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ERIC Number: ED549221
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 382
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2673-9692-1
The Development of Cultural Responsiveness during Student Teaching: A Mixed Method Case Study
McMakin, Deborah
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Teacher education programs prepare teachers who are increasingly likely to enter school communities where students differ from them by race, ethnicity, language and/or socioeconomic status (Zeichner, 2003) and where an "achievement gap" between majority and non-majority students persists. Teachers who foster high academic achievement among non-majority students exhibit a similar array of culturally responsive beliefs, knowledge, and instructional practices (Gay, 2000, Ladson-Billings, 1994; Villegas & Lucas, 2002). While studies have examined how personal attributes, instructional practices, and brief field experiences may contribute to pre-service teachers' cultural responsiveness, the role of the culminating field experience is less understood. Using the Biopsychosocial Development Model (Bronfenbrenner, 1979, 1989) this mixed methods case study investigated pre-service teachers' cultural responsiveness over the course of their culminating student teaching experiences and identified personal, college and school site contextual factors that appeared instrumental to the maintenance and/or change of culturally responsive beliefs and practices. Study participants were three White middle class pre-service teachers who completed their student teaching in urban school sites where students differed from them by race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status. The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) (Hammer, 2007) and semi-structured interviews were used pre-and post student teaching to investigate maintenance and/or change of cultural responsiveness. Pre-service teachers' reflections, faculty supervisor classroom observations, final assessments, college course syllabi, and data from semi-structured interviews with college faculty supervisors were analyzed to further understand the impact of college and school site factors on pre-service teachers' cultural responsiveness. Within case analyses of the development of cultural responsiveness, personal, college and school site factors began with a priori coding strategies utilizing the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (Bennett, 1998) and the theory of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (Ladson-Billings, 1994) as well as quantitative analysis of IDI scores. Cross-case analyses were then conducted utilizing emergent coding strategies. Study results indicate that development of cultural responsiveness is a complex, ongoing, dynamic, and uneven process that is highly dependent upon personal and contextual factors. Complex interactions among personal, school site, college, and state factors collectively supported or constrained the development of culturally responsive teaching beliefs and instructional practices. School site course loads appeared to influence participants' belief in student success, and perceived opportunities to forge connections with school site students influenced participants' understanding of the role of cultural differences in education. While all three participants entered student teaching with culturally responsive strengths, opportunities to capitalize on these strengths varied by personal and contextual factors. Finally, the pre-service teacher state assessment format depicts cultural responsive teaching characteristics as a discrete skill set rather than an ongoing process beset with contextual supports and challenges. In its current form, this assessment may unintentionally discourage pre-service teachers and faculty supervisors from candidly discussing personal and contextual challenges, drawing on supports and conceptualizing cultural responsiveness as a developmental process that is collectively influenced by personal and contextual factors. These findings suggest a need for time and space in which pre-service teachers can identify and navigate personal and contextual supports and challenges as well as consider how they can enact culturally responsive practice in their school sites. [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: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A