Degree Date

8-2021

Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Curriculum, Advocacy, and Policy

First Advisor

Terry Jo Smith, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Ilham Nasser, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Kamau Rashid, Ph.D.

Abstract

Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem have been living under military occupation for over 50 years. While much scholarship has focused on the political facets of the occupation, far less is understood of the lives of Palestinian preschool teachers. The purpose of the research is to explore the narratives of preschool teachers in Palestine: how their lives are affected by the occupation and settler colonialism, the perceived impact of this context on their students, and the strategies they have adopted to guide their students. The study uses narrative research centered on preschool teachers located in different areas of Palestine. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews. The teachers’ narratives revealed the oppressive nature of the occupation, their perseverance in the midst of struggles, aspects of their Palestinian identity, and the importance of play in children’s healing. This research provides an understanding of lived experiences of preschool teachers in Palestine with critical implications for early childhood education and its transformative role in Palestinian liberation.

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