The pursuit of this ethnographic study was inspired by my lived experiences as an urban school teacher for 18 years, as well as, the experiences of a group of other urban teachers. The study explored the following question: Does knowledge and practice of Ubuntu pedagogy help to improve teachers' cultural competencies in an urban school? The research documents how knowledge and practice of the three pillars of Ubuntu pedagogy help to transform the perspective of urban teachers. The three pillars are (1) Humanism and Ubuntu Competency, (2) Collaboration and Partnership, and (3) Relationship and Learning Community. Data were collected using multiple techniques, which included semi-structured interviews, book study, reflective digital journal notes, observations and a focus group. Seven participants, who were interviewed, were selected using convenience sampling (Creswell, 2013). Transformative learning and Ubuntu pedagogy are constructs in the conceptual framework that guided the process of the research design. For the data analysis procedures, the description of the interpretation of the cultural-sharing group provided more insights about teachers' experiences in an urban school. Recommendations were made based on the data collected, which provided evidence of how the knowledge and practice of Ubuntu pedagogy helped to improve teachers' cultural competencies. The teachers' focus group, book study reflections and classroom observations revealed that all the teachers experienced levels of a disorienting dilemma, a shift in frame of reference that was more inclusive and self-reflective.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Teaching, Learning, and Leadership
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Blackwood, Alecia, "Transformative Learning: Improving Teachers' Cultural Competencies Through Knowledge and Practice of Ubuntu Pedagogy" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6056.