What Can We Learn from Big Mama?
Keywords:Critical Race Theory, Counterstories, Women Educators, Multigenerational, Leadership, Educational Leadership, Black Education, Cultural Studies, African Americans
AbstractTaking a multi-generational view, this study draws on oral-life histories and a qualitative, critical race analysis to explore thematic patterns over time and across the educational ideals and pedagogical practices of two African American educators from different generations of the same family---Olivia Smith (Big Mama) and her granddaughter Christie Hayes. We examine how the personal and professional experiences of these two teachers influence[d] their respective understandings of their work and provide[d] the basis of successful teaching for African American learners. By examining the lessons Big Mama taught and Christie learned and subsequently brought into her own classroom, it becomes possible to better understand how to more effectively prepare future teachers to draw on cultural and historical knowledge and thus successfully teach all students.
Authors who publish with Critical Education agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).