ERIC Number: ED443934
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Apr-24
The Political Work of Teaching: Teachers' Construction of the Status "At-Risk."
Ronzone, Donna M.
This paper reports the results of a 2-year study that examined one facet of the at-risk phenomena: teachers' construction of the status "at-risk." The status constructions were examined as they were created during teachers' use of Pennsylvania's Support Team Process, a prereferral intervention process used prior to the referral of students for special education services. Intensive observations of 24 elementary school teachers, coupled with formal and informal interviewing, focused attention on the words and actions of teachers as they addressed their perceptions of educational risk in the course of their work. Results challenge the assumption that students become at-risk as an outcome peculiar to student-centered deficiencies. The data suggest relevant connections between and among some of the contextual aspects of schooling, such as teachers' perceptions and use of time and the processes and practices that allocate the resources of compensatory and special education with teachers' perceptions of being educationally at-risk. Results, which include a demographic portrait of the population of students identified by teachers as at-risk and gifted, indicate patterns of distinction based on minority status, socioeconomic status, and gender. A comparison of the composition of each group in light of teachers' discourse on being at-risk suggests an absence of consideration of the relationship between race and socioeconomic status and educational underachievement. (Contains 63 references.) (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 (New Orleans, LA, April 24-28, 2000).