Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Sam, Cecile

Committee Member 1

Ferguson, Sarah

Committee Member 2

Walpole, MaryBeth


adoption, cultural pedagogy, foster care, international adoption, transracial adoption


Adopted children; Identity (Psychology)


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Student Counseling and Personnel Services


The purpose of this descriptive case study was to investigate how schools, including educators and curriculum, shape transracial adoptees' racial identity development. International transracial adoptees and transracial adoptees who were adopted through foster care shared their school experiences through interviews. In addition, participants offered artifacts which they felt impacted their racial identity development, from their time in school, including photographs and past assignments, to further answer the research questions. Steward and Baden's (1995) Cultural-Racial Identity Model was used to frame which experiences affirmed or discounted participants' racial identity development. The data collected from this research suggested that school experiences and educators impact transracial adoptees' racial identity development. This study consisted of research that identified educators' actions, including building relationships with transracial adoptees and encouraging them to learn about and share their birth culture in the classroom, as well as normalizing teaching about cultures and diversity in the classroom, as important in affirming racial and cultural identity development.