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ERIC Number: ED548877
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 213
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2676-8400-4
Extending the Parameters: An Inquiry into Teaching Practices for Children from Diverse Populations and Homeless Environments
McDaniel, Grace Ann
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Ohio State University
The number of homeless children in the United States is increasing. The National Center on Family Homelessness (2010) reports that on average one in 50 children in the United States have experienced homelessness, defined as unstable housing. The needs of this student demographic are varied and complex. For the purpose of this study, the homeless students have varied housing conditions. Students serviced at the Friend School live in government subsidized housing, temporary housing and some live in shelter housing which requires them to be bused to locally sponsored organizations (i.e. churches) to spend the night. These students are not living on the street, as typically thought of when contextualizing the word homeless. Teachers are at the forefront of this situation. Homeless students tend to struggle academically, experience chronic stress, and other barriers to education. The research questions of this study were: How do teachers develop an understanding of and address the educational needs of homeless children? How are these understandings used to inform their pedagogical practices in the classroom? What role does the teacher's background, beliefs, and knowledge play in influencing relationships and pedagogical practices when the teacher and the student have differing cultural backgrounds? What implications does the education of homeless students have for teacher education? This study explored how the backgrounds, beliefs, and knowledge of three teachers influenced their pedagogical decisions when teaching homeless students. This qualitative, interpretive study employed a critical theory framework. Using a culturally responsive, social justice lens, data was collected in a summer academic program for homeless children. During a five-week period, teachers were observed during academic instruction sessions. Formal interviews were scheduled three times during the data collection period. Teachers also participated in informal interviews which served as member checks. Relevant documents such as lesson plans were collected and analyzed. The findings of this research revealed the value of teachers doing work in the community (Darling-Hammond, 2005). Teachers developed an understanding of homeless students, grappled with their personal beliefs, and employed aspects of social justice and culturally relevant teaching. Additionally, teachers recognized the need to empower students in an environment that promoted academic, cultural, and social success. Implications for this study include recommendations for teacher education to develop the competencies teachers need to effectively address the academic, social, and cultural needs of homeless 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