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ERIC Number: ED526449
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 251
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-3434-3
A Dichotomy Examined: Beginning Teach For America Educators Navigate Culturally Relevant Teaching and a Scripted Literacy Program in Their Urban Classrooms
Kavanagh, Kara Maura
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Georgia State University
In contrast to the increasing diversity of students, the implementation and consequences of federal and state policies such as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the Comprehensive School Reform Act, have created a push for standardization in pedagogy and curriculum that serve culturally and linguistically diverse students. Effects of NCLB policies include narrowing of curriculum and pedagogy, proliferation of prescriptive literacy programs, increased high-stakes testing, and negative effects on teachers' identity, autonomy, and desire to teach (Achinstein, Ogawa, & Speiglman, 2004; Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 2009; MacGillivray, Ardell, Curwen, & Palma, 2004; Smagorinsky, Lakly & Johnson, 2002). Simultaneously, teaching prospective teachers how to construct culturally relevant curriculum and pedagogy that meets the needs of our diverse students is emphasized as a vital part of teacher preparation (Cochran-Smith, 2004; Gay, 2000; Irvine & Armento, 2001; Ladson- Billings, 1999). However, research shows that even when teachers leave teacher preparation programs with preparation for culturally relevant teaching, initial jobs and local contexts shape and constrain teachers' ideologies, agency, goals, and practice connected to teaching diverse students (Athanases & DeOliveira, 2008; Causey, Thomas, & Armento, 2000). In response to this research, this study was designed to investigate how novice Teach For America teachers with an espoused culturally relevant pedagogy ideology implement a scripted literacy program in their urban classrooms. A multiple case study design guided the data collection and analysis. Data collection took place over three months and included interviews, observations, observation debriefs, visual representations, documents, and teaching artifacts. The data were analyzed using a constant comparative approach (Merriam, 1998) and Grounded Theory techniques (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) using within-case analysis followed by cross-case analysis. These alternatively certified, beginning teachers were constrained by several institutional and contextual factors, yet were able to actively negotiate their culturally relevant beliefs with the requirements of their mandated scripted literacy program to enact tenets of culturally relevant teaching. These findings suggest teacher preparation programs need to have a conceptual framework embedded in coursework and field experiences that empowers beginning teachers to negotiate the sociopolitical constraints of their school context in order to meet the needs of their 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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001