USING HUMANIZING PEDAGOGY TO RE-VISE THE POETRY WRITING WORKSHOP: AN ACTION RESEARCH STUDY ABOUT EXPLORATION AND TRANSFORMATION OF SELF
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ABSTRACT Title of dissertation: USING HUMANIZING PEDAGOGY TO RE-VISE THE POETRY WRITING WORKSHOP: AN ACTION RESEARCH STUDY ABOUT EXPLORATION AND TRANSFORMATION OF SELF Omari Colley Daniel Dissertation directed by: Doctor Jeremy Price Department of Curriculum and Instruction This study explores my engagement with a humanizing pedagogy in a culturally diverse high school poetry classroom. Students' ideas, thoughts, feelings, and need for self expression have been marginalized or silenced, and depending on their access to race, class, and gender privilege the marginalization becomes more or less intense. Given that problem, studying students' experiences of poetry in my classroom through an action research study became my theoretical, pedagogical and methodological focus for my dissertation. I used action research as a methodological tool to study my teaching and develop richer understandings of students' lives and experiences. In researching my own poetry classroom, I was able to transform my teaching. I found out that poetry taught in humanizing ways had the potential to engage students in critical reflection about their own lives. I learned that students could carve out self-images that they found empowering and begin to recognize their agency in their lives. My students established human connections with each other and with, which allowed a loving, critical dialogue to take place. My classroom became a place where students could empower themselves through lived classroom experiences. In this study, I documented and examined the journey toward self expression, self love, critical literacy, and transformation that my students embarked. This study provides an insider view of poetry instruction, in terms of curriculum design, pedagogy, poem selection, and teacher-student relationships. This study offers insight, not only for poetry teachers and action researchers, but also for educational policy makers, who need to revise curriculum in order to alienate fewer students.