Fall 12-11-2016



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Susan Manikowski

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Tracine Asberry

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Brandon Tuttle


The research question addressed in this project was, how do teachers of color sustain themselves in a profession that struggles to retain teachers? It utilized bell hooks’s feminist theory to look at the challenges and strengths of teachers through gender, race and class intersections. Because retention is a concern, especially among teachers of color, the ndings describe how teachers utilized cultural wealth to strengthen their capacity to stay in their profession. Tara Yosso (2005) denes cultural wealth as “an array of knowledge, skills, abilities, and contacts possessed and utilized by Communities of Color to survive and resist macro and micro forms of oppression” (p. 77). These skills are distinguished in six ways: aspirational capital, familial capital, linguistic capital, social capital, resistance capital, and navigational capital. While these capitals are often attributed to students of color in education, this research applied cultural wealth to the experiences of ve teachers of color in a suburban school district. The author concludes that cultural wealth can be an effective framework for understanding teacher sustainability. Specifically, navigational capital was reported to be a necessary component for teachers of color in the work environment. However, because teachers of color experienced varied challenges, they each navigated through the work environment differently. When navigational capital is used to elevate other capitals—aspirational, familial, resistance, social, and linguistic—it can lead to strengthen the profession, producing more sustainable and equitable outcomes.

Research Methodology

Action Research, Interview, Narrative (portariture)


Gender, Social Justice, Teachers/ Teaching

Included in

Education Commons