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ERIC Number: EJ916843
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 52
ISSN: ISSN-1068-3844
Crossing Cultures: Considering Ethnotheory in Teacher Thinking and Practices
Eberly, Jody L.; Joshi, Arti; Konzal, Jean; Galen, Harlene
Multicultural Education, v18 n1 p25-32 Fall 2010
Society is becoming more and more culturally diverse. Schools are no exception. This poses a unique set of challenges for establishing meaningful home-school relations. Given the fact that the home and the school may represent two different cultures, families and schools may not share the same vision with regard to how children should be educated and who is primarily responsible for their education. Open and honest communication between teachers and parents can help establish common understandings and expectations about facilitating learning and development of children. Establishing effective communication is even more critical when parents and schools come from different cultures. The ultimate goal of the authors' multiphase research project was to impact teachers' knowledge and dispositions in a manner that would lead to more culturally responsive teacher-parent interactions. This was envisioned in terms of developing a professional development program for teachers and professional staff. The development of this program evolved over three phases of research. In the first phase of the study, through the means of a survey, the authors explored the teachers' knowledge and beliefs about how culture influences learning and their current practices of interacting with parents. To further probe the teachers' thinking and practices, focus groups were conducted during the second phase. These focus groups generated comprehensive information that provided a strong foundation for designing a professional development program for teachers and professional staff to enable them to work effectively with parents from cultures different from their own during the third phase. This article critically evaluates the effectiveness of all three phases of the authors' research in terms of its methodology and findings. Research indicates that dispositions can be challenging to change, but some success has been found through coursework activities, clinical experiences, modeling by professors and mentors, discussion forums, and the use of teaching cases. In this article, the authors describe each phase of the research in terms of its objectives, methods, and findings. The article concludes with the authors' discussion of the effectiveness of their professional development in terms of examining and extending teachers' understanding, attitudes, and dispositions towards working with families in ways that are culturally responsive.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A