentionally used multicultural literature to discuss social justice issues. Using an interpretative mixed-methods approach, we collected quantitative surveys and conducted individual interviews to determine the participants’ perception of the effects that the implementation method (literature circles) and the curriculum content (multicultural texts) had on their knowledge and professional efficacy. The findings of this study suggest that the course, with an embedded literature circle component, is an essential aspect of the broader teacher development program. Encouraging social activism, promoting recreational reading, and improving PSTs’ ability to facilitate literary discussions around issues of social justice increases their confidence and personal efficacy. Further longitudinal research should be conducted to determine the direct effects this would have on their ability to create change agents in their future classrooms.

Citation

Davis, C.H., & Bush, K. (2021) Preparing Preservice Teachers to be Agents of Social Justice: Examining the Effectiveness of Using Literature Circles in a Reading Methods Course. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 283-298.

Download: 21Davis.591.pdf (112 downloads)

Editorial

(1) Foot in the Door, Competent to Transfer, Free to Flee, and Passionate Persisters

LaSonya L. Moore
University of South Florida

Abstract

History continues to show what happens when organizations, institutions, laws, programs, policies, and practices to reduce inequities and inequalities are ignored. Inequality by social, economic, racial, ethnic, and immigrant origins remains pervasive. Any attempts to address the structural roots of inequity and inequality will have limited societal impacts until the structures that created the inequity and inequality are transformed. This requires authentic, ongoing, supportive, collegial, and accountable policies and processes. As the nation continues to combat systemic racism and structural foundations of inequity and inequality, it is evident that equity and equality are less understood when it comes to urban environments. A drastic shift is needed. To improve student learning and teacher persistence and retention in urban educational settings, it will take an authentic, concerted effort to implement a conceptual framework focused on social justice and equity. Students, teachers, and schools are the elements that past research has treated as separate focus points. From my perspective, these are not three separate independent elements, but rather three sets of dynamic (not static, but continuously evolving) relationships. The final section of this paper asks, “Now that we know, where do we go from here?” Propositions for future practice are shared.

Citation

Moore, L.L. (2021) Foot in the Door, Competent to Transfer, Free to Flee, and Passionate Persisters. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 299-315.

Download: 22Moore.591.pdf (72 downloads)