Exploring Black Women Educators Use of Pop Culture as Curriculum: A Narrative Case Study
The purpose of this narrative case study is to explore the use of pop culture as curriculum as embodied by Black women educators (BWEs) in their respective college courses. The bodies of research that ground this study address the foundations of curriculum, curriculum as it is informed by experiences, and how pop culture serves as a critical curriculum. Critical Race Theory and Critical Race Feminism frame the theoretical underpinnings to understand the intersections of the raced and gendered experiences of BWEs and their subsequent decisions to use pop culture as curriculum. I want to explore the narratives BWEs to understand the variety of the ways they merge their educational identity into their curriculum by incorporating pop culture.
This study incorporates both curriculum artifacts and individual narratives from BWEs. Nine BWEs provided access to curriculum artifacts that span thirteen courses. The artifacts ranged from course syllabi, weekly presentations, assignment guidelines and sample work products. Evidence of pop culture as curriculum focused primarily on the course text and assignments. The findings of the curriculum artifact analysis served as the foundation for the narratives. Three of the BWEs shared their reasoning behind their decisions to use pop culture as curriculum.
The analysis of the curriculum artifacts and narratives provided cross cutting themes to serve as a guide. The Pop Culture as Curriculum Framework is supported by four pillars; academic freedom, notions of consumption, the co-construction of knowledge, and reflection and revision. These pillars function as the springboard to continue the use of pop culture as curriculum across various academic disciplines. The use of the framework broadens what knowledge is valuable in formal learning space and how that learning can be structured. This framework connects learning and teaching to the living curriculum embodied by the educator.