Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Languages, Literatures and Cultures


College of Education

First Advisor

Lucy Spence


The purpose of this qualitative action research study was to understand and describe the experiences and the effects of one high school teacher’s membership in a professional development book club focused on issues of racial diversity with the overall aim of change toward equitable teaching practices through the following actions: confronting personal biases, discussing and reflecting on personal experiences and beliefs, questioning and critiquing personal beliefs and teaching practices, interacting with other professionals and with the readings in a supportive environment in which we celebrated and supported articulations of social justice or positive change. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data and the understandings gained from the teacher’s experiences were used to develop a plan of action with and for him for his continued personal and professional development in this area.

The teacher experienced several positive changes in his willingness to discuss race/racism with students, rejected his previous use of colorblindness, and broadened his view of the potential teachers have to impact students. The significance of this study is that it demonstrated the positive effects of the teacher’s participation in this particular book club on racial diversity and provided insight into how this format provided a safe space for him to engage with new ideas, reflect on and confront his own beliefs and biases, and adjust his teaching practices to match his evolving ideas about racial diversity.