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ERIC Number: ED549127
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 340
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2673-4421-2
Veteran Teachers Working in Diverse Communities: Noticing Students, Families and Communities
Sweeney, Jacquelyn Sue
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
Entering schools where cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic diversity exists might hold challenges for the teachers who work there. There is much to glean as teachers not only begin to figure out how to connect the curriculum with students' worlds, but also begin to make connections with students and families who may come from and live in very different settings from their own. Using a sociocultural lens, this study initially examines the artifacts provided by 12 teachers who taught within two school districts serving a high percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch as well as high numbers of English language learners. Together, their combined time teaching in schools represented nearly 100 years and they teach in either elementary, middle, or high schools. The study then focuses more prominently on 5 of the 12 teachers who agreed to provide more in-depth information through interviews. The teachers in this study were members of a graduate class preparing them for ESL endorsement. The results of their participation in this research shed light on the extent to which they noticed and attended to students and families. "Noticing" (van Es, 2011, 2008), within a sociocultural perspective, is the framework used most prominently in this work with a strong focus on teaching in high poverty settings. The first data chapter indicates how all of the teachers observed and reacted to the communities in which they taught as they shared their thoughts through a blog. In the remaining data chapters, five teachers were the focus. Their life histories are explored as well as their ideas regarding their work with families, students within diverse school settings. Findings suggest there are varied complexities of teaching in diverse schools and that much work is needed to develop more tangible ways in which to assist teachers in these settings. This may include rethinking the ways in which teacher education programs and professional development courses guide teachers. One of the participants noted that her coursework and professional development assisted her in noting the challenges of students and families in her school but no one had shown her solutions to those challenges. It also might be valuable to include ways that teachers might closely examine their life stories and investigate how those stories interact with those of their students and students' families. Finally, teachers may benefit from resources that include time for peer collaboration, as well as sharing in school decision making that might lead to greater teacher agency. [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: Elementary Education; Secondary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A