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Positionality as Prologue: Encountering the Self on the Journey to Transforming Latina/o/x Educational Inequities

by Michelle M. Espino - 2018

Positionality is an often overlooked but strategic practice for analyzing race and racism within the organizational bounds of predominantly White institutions of higher education. Positionality is critical self-reflection that uncovers the tensions and areas of strength found in relationships among the researcher, the research topic, the study participants, and the data analysis process. I argue that the researcherís practice of interrogating and articulating their personal and professional knowledge, values, beliefs, experiences, and embedded assumptions about race and racism can also be applied to a practitioner who plans to engage in dismantling systemic racial inequities in higher education. This chapter will illustrate how individuals embedded within institutions of higher education can interrogate their own positions within racist organizational contexts; attend to power dynamics as educational leaders, narrators, and subjects of inquiry; and commit to transformational practice that can address Latina/o/x educational inequities.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 120 Number 14, 2018, p. 1-16
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 22387, Date Accessed: 7/30/2021 4:01:31 AM

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About the Author
  • Michelle Espino
    University of Maryland
    E-mail Author
    MICHELLE M. ESPINO is Assistant Professor in the Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education Department at the University of Maryland. Dr. Espinoís research interests focus on the individual, organizational, and community factors that affect educational attainment for racial/ethnic minorities, particularly for Latinas/os/x. Her most recent work has focused on the critical contributions of underrepresented minority faculty at research extensive universities, which was published in the journal Sociology of Race & Ethnicity, and on the valuable example of Freedom University, an educational sanctuary for students without documentation, which was published in the Review of Higher Education.
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