Date of Graduation

Winter 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education


International & Multicultural Education EdD

First Advisor

Betty Taylor

Second Advisor

Emma Fuentes

Third Advisor

Patricia Mitchell


This dissertation analyzes a Taiwanese learning experience about the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Taiwanese formal education includes this topic in secondary education. However, a paucity of previous studies described the racial and social meaning of this learning experience. Launching an educational project with a critical-pedagogy approach, this study invited 18 Taiwanese high school students to discuss their understanding of race, racism, and social justice in Taiwan, after learning about the U.S. experience. The rationale of analyzing student participants’ comments rests on critical race theory.

This study applied a critical-ethnography approach to qualitative research to analyze student participants’ learning experiences. The data include video and radio recordings in classes, individual interviews of participants, writing texts from participants’ assignments or from class activities, and field notes, based on researcher’s observation and reflection.

After analysis, this study found that Han ethnocentrism functions as a hidden identity and value system to influence student participants to respond to racial issues. Color-blind racism and Whiteness worship occur because Han ethnocentrism prevented participants from understanding the world. However, the result of this research also indicated that with a proper introduction, participants were willing and capable of developing racial sensitivity and affirmative attitudes about social justice toward minorities in Taiwan, such as Taiwanese Aboriginals and Southeast Asian migrant workers.

The results of this research led to several suggestions: (a) Adjustment of the existing U.S. Civil Rights Movement curriculum in Taiwanese formal education should focus on racial sensitivity and social justice. (b) Antiracist and racial-sensitivity education will benefit Taiwanese society, increasing people’s awareness of Han ethnocentrism and its accompanying dominance and harm. (c) Cooperative relationships are expected between U.S. and Taiwanese educators to work on transnational education, sharing the U.S. experiences to achieve racial and social justice in the Taiwanese educational forum.