Date of Award

Summer 8-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


Curriculum and Instruction -- Early Childhood Education

Committee Director

Kristine Sunday

Committee Member

Angela Eckhoff

Committee Member

Felecia Commodore


In this age, 21st century, where social issues surrounding race and gender are impassioned and escalating, black feminists and Black Feminist Theory are leading the charge in bringing salience through activism and engagement. Doing post structural qualitative research aims to dismantle a myth of scientific knowledge that emphasizes triangulation and transferability of research with the use of multiple representations of experience. This research investigates critical issues in qualitative research, specifically the ontological challenge that researchers commonly encountered in depicting experience and social reality. The turn to experience and lived stories has expanded the modes of qualitative research by hearing marginalized voices, and thus increasing cultural awareness. It articulates understandings and assumptions of post-structuralism and explores how it empowers black female preschool teachers without voice and produces different knowledge than that undertaken by positivist approaches. Using a position within the early childhood education realm, Black female early childhood educators possess a platform to bring consciousness of their misplaced and/or ignored presence within the field. The tenets of Black Feminist Thought as a philosophical and ideological framework brings visibility to Black female early childhood educators and marshals their voice from the sidelines of social justice issues to the forefront. Furthermore, the concept of intersectionality conveys how oppressions, such as race and gender or sexuality and nation, work together in producing injustice. This research using narrative inquiry examines the efforts of valuing Black women in early childhood education as collective wisdom, essentially Black female early childhood educators’ collective.

The narrative inquiry releases notions of subjectivity, agency, and the constructive nature of discourse. As poststructuralist inquiries Black Feminist Thought and narrative inquiry both converge to gain some understanding of ways we have come to perceive and accept knowledge; to question the legitimacy of these understandings of knowledge; and brings previously marginalized discourse to the forefront. Black Feminist Thought as a poststructuralist inquiry opens up the possibility of change by bringing an ontological dimension to understanding how Black female teachers identify race, which then shapes what they think and do in the classroom.


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