Turning Passion Into Action: The Intersection of Transformational Coaching and a Counter-Narrative of Black Citizenship
Date of Award
Open Access Dissertation
This action research study explored Black middle school students’ interactions with a high-quality civics curriculum that sought to complicate traditional notions of citizenship; provide authentic opportunities for engagement and participation; center student voices; and foster positive, empowered civic identities. The study also examined whether transformational coaching, with an explicit focus on culturally responsive practices, enhanced one social studies teacher’s ability to implement such a curriculum. Critical race theory and social identity theory illuminated how traditional civics education, rooted in white supremacy, excludes and distorts Black citizenship and civic identities; conversely, both theories informed alternative views of citizenship and identity rooted in critical patriotism, community, and activism. Grounded in courageous conversations protocols, students engaged in a series of open classroom discussions about current events, what being a “citizen” means, and how to impact meaningful change. Students also collaborated to identify problems in their communities and designed action plans, which they then implemented, to address their concerns. The combination of a safe space for honest, sometimes contentious, dialogue and opportunities to take meaningful civic action empowered students to develop a counter-narrative of Black citizenship in which they were informed and liberated agents of change. Similarly, the social studies teacher, through her own self-reflection and participation in the transformational coaching cycle, was better equipped to implement high-quality civics instruction for her students. The findings, beyond informing my own practice as a residency coach, may have implications for social studies teachers who hope to incorporate high-quality civics instruction in their classrooms. Further, instructional coaches may look to the study as an example of implementing explicit training in cultural responsiveness in transformational coaching.
Kelley, E. D.(2022). Turning Passion Into Action: The Intersection of Transformational Coaching and a Counter-Narrative of Black Citizenship. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/7099