Date of this Version



Theodore Hershberg

Second Advisor

Claire Robertson-Kraft, Katie Schlesinger


urban education, education reform, critical pedagogy, culturally relevant pedagogy, teacher effectiveness, teacher quality, students of color, racial equity, educational equity


This paper addresses the social, cultural, and political forces within urban education that relate to teaching students of color. While the education problem in urban communities is a blend of social, cultural, and political factors, transforming pedagogical practices can present viable solutions to the disparities facing inner-city schools. Rather than devalue students' racial and cultural experiences, teachers can activate students’ critical consciousness and integrate their cultural backgrounds into the content of their learning experiences. This builds student engagement and counters the phenomenon of student resistance and oppositional culture seen in urban settings. This paper fundamentally argues that urban public school teachers can become social agents. However, current data on the urban teaching workforce suggest that urban teachers are becoming increasingly young, inexperienced, and frustrated with inner-city school working conditions. Therefore, in order for critical pedagogy to be realized, other structural factors surrounding teacher effectiveness and teacher quality must also be addressed.



Date Posted: 26 November 2016


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