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ERIC Number: ED550485
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 291
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2678-4761-4
Autobiographical Meaning Making, Practitioner Inquiry, and White Teachers in Multicultural Education
Fitts Fulmer, Donielle Ellie
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
The features that constitute significant and evocative multicultural learning for teachers has been widely discussed and debated. One pervasive recipe is the non-critical presentation of tips and tools to teachers, so they may supposedly inject multiculturalism into their routine practice (Banks, 1993; Cochran-Smith, 1995; Gorski, 1999). Such a vision of multicultural teacher education, however, leaves issues of race, class, power, and privilege glaringly unexamined (Cochran-Smith, 1995; Gorski, 1999; Sleeter, 1991; Willis, 2003). Alternatively, multicultural teacher education that is centered in a social justice orientation, featuring critical autobiographical collaborative meaning making, while inviting teacher-participants to become students of their own students (Lytle, 2006) through practitioner inquiry has been found in this study to offer transformative change for participants as well as the instructor. This research chronicles the experiences of five graduate-level students and a novice instructor, all of whom are White, engaging in a semester-long course on issues of race, culture and multiculturalism from the orientation of a social justice standpoint and undergirded by the tenets of "inquiry as stance" (Cochran-Smith & Lytle 2009). This practitioner inquiry study utilizes ethnographic data collection methods, including participant-observer fieldnotes, subjective field journals (Carspecken, 1996), informal interviews, a focus group, and recursive member checks; analyses were situated within discourse analysis and narrative analysis frameworks. Findings suggest teacher educators of courses on race and multicultural issues may wish to consider "close listening" (Schultz, 2003) as a practice they take up themselves in their courses, in addition to one that is recommended for their teacher participants. The study argues that such analyses not only benefit the instructor by providing data about what worked, but can complicate the notions of what it means to "work" and for whom. Furthermore, sustained analyses of this nature have been found to benefit the participants in the course, by offering an example of the possibilities for close listening in their own classrooms, as well as to honor the resources they bring with them from their personal histories and to their motivations and understandings of multicultural education pedagogy. [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: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A