This dissertation is on the formation of educational movement in a rural Southeast Michigan community. I examine black community strategies for engaging in educational processes that involve student movement, to better understand historical struggles for equal education and interrogate the educational structures that reproduce racial capitalist social relations. Drawing from critical educational scholarship, black intellectual thought in education, spatial-economic theories, critical narrative and African American and black studies, I document how twenty black rural residents, ages 21-96, engaged in and imagined school related migrations. I used interviews and locally sourced archival materials to trace the impact of schooling in a racial capitalist society (Robinson, 1983), at the intersections of the rural question, race/racism, social mobility and labor, in a region central to the national imagining of American progress and development. Shaped by the Great Migration and deindustrialization of Metropolitan Detroit, their critical narratives (Goodson & Gill, 2014) demonstrate how school district remapping, choice reforms, vocational training and tracking (ostensible solutions for marginalized communities) contribute to further segregation and structural inequality. I contend that their organizing, collaborations, and art/literary practices provide insights for developing and employing cooperative and collective educational responses to the ways schools participate in social stratification, racial-spatial discrimination, and the uneven redistribution of resources. This research offers pedagogical and curricular implications for transforming and complicating educational discourse and practice that simply associate the movement of predominantly poor and/or black children across neighborhood, district, and county borders with equality and upward mobility.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2019. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor: Timothy Lensmire. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 221 pages.
Educational Migrations: A Critical Narrative Study of Educational Movement in a Rural Southeast Michigan Community..
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