Education and Empowerment-Understanding Critical Race Theory and Qualitative Research


Fall 2013 and Winter 2014 quarters

Taught by

educational policy studies, qualitative research methods
teacher education, critical pedagogy

Are educators challenged to meet the needs of diverse learners in the public schools? While scholars generate research to illuminate the lived experiences of marginalized students, why are such findings missing from educational policy, curriculum development and teacher practice today? As we strive to make connections between critical race theory and schooling, we argue that the voices of diverse populations are necessary for a thorough analysis of the educational system.

In order to pursue these essential questions, our program will interrogate how dominant theories of learning and knowledge are often legitimized without regard for race, class, culture and gender. Critical race theory (CRT) provides a framework to consider multiple perspectives specific to history, diaspora, language and power. Through these perspectives, we will analyze diverse ways of knowing that inform new systems of educational policy and teacher praxis. This work will be useful for those students considering graduate school in educational policy, qualitative research and teacher preparation.

Through the fall and winter, we will practice qualitative methods to describe and analyze diverse perspectives through our community service in the schools and field research. Student teams will conduct their own project and learn how to: 1) identify a research problem and question; 2) select qualitative research methods (i.e. participant observation, counter-narratives and oral history) to answer their question and prepare a human subjects application; 3) complete a literature review; 4) collect, code and analyze data; and, lastly; 5) write and present their research findings to targeted audiences.

Over the course of this program, students will develop analytical skills to identify how CRT frameworks inform institutional practices. Program participants will meet with educators, advocates and students to analyze the various theories at play in various sites of study, as well as in the classroom. In order to demonstrate their understanding of CRT and qualitative research, students will complete a formal paper for possible conference submission, a policy brief or grant proposal, and recommendations to present to community stakeholders.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

social sciences (i.e., history, gender studies); cultural studies; educational research; educational policy; teacher education; education, culture and society; multicultural education; critical literacy; language and discourse; and qualitative research and methods.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

No Required Online Learning: No access to web tools required. Any web tools provided are optional for students.

Required Fees

$50 per quarter for field trips and conference fees.

Research Possibilities

Guided action research projects will be conducted in conjunction with local community service.


Date Revision
November 13th, 2013 Preparatory work for students joining the program in winter quarter has been clarified.
April 22nd, 2013 The title, fees, and winter quarter entry requirements have been updated.
April 1st, 2013 This program will accept Sophomores through Seniors.
April 1st, 2013 Leslie Flemmer has joined the team; the description has been updated.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall); 16 (Winter)

Class standing: Sophomore–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 50


Course Reference Number

So - Sr (16 credits): 10166

Go to to register for this program.


Accepting New Students


Students enrolling during winter quarter will need to complete preparatory readings. Please read chapters 1-3, 6, and 10 from the Handbook of Critical Race Theory in Education by M. Lynn and A. Dixson (New York: Routledge, 2013). Also, please contact Grace Huerta ( to arrange a field-work/tutoring placement in the public schools as part of this program.

Course Reference Number

So - Sr (16 credits): 20148

Go to to register for this program.

Need Help Finding the Right Program?

Contact Academic Advising for help in answering your questions, planning your future and solving problems.