ERIC Number: ED390851
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Multicultural Education in Practice: Teachers' Social Constructions and Classroom Enactments.
Gonzales, Miriam R.
This study sought to understand how multicultural education is socially constructed and enacted by teachers in schools and classrooms. The study explored how and why organizational, individual-teacher, and student factors interact to shape the ways multicultural curriculum is constructed and practiced by teachers in the classroom. The study used social construction theory (a theory that individuals' perceptions of the "reality" around them shape their thoughts and behavior) and a case study design to focus on teachers in four urban elementary schools in northern California. A total of nine teachers were profiled. Data were collected using qualitative methods including semi-guided interviews, observations, and collection of relevant documents. Some of the major themes and ideas that emerged included the following: (1) most teachers addressed both content and process to make education multicultural; (2) many of the teachers advocated combining teacher-centered and student-centered approaches, particularly with minority group students; (3) teachers at schools with many limited English proficient students regarded language diversity and bilingual programs as part of their concept of multicultural education; and (4) teachers' constructions and practices were influenced by leadership, collaborative school structures, and school-wide programs and resources. Overall the study found that teachers reformed their educational approach to address multiculturalism in an ongoing process with a variety of core factors constantly interacting to influence meanings and practices. (Contains 24 references.) (JB)
Descriptors: Attitude Change, Case Studies, Classroom Techniques, Curriculum Design, Educational Change, Educational Practices, Elementary Education, Environmental Influences, Higher Education, Limited English Speaking, Minority Group Children, Multicultural Education, Social Influences, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Influence, Teacher Response, Teaching Methods, Urban Schools
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Social Constructivism
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 18-22, 1995).