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ERIC Number: ED512935
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 239
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-9150-6
Altering Beginning Teachers' Beliefs and Practices regarding the Labeling of Low Track Students: The Role of Mentor-Initiated Reframing
Hermann, Adele Christina
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Santa Cruz
Researchers have identified the negative effects of labeling associated with curricular tracking. Using a variety of theoretical perspectives, researchers have also suggested how the formal, structural role of tracking was established and has persisted despite strong evidence that tracking and attendant labeling of students negatively affects the academic performance of students in lower tracks. This study documents the extent to which new teachers engage in the negative labeling of low track students and explores the ways in which mentors attempt to reframe new teachers' beliefs and practices regarding the labeling of low track students. The study analyzed the responses of 813 beginning teachers and 96 mentors to an on-line survey that assessed their beliefs and practices regarding tracking and labeling. In addition, 12 mentors were interviewed individually to discover the ways in which they used, or failed to use, reframing as a strategy to alter their beginning teachers' negative views of low track students. The results of the study suggest that the negative labeling of students based on track placement is a common practice among incoming teachers. The results also indicate that beginning teachers and mentors differ on the number and type of negative labels used when describing the typical lower track student. In addition, it was found that reframing beginning teacher thinking about low track students is dependent upon the labels used by the mentors themselves and whether they discuss, or have yet to discuss, tracking, labeling or both with their beginning teachers. For mentors who are discussing tracking and/or labeling with beginning teachers the topics of discussion differ when comparing the mentors who used positive and negative labels when describing the typical lower track student themselves. The challenges mentors face when having these conversations also vary and align with their own beliefs about tracking. Overall, this study suggests that working with a qualified mentor who points out the detrimental effects of tracking and labeling may counteract the negative labeling beginning teachers often use when describing low track students. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A