Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education

First Advisor

P. Bruce Uhrmacher, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Paul Michalec

Third Advisor

Bin Ramke

Fourth Advisor

Nicholas Cutforth


Critical discourse analysis, Educational criticism, Head Start, Self-ethnography


There has been steady interest in the ideology of equity in schooling practices reflected in the written artifacts of the United States, especially in the last thirty years. However, equality-laden language is often used without definition or critical examination. The assumed meaning of equality terminology is problematic--especially for classroom teachers who are directly held accountable for the practice of equality policy. This inquiry critically evaluates the multiple implications of this common-sense usage of language related to issues of equality, equity, sameness, and even democracy. Using the combined methodologies of educational criticism, critical discourse analysis, and self-ethnography, this transdisciplinary investigation describes, interprets, and evaluates the way staff members in a Head Start/early childhood education organization conceive of, and act upon, conceptualizations of equality policy. A close examination of these conceptualizations can serve to assist educational researchers, policymakers, and practitioners in evaluating the implications equality policies have on the teaching practice as a whole, and by extension, the specific learning lives of students.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Jennifer Gutiérrez


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

218 p.


Education, Early childhood education, Education policy