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ARTELIA GREEN’S & OLIVIA WILLIAMS’ LEGACY: A STUDY ON THE PEDAGOGICAL PRACTICES THAT IMPROVE HEALTH FOR BLACK CHILDREN

  • Author(s): Johnson, Tiffani Marie
  • Advisor(s): Perlstein, Daniel
  • et al.
Abstract

This dissertation examines the relationship between caring teaching practices and greater health outcomes for black children. Public health theory suggests that Black youth generally experienced greater levels of adversity compared to non-black youth (Schilling et al., 2007; Marie, 2016). Exposure to these frequent and/or sustained stressors without the buffering care of a supportive adult can change children’s brains and bodies, including disrupting learning, behavior, immune systems, and even the way DNA is read and transcribed. My research examines the efficacy of critical classroom pedagogy (Duncan-Andrade & Morrell, 2008) and social design-based research (Gutierrez, 2016) as a framework to address and attenuate the impacts of toxic stressors that black youth embody.

This study honors research principles grounded in care (Angelou, 1979; Noddings, 1988; Duncan-Andrade, 2006), to generate grounded theory for social transformation. This dissertation anchors data (field notes, classroom video, in-depth interviews) in order to integrate the fields of education and public health to produce ecologically valid findings that: 1) highlight and reproduce that types of teaching practices and conditions that mediate healthier children and 2) reframe our understandings of the possibilities of education.

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