ERIC Number: ED336370
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Cross-Cultural Work Environments: Fusions of Histories and Traditions among Newcomer Teachers to California.
Rice, Karla K.
This study was conducted to examine the transition of newcomer teachers from Pacific Rim countries as they entered selected California school settings. Twelve teachers from China, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, and Vietnam were the research participants, and all had had prior teaching experience in their native countries. As the researcher and the participants examined teaching histories, traditions, and strategies for action, three primary categories for analysis emerged: liminality, (those moments of cultural transition when the individual is between established patterns of thought and behavior), communitas (unstructured communion of equal individuals), and the fusion of horizons (self-awareness), categories prominent in hermeneutical theory. A survey instrument and an interview protocol were designed to provide data about participants' experiences as they negotiated their transitions into new professional environments. Newcomer teachers reported experiences in three general domains: (1) the culture at large; (2) the new school environment; and (3) the classroom. Similar experiences were often reported, so certain themes such as classroom management, the role of the teacher, and class size recurred throughout. Implications of the study include: sufficient time must be allowed for the newcomer to become acquainted with the new situation; atttention must be paid to the ways the culture of schools is transmitted and to the cultural messages being transmitted; and ways of providing peer relationships and problem-solving opportunities through dialogic interaction need to be developed. Areas for future research are also discussed. (LL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: California; Pacific Rim; Transition Time
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).