Surveying and Living Critical Consciousness: From Critical Awareness of Self to Our Action Within Spaces of Learning




Valadez, Monica

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The primary focus of our qualitative study was to understand the phenomenon of the development of critical consciousness in educational and community leaders, and how critical consciousness manifests itself in action within hierarchically structured environments. Six educational and/or community leaders, including the researcher, served as units of analysis. In order to capture the lived experiences that fostered critical awareness of systems within education and community contexts that fail to maximize the gifts and potential of all its members, the leaders were invited to prepare an anthropological life map identifying salient events that created paradigm shifts in their theory and practice, ultimately promoting the leaders’ motivation to interrogate the status quo and work toward sustainable change within learning settings. Moreover, leaders were invited to participate as both learners and research analysts, participating in an engaged inquiry process alongside the researcher. Analysis of life maps informed the ethnographic interviews of leaders that described a greater scope of the pedagogical strategies that are born of the development and employment of critical consciousness. Pláticas, artifacts, and field notes were utilized to collect observables that would further inform the content provided and the implications gleaned from the anthropological life maps and ethnographic interviews. Implications of this study are presented within the contexts of: 1) teaching, leading, and learning; 2) the manifestation of critical awareness of self; and 3) future research



Critical consciousness, Social cartography, Dialogical process, Educational ontology, Identity formation, Multiple ways of knowing, educational environments


Valadez, M. (2012). <i>Surveying and living critical consciousness: From critical awareness of self to our action within spaces of learning</i> (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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