Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter April 27, 2016

Unmasking the Faces of Diverse University Students and Professors through Narrative Ethnography

Lynn K. Wilder, Elia Vázquez-Montilla and Jackie Greene


Authors in this special issue of Multicultural Learning and Teaching utilized emerging qualitative research methodology, narrative ethnography, to seek to understand and then to describe the innermost fears and joys and to hear recommendations from the diverse individuals they interviewed, observed, and formed a relationship with over time. Most are university professors and students, and one the father of a student, who depict their experiences with teachers and professors in educational contexts in the United States over time. The narratives are moving and thoroughly engross the reader in their worlds.Several individuals are twice-diverse given both ethnicity and disability or language. This added component of a second diverse aspect in their lives makes these stories particularly compelling. Narrative ethnography is a powerful authentic way to unmask the faces behind the façade and discover individuals’ personal, evolving realities, so teachers and professors can maximize student potential.


AACC (2016). American Association of Community Colleges 2014 Fact Sheet. Retrieved from in Google Scholar

ACE & AAUP. (2000). Does diversity make a difference? Three research studies on diversity in college classrooms. Washington, DC: American Council of Education and American Association of University Professors. Retrieved from in Google Scholar

Behar, R. (2003). Translated woman: Crossing the border with Esperanza’s story. Boston: Beacon.Search in Google Scholar

Denzin, N., & Lincoln, Y. (2011). The Sage handbook of qualitative research. Los Angeles. CA: Sage.Search in Google Scholar

Frank, G. (2000). Venus on wheels: Two decades of dialogue on disability, biography, and being female in America. Berkeley: University of California Press.Search in Google Scholar

Gay, G. (1990). Achieving educational equality through curriculum desegregation. Phi Delta Kappa, 71, 56–62.Search in Google Scholar

Gay, G. (2004). The paradoxical aftermath of Brown. Multicultural Perspectives, 6, 12–17. Retrieved from in Google Scholar

Grant, C. (2007). Diversity and inclusion in the United States: The dual structures that prevent equality. In G. K. Verma, C. R. Bagley, & M. M. Jha (Eds.), International perspectives on educational diversity: Studies from America, Europe and India (pp. 47–60). London: Routledge.Search in Google Scholar

Grasgreen (2014, April 2). Dropping the ball on disabilities. Inside Higher Education. Retrieved from in Google Scholar

Gubrium, J. F., & Holstein, J. A. (2008). Narrative ethnography. In N. Hesse-Biber & Leavy (Eds.), Handbook of emergent methods (pp. 241–264)). New York: Guilford.Search in Google Scholar

Hatch, J. A. (2002). Doing qualitative research in educational settings. New York, NY: State University of New York.Search in Google Scholar

Langellier, K. M. (2001). You’re marked: Breast cancer, tattoo, and the narrative performance of identity. In J. Brockmeier & D. Carbaugh (Eds.), Narrative and identity: Studies in autobiography, self, and culture (pp. 145–184). Amsterdam, the Netherlands: John Benjamins.Search in Google Scholar

Moreno, J. F., Smith, D. G., Clayton-Pedersen, A. R., Parker, S., & Teraguchi, D. H. (2006). The revolving door for underrepresented minority faculty in higher education: An analysis from campus diversity initiative. San Francisco, CA: The James Irvine Foundation.Search in Google Scholar

Nces (2011). National Center for Educational Statistics. Retrieved from in Google Scholar

Piercy, F., Giddings, V., Allen, K., Dixon, B., Meszaros, P., & Joest, K. (2005). Improving campus climate to support faculty diversity and retention: A pilot program for new faculty. Innovative Higher Education, 30(1), 53–66.Search in Google Scholar

Prater, M. A., Wilder, L. K., & Dyches, T. T. (2008). Shaping one traditional special educator preparation program toward cultural competence. Teaching Education, 19, 137–151.Search in Google Scholar

Shostak, M. (2000). Return to Nisa. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Stanley, C. A. (2006). Coloring the academic landscape: Faculty of color breaking the silence in predominantly white colleges and universities. American Educational Journal, 43(4), 701–736.Search in Google Scholar

Tedlock, B. (2011). Braiding narrative ethnography with memoir and creative nonfiction. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.Search in Google Scholar

Trower, C. A., & Chait, R. P. (2002). Faculty diversity: Too little for too long. Harvard Magazine, 140(4), 33–37.Search in Google Scholar

Vázquez-Montilla, E., Wilder, L. K., & Triscari, R. (2012). Ethnically diverse faculty in higher ed: Belonging, respect, and role as cultural broker. Multicultural Learning and Teaching. Retrieved from in Google Scholar

Wilder, L. K. (2014). Reflections on a moral multiculturalism and post-modern thought. In J. Bakken (Ed.), White voices in multicultural psychology, education and leadership: Inside the walls of American’s higher education. Boston: Elsevier Science.Search in Google Scholar

Wilder, L. K. (2015). Multiculturalism is a condition of the heart: White voices inside the walls of southern universities. Multicultural Learning and Teaching, 10(2), 232–255.Search in Google Scholar

Wilder, L. K., Shepherd, T. L., Murry, F., Rogers, E., Heaton, E., & Sonntag, A. W. (2007). Teacher ratings of social skills across ethnic groups for learners with mild disabilities: Implications for teacher education. Curriculum and Teaching, 22(1), 47–66.Search in Google Scholar

Yancy, G. (2003). Who is White? Latinos, Asians, and the new Black/nonblack divide. Boulder, London: Lynne Rienner Publishers.Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2016-4-27
Published in Print: 2016-9-1

©2016 by De Gruyter