Growing” Your Own Black Teachers—Investigating Double Binds across Teacher Development
Conra Gist

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



University of Arkansas

Primary Discipline

Teacher Education/Teaching and Learning
One hypothesis for the revolving door phenomenon among Teachers of Color is they experience a double bind—the tension between personal ties (i.e., values, motivations, familial background, and pedagogical belies) and systemic ties (i.e., policies, structures, and practices) that foster hostile working conditions (Achinstein & Ogawa, 2011; Gist, 2016). Other disciplines, such as the STEM field, have noted a type of double bind experience (i.e., the ways in which race and gender function simultaneously to produce distinctly different higher education experiences for woman of color in STEM) in the recruitment and preparation of diverse students in institutions of higher education (Malcolm & Malcolm, 2011). This project builds on research in this area by exploring the potential double bind experiences of Black Teachers in and from Grow Your Own (GYO) Programs by designing embedded comparative case studies of programs and teachers in local community schools who are at various stages on the teacher development continuum across different types of GYO-school partnership programs.
About Conra Gist
Dr. Conra D. Gist is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Arkansas and holds a Ph.D. in Urban Education at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center. Her research agenda integrates two key areas of study—teacher diversity and teacher development—and takes an interdisciplinary approach to explore how culturally responsive pedagogy, critical social theories (e.g., black feminisms, critical teacher development), and African American History intersect to produce just and transformative teaching and learning possibilities. She started her teaching career in Brooklyn, NY as a fourth grade teacher and has served in various leadership capacities such as a New York City Teaching Fellow Selector and professional development designer for the New York City Office of Teacher Effectiveness. She is the author of the award-winning Preparing Teachers of Color to Teach: Culturally Responsive Teacher Education in Theory and Practice and is editor of the tentatively titled upcoming book manuscript, Portraits of Anti-Racist Alternative Teacher Preparation in the U.S.: Framing Teacher Development for Community, Justice, and Visionaries (Peter Lang), which embarks on a search for goodness to investigate alternative structures, curriculum, and practices of anti-racist teacher development work. She is also Principal Investigator of the “GYO Community Voices Project,” an initiative that challenges the silencing of Teachers of Color through the development and featuring of teacher testimonies to combat deficit perspectives on the value community based Teachers of Color add to the teaching profession.

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