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ERIC Number: ED556531
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 218
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-6382-3
Cultural Adaptations of American Teachers in International Schools
Alban, David J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Western Michigan University
Global competition of academic aptitude between countries has sparked policymakers' concerns with the performance of the United States educational system leading to many educational reforms that direct educators to diversify their instruction to meet the needs of all students. Advances in technology and travel allow people to interact with other cultures creating more globalized societies. These two converging issues place a greater significance on educators to understand the interplay between culture and their teaching practices. Literature reveals that the influence of home and community cultures affects the learning behaviors of students (Davis-Kean, 2005: Wang, Beras, & Eberhard, 2005; Sigel, Stinson, & Kim, 1993; Cohen, 1987). Culturally responsive teachers acknowledge and appreciate the diverse cultures and adjust their teaching practices to bridge the differences (Gay, 2003; Ladson-Billings, 1995). While studies describe characteristics of culturally responsive teachers, they often focus on teachers in the United States leaving a void in literature on how teachers respond to diverse classrooms outside of their native countries. This phenomenological study focuses on the adjustments American teachers make in international schools in the Asian Pacific region. Through an interpretative phenomenological analysis, four superordinate themes and eleven subordinate themes emerged from the data. The superordinate themes, which encapsulated the acculturation process experienced by the teachers, included: (a) encounter of cultural differences, (b) understanding of cultural underpinnings, (c) adaptations in personal and professional lives, and (d) transformation of cultural identities. The findings of the study indicate that when teachers acculturate to new cultural settings, they become teachers and learners of culture. After gaining an understanding of the cultural underpinnings of the expectations and norms of the students and parents, they taught the roles that parents and students play in an American based educational system. They also became learners of their community culture, which increased their understanding of other cultures and built connections with communities. This process of acculturation expanded their worldview and appreciation for diversity in the classroom. [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