Listen to me: lessons learned from Black community college students to achieve a transformative learning environment

The purpose of this qualitative research study is to explore the classroom experiences of Black community college students and White community college faculty to possibly uncover barriers and provide suggestions to achieve a transformative learning environment. This research centers Black student narratives and then compares the findings with the classroom experiences of White faculty. This study hopes to increase the body of knowledge about inherent and unnoticed barriers in the classroom that impede the academic success of Black community college students. Critical Race Theory and Black Critical Theory are the study’s two theoretical frameworks. Based on the findings, I have proposed a model titled Positionality Consciousness: Working toward Creating a Transformative Classroom. The model is made up of four components: denial, acceptance, personal awareness, and humility and love. This model offers a perspective whereby educators can continually interrogate their practices and positionality. Only by continual self-reflection and subsequent action can there be any hope of achieving justice and equity in the classroom for all students.