Creating Grace and Space: The Foundation on Which Progressive Educators Build a Sense of Belonging and Safety for Marginalized Gender and Sexual Diverse High School Students
Date of Award
Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.
College of Education
Angela Owusu-Ansah, Ed.D.
Joshua Moon Johnson, Ed.D.
Anne Grey, Ed.D.
This descriptive case study focused on a single high school community which is intentional in its efforts to craft a school culture, fostering belonging and safety in students who are Gender and Sexual Diverse (GSD). The researcher examined the perspectives of classroom-based and non-classroom-based educators, as they strove to articulate how they address the needs of this student-population without negatively impacting academic and other school priorities, and how they incorporate understandings regarding this population into their practice. Through a multi-phase process including interviews, observations, focus group, and document analysis, the researcher explored how seven educator-participants navigate changing demographics both personally and professionally and identified aspects of the school culture associated with positive interactions and outcomes for the GSD population. This study revealed a well-articulated school culture in which educators independently engage in reflective practice in their planning, while teaching, and post-instruction individually and with peers. Participants place value on providing the grace and space to include both high academic standards and a strong culture which includes decency and trust, a focus on democracy and equity, commitment to the entire school, value of teacher-as-coach, and personalization for all members of the community. These values are the school’s cultural foundation and built on The Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) and the CES 10 Common Principles. From the data, four themes within the over-arching theme of Creating Grace and Space were identified: Crafting Culture with Intentionality, Contributing to the Whole with Integrity, Facilitating and Managing Change, and Exercising Agency and Accountability.
Recommended CitationOrtiz, L. M. (2018). Creating Grace and Space: The Foundation on Which Progressive Educators Build a Sense of Belonging and Safety for Marginalized Gender and Sexual Diverse High School Students (Thesis, Concordia University, St. Paul). Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.csp.edu/cup_commons_grad_edd/223
Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education Commons, Curriculum and Instruction Commons, Curriculum and Social Inquiry Commons, Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration Commons, Gender Equity in Education Commons, Humane Education Commons, Other Education Commons, Secondary Education Commons, Secondary Education and Teaching Commons, Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education Commons