Date of Award

5-21-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Middle-Secondary Education and Instructional Technology

First Advisor

Joyce E. Many - Chair

Second Advisor

Mary Ariail

Third Advisor

Randy Fair

Fourth Advisor

Dana Fox

Fifth Advisor

Carol Semonsky

Abstract

This qualitative study is a narrative investigation that analyzes the educational experiences of the segregated Turkish people of Sumter County, South Carolina during the integration movement. Four participants share their stories of how attending an elementary school for Turkish students affected their integration into White high schools. Oral history is the specific research methodology that is used. The theoretical framework that guides this study is critical-narrative theory. Through critical research, the researcher analyzes how “the social institution of school is structured such that the interests of some members and classes of society are preserved and perpetuated at the expense of others” (Merriam, 2001, p. 5). Narrative theory also informs this study. Connelly and Clandinin (1990) explain that the heart of narrative analysis is “the ways humans experience the world” (p. 2). The research questions that guide this study are the following: (1) How do the Turkish people of Sumter County, South Carolina, who attended public school during the early part of the 20th century, describe their educational experiences?, and (2) What are the perceptions of the Turkish people regarding the integration movement, educational power struggles and oppression? Through in-depth interviews, participants discuss (a) thoughts on being Turkish, (b) feelings of isolation, (c) experiences at the Dalzell School, (d) experiences at the high schools (Edmunds and Hillcrest), (e) attitudes toward other ethnic groups, and (f) perceptions of the integration movement. The overwhelming evidence from interviews supports Freire’s (2006) two stages of the pedagogy of the oppressed. Freire states, In the first, the oppressed unveil the world of oppression and through the praxis commit themselves to its transformation. In the second stage, in which the reality of oppression has already been transformed, this pedagogy ceases to belong to the oppressed and becomes a pedagogy of all people in the process of permanent liberation (p. 54). The educational implications of this study offer insight into how today’s educators are called to “renew our minds so that the way we live, teach, and work can reflect our joy in cultural diversity, our passion for justice, and our love of freedom” (bell hooks, 1994, p.34).

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