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ERIC Number: ED555026
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 209
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3033-1366-0
How Culture Influences Teacher Self-Reflective Problem Solving Behavior and Self-Efficacy: Experiences of White Female Teachers Working through Relationship with Black Students in a Mid-Western American City
Tolson, Bonnie Lynn
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Teachers make a difference. White female middle-class teachers represent 84 percent of Americas' teachers. How does culture influence the self-reflective problem-solving behaviors of urban teachers? Urban schools fail youth by opening the doors for a mass exodus. The problem solving behavior of urban teachers may contribute to the student exodus through suspensions, expulsions and unchallenged idleness. Fifty-percent of urban youth, mostly black and brown, who enter high school as ninth graders leave without a diploma. They "drop out." Students who drop out of high school have an increased chance of going to prison, while many die on the streets. Americans tolerate these casualties in urban schools. The research conducted was a traditional qualitative case study. A non-probability purposive sampling technique was utilized to recruit participants. Nine white middle-class female teachers and one African American female were interviewed about the strategies each used to solve a specific difficult problem situation with one of their black students. During semi-structured taped interviews teachers were asked several questions about a difficult problem situation with a black student that they had resolved. The four broad themes generated from the data were, Teachers as Adolescents; Agency, Self-efficacy, and Problem Solving; Relationship and Language; concluding with Teachers' Experiences and Benefits. A surprising finding was that teacher cross-cultural training utilizing Ruby Payne's (2005) controversial approach "A framework for understanding poverty," seemed to initially make a positive impact on the teachers' approach to problem-solving. In the long term, however, such training supported a deficit model for urban students. One important finding was when teachers had personal contact and a loving relationship with people of color outside of the school day; that appeared to have a positive effect on their problem-solving abilities and relationships with students. When teachers' cultural ideas conflicted with students, a positive sign was that some teachers were willing to change their minds and their story. When teachers were able to change their minds, the result was a positive transformation in their relationship with students and the students' relationship with their education, which tended to influence agency and self-efficacy. [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