ERIC Number: ED421578
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
A Case Study of Cultural Misinterpretations of Behavior in One Preservice Teacher's Lesson.
Corrigan, Stephanie Zweig
This exploratory study examined the interactions of preservice teachers with their pupils to determine if differences in interaction were seen. Explorations of teacher thinking, particularly the social cognitive process of trait attribution and the role of cultural background experiences, were key areas of analysis. The literature reviews suggested that white preservice teachers with little background experience with diverse cultures would be more likely to interpret the behavior of pupils from diverse cultures according to their own cultural norms, making incorrect attributions of intent and motivation, while those with more experience would be more likely to suspend judgment to gather more information or take the pupils' cultural norms into consideration when interpreting or responding to pupil behaviors. Four white female preservice teachers were selected based on their extreme responses to a cultural background survey. Two preservice teachers had more background experiences with diverse cultures, while two had less cultural background experiences. Two lessons were videotaped for each preservice teacher during their solo teaching period. Then stimulated recall interviews were conducted with the teachers and several pupils for each videotape. Preservice teachers also kept daily journals in which they were asked to focus on pupil behaviors and management issues. Differences in preservice teachers' interactions were found that followed the pattern suggested by the literature. This paper is a case study of one of the participants, a preservice teacher with little cultural experience. Lack of knowledge of cultural norms was found to affect her interpretations of pupil behavior. (Contains 21 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 1998).