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ERIC Number: ED550153
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 205
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2671-9752-8
Intercultural Awareness in Rural Title 1 Elementary School Teaching Practices
Leventhal, Mary Wilson
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
The purpose of the study was to examine cultural dissonance between teachers and students with its implications for student achievement in a rural Title 1 elementary school. Most U.S. teachers share a White, monolingual, middle-class, female teaching culture that is a mismatch with their increasingly multicultural student population. That problem generates impediments in teaching practices aimed at improving student achievement of underperforming sociocultural subgroups. Whereas there is abundant research for urban and suburban school populations, there is little research for rural populations. The research question asked how teachers' sociocultural expectations and knowledge of diverse cultures operating in their classrooms affected teaching practices. A phenomenological, constructivist approach was used to examine teachers' cultural sensitivity in an economically depressed, mid-Atlantic farming community. Seven teachers in pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade participated in the study. Focus was on teachers' critical and reflective thinking as it affects culturally responsive teaching practices. Recursive data analysis resulted in emergent themes of parental influence, cultural relativism, experiential learning for intercultural understanding, lack of clarity on instruction about world diversity, and strong relationship building with each student. Study outcomes supported research indicating the value of teacher introspection on the effects of personal disposition, worldviews, and beliefs in the choice of teaching practices. Positive social change implications may include a better understanding of intercultural competency, its influence in public schools, the potential to minimize negative influences on the learning process through cultural miscues, and the opportunity to harness positive effects of intercultural sensitivity. [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