Walking the Talk: My Journey Becoming an Anti-Racist Educator

Restricted (Penn State Only)
Staley, Emily Nell
Area of Honors:
Secondary Education
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Anne Whitney, Thesis Supervisor
  • Anne Whitney, Honors Advisor
  • Michelle Renee Knotts, Faculty Reader
  • Education
  • Equity
  • Race
  • Anti-Racist
  • English Education
  • English Language Arts
The purpose of this teacher inquiry is to observe how my beliefs of becoming an anti-racist teacher transform from theory to action. I further explore how living those beliefs not only affects me and my teaching of English Language Arts, but how that teaching affects my students. This research is relevant for high school practitioners and administrators as they begin to acknowledge and explore how to better educate their staff in order to serve all students in an equitable way. While working to become an anti-racist teacher, I record my own personal journey and share my victories and failures. I also created a unit teaching diverse young adult literature books about race through book clubs and then ending in a whole class novel reading of A Raisin in the Sun. I hypothesized that I could use these books to facilitate conversation and introduce anti-racist pedagogy to my students. I discovered that anti-racist teaching is an ongoing process, and that student responses vary based on multiple factors.