ORCID Identifier(s)

ORCID 0000-0001-8005-8648

Graduation Semester and Year

Spring 2024



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Ericka Roland

Second Advisor

Sahar Sattarzadeh

Third Advisor

Kelly Bergstrand


This study examined the role of faculty members in interrogating whiteness within geoscience education. The dominant reliance on whiteness as the primary way of knowing in geoscience education has long perpetuated a singular perspective that serves as a mechanism for reinforcing existing power structures rooted in white supremacy. Drawing on tenets from Critical whiteness Studies, Curriculum Theory, and Transformative Learning Theory, this research investigated U.S. higher education faculty members' strategies and challenges in disrupting whiteness within the geoscience curriculum.

Through critical qualitative narrative inquiry, data were collected through semi-structured interviews with geoscience faculty members across multiple institutions across the United States. The analysis revealed themes related to faculty perceptions of whiteness in geoscience education, strategies to challenge dominant narratives and barriers to promoting inclusivity. Findings suggest that while faculty members recognize the importance of interrogating whiteness, they may face institutional constraints and personal biases that might further impede the necessary change for transformative change.

The implications of this study extend to curriculum development, pedagogical methods, and faculty development programs in higher education. By uncovering the complexities of whiteness within geoscience education, this research contributes to ongoing efforts to challenge systemic racism and promote social justice within academia. Recommendations are provided to faculty interested in and those actively engaged with this critical work.


Geoscience education, Faculty perspectives, Curriculum development, Institutional change, Social justice, Critical whiteness studies, Equity


Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Earth Sciences | Education | Environmental Sciences | Geology | Higher Education | Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Science and Mathematics Education | Social Justice


Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.