Vault SEED Homeschool to build racial and intellectual identity : a qualitative case study.
Schools reflect the nation’s social, political, and moral conditions and often perpetuate negative racial and intellectual identities for Black students more than any other group (Collins-White, 2018; Gadsden, 2017; Jay, 2009; Shelton, 2021; Vandivier, 2018). Black teachers' underrepresentation also poses issues for Black youth within public school spaces (Rocque & Paternoster, 2011). Because of the deep cultural connections shared, Black teachers understand the unique behaviors and cultural idiosyncrasies of Black youth (Lindsay & Hart, n.d.; Rocque & Paternoster, 2011). With a debt owed to Black students, families of these students often look for alternative methods of education. Current studies support the notion that Black families choose to homeschool as a way to exercise freedom (Fields-Smith & Kisura, 2013; Lundy & Mazama, 2014). This qualitative case study described the practices of the Vault SEED Homeschool Collective (VSHC), a cooperative homeschool program formed by Black families, to create positive racial and intellectual identities among its students. Within the Vault SEED Homeschool collective, Black home educators used culturally relevant pedagogy to promote positive outcomes for Black students. The Communities of Practice framework (Wenger, 1998), rooted in social learning theory, formulated guiding principles toward understanding and facilitating learning within a community that informed the research methodology, research question, data collection, and analysis of this study. The central claim of this study indicated that by engaging and learning Black culture, and fostering a sense of community while attending to the academic needs of students, Black home educators promoted and maintained positive racial and intellectual identities for Black youth. Within the Vault SEED Homeschool Collective community, Black students developed positive self-images through a cultural awareness of their historical and present selves. In an effort to remove traditional, hegemonic practices, alternative forms of measuring Black students’ achievement reflected their culture and efforts to belong and thrive in this world.