Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Cunningham, Phyllis M.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


African Americans--Social life and customs; African Americans--Social conditions; Public housing--Illinois--Chicago


The purpose of this research study was to document the pedagogy of place and its context of space making among displaced public housing residents in the City of Chicago. In 1999 the Chicago Authority undertook the Plan for Transformation, which is a redevelopment plan to rehabilitate and construct a total of 25,000 new units of public housing. In the process, approximately 30,000 residents will be dispersed. Three questions were asked: (1) In what way did residents in public housing demonstrate pedagogy of place? (2) In what way did residents link their identities to their environment? (3) In what way did residents exhibit knowledge production from their experiences? The conceptual framework of the study was based on the concept of pedagogy of place---which looked at urban spaces as homeplaces of insulation against the dominant hierarchy---where African American personhood, culture, resources, and civic engagement would be permitted to blossom and flourish. The oral history method was used, and five personal interviews were conducted. From the interviews, data were collected, transcribed, and coded according to themes. Data validation consisted of returning the completed transcripts to the narrator to determine accurateness or to be corrected. The overarching theme was the residents' displeasure with the conditions of their apartments and the distressful and violent environment that surrounded their homes. Additional themes that emerged related to the lack of input into the planning process, the lack of a full understanding of which residents would return to the new developments, the lack of adequate relocation service from the Service Connector Program, and the poor incorporation of a sense of humanity into the relocation process. Findings demonstrated that the residents had conceptualized a framework of homeplace. Their identities had been modified by their living conditions, and this caused insecure feelings in some, especially when faced with new situations. The research was significant because: (1) it showed within historical context that African American homeplaces are systematically racialized; (2) it demonstrated how identity is tied to adult learning; and (3) it illuminated the need for adult education to teach and to conduct research that will help in deconstructing inequitable social policies.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [156]-164).


vii, 198 pages (some color), color maps




Northern Illinois University

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