Abstract

This study is a qualitative, interpretative examination of nine African American women’s (AAW’s) experiences while working in a leadership position at a predominantly White organization and the learning experiences that emerged from these encounters. Black feminist theory (BFT) is used as a sociocultural framework to explain how the participants learned from these experiences. Three main learning themes emerged: learning from influential sources, learning through divine guidance, and learning through affirmation of self. We posit that sociocultural theories derived from AAW’s ways of knowing is necessary to move the field of adult education toward more inclusive ways of theorizing learning.

Keywords

African American women, adult learning, intersectionality, sociocultural

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Jun 10th, 11:45 AM

Expanding the Conversation on Adult Learning Theories: Theorizing African American Women’s Learning and Development in Predominantly White Organizations

This study is a qualitative, interpretative examination of nine African American women’s (AAW’s) experiences while working in a leadership position at a predominantly White organization and the learning experiences that emerged from these encounters. Black feminist theory (BFT) is used as a sociocultural framework to explain how the participants learned from these experiences. Three main learning themes emerged: learning from influential sources, learning through divine guidance, and learning through affirmation of self. We posit that sociocultural theories derived from AAW’s ways of knowing is necessary to move the field of adult education toward more inclusive ways of theorizing learning.