ERIC Number: ED332798
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Feb-24
Reference Count: N/A
Teacher Values and Classroom Culture: Teaching and Learning in a Rural, White Head Start Program.
O'Brien, Leigh M.
An ethnographic investigation was conducted for the purpose of elucidating the impact of cultural contexts on teachers' values and classroom practices. Data were collected in a classroom in a Head Start center located in a small, economically depressed town in rural, central Pennsylvania. The study focused on the head teacher, the assistant teacher, and the special programs tutor, all of whom were white women from the surrounding community who had varying amounts of Head Start training, but no college degrees. Domains of central interest were the uses of time and space, activities and materials, interactions between teachers and children, and connections between home and school. Questions guiding the study were: (1) What values are promoted by teachers in the center? (2) How are time, space, materials, activities, and teacher-child interactions used to support these values? (3) Is an orientation toward either self-direction or conformity toward the group evident? (4) Why do the teachers feel it is important to promote certain values? (5) Do the social milieus of the teachers play a role in determining the values that are promoted? Concluding discussion concerns implications of the findings. Appended are the researcher's reflections on herself, life histories of the teachers, and a questionnaire for use in studying teachers' social milieus. (RH)
Descriptors: Classroom Research, Compensatory Education, Context Effect, Cultural Influences, Educational Practices, Ethnography, Family School Relationship, Instructional Materials, Learning Activities, Preschool Education, Rural Areas, Space, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Student Relationship, Time, Values, White Students
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Project Head Start
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Ethnography in Education Forum (12th, Philadelphia, PA, February 24, 1991).