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ERIC Number: ED516167
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 189
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-3784-4
A Qualitative Study of Elementary Teachers' Reported Beliefs, Instructional Practices, and Expectations as Related to Teaching Diverse Students
DeSa, Tina Maria
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, St. John's University (New York), School of Education and Human Services
The purpose of the present researcher was to construct an understanding of experienced teachers' beliefs, instructional practices, and expectations after working in an urban elementary school for five or more years. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were used to gain knowledge about teachers' personal or cultural knowledge of themselves, gauge their personal or cultural knowledge of their students, and determine if, with the passage of time, teachers have revised their instructional strategies and expectations of students from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds. The sample included in this study was ten White female teachers from middle income families with five or more years experience working in a school with an economically disadvantaged non-White student population. Broad generalizations on the three research questions were supported by evidence provided by the participants. First, participants acknowledged their difficulties in understanding and relating to the lives of their students. In all the responses, there was an overwhelming focus on the economic disadvantages of students. All of the teachers believed that the students' economic circumstances were a significant barrier to their achievement. Second, the data showed that when teachers talked about their instructional practices, they frequently expressed satisfaction and comfort with a "back to the basics" approach, including a considerable amount of practice and rehearsal to build basic academic skills. Third, the responses of the teachers about expectations for their students were often contradictory with their statements about curriculum and instruction. The majority of respondents stated high expectations for the percentage of their students who would complete high school however; the instructional modifications described by participant teachers did not appear to be related to timely educational outcomes, with frequent references to starting at a lower point than the curriculum expectations, slowing down instruction to build in frequent repetition and practice, and recognizing that curricular goals for each year of study were not achieved. Implications for educational practice include parent education, pre-school attendance, early childhood benchmarks, and re-organizing the elementary school structure. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A