Learning and Becoming: The Construction of Identity in Urban Classrooms

Assistant Professor of Educational Studies Cheryl Jones-Walker explores the current context of public education and how improvements in student learning revolve around high-stakes testing, rigorous and rigid standards, and increased accountability measures. These practices joined together present one model for reforming high-poverty urban districts. Through her research, Jones-Walker traces the development of identities of students and teachers through interactions in order to understand how identities are formed and reformed in classroom spaces. She argues that educators need to have a deeper understanding of how one actor (or set of actors) informs the other and, more importantly, that they must begin to uncover how the construction of self informs the act of teaching and the process of learning.