"You Listened to What We Were Saying": A Study of Students' Experiences with an Inclusive Inquiry Project

Dirghangi, Carly, Curriculum and Instruction - School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia
Heny, Natasha, Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education, University of Virginia

The over-representation of Black students at Rose Calder School , an alternative high school setting where I teach, provided the impetus to conduct practitioner research to better understand how I might revise my curricular and instructional choices to be more inclusive of Black students. This practitioner research study focused on students’ experiences of a project I co-facilitated and designed in alignment with the II framework (Messiou & Ainscow, 2020). Through a qualitative practitioner study, I examined six students’ experiences with the projects and how those experiences related to the constructs of inclusion and exclusion. Data included archival audio recordings of project discussions, archival student work related to the project, and archival facilitator materials. Findings suggest that 1) all students participated in the projects in leadership roles, though student leadership looked unique for each student; 2) students used the projects to process experiences of exclusion and to design experiences of inclusion for others; and 3) student voices were the greatest influence on my decision-making process as a teacher. Along with each of the findings, I acknowledged the messiness of inclusionary practices within the context of larger injustices. The influence of these practitioner reflections on my teaching practices as they apply to broader inclusionary curricular and instructional choices are discussed.

EDD (Doctor of Education)
inclusionary practices, secondary, alternative setting, qualitative methods, practitioner research
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