Negotiating Cross-Class Identities While Living a Curriculum of Moral Education
by Ramona Maile Cutri, Jill Manning & Cecilia Santiago Weight - 2012
Background/Context: A personís socioeconomic class is not a stagnant category based on her income level, but is rather an ongoing lived identity that includes a dynamic process of political struggle. In our self-study, we unpack both our poverty and upper-middle-class experiences and in so doing examine our intergenerational cross-class identity as a site of personal and political struggle.
Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of the Study: This self-study of practice explores how we three mothers who are also educators negotiate our cross-class identities while living a curriculum of moral education with our children who are growing up upper middle class.
Research Design: The qualitative methodology of self-study of practice was employed, and narrative methods were used to gather and analyze data.
Findings/Results: The qualities of intimacy and altruism emerge from our stories as ways to foster cross-class identities that encourage awareness of inequities and promote learning oriented toward social justice.
Conclusions/Recommendations: The approaches and strategies of living a moral education curriculum chronicled in our stories offer a developmentally sensitive model of moral education that could, with modification, inform approaches to educating critical class-conscious educators. The narratives highlight opportunities for researchers and educators to move across cultures and illustrate how tensions between cultures can be held open for meaning making rather than assuming that people only have one class identity. Future research is called for to further explore the impact of race on practices of moral education and how the types of relationships necessary for moral authority can be fostered within the confines of academia.
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