Mission Possible? An Analysis of the Intended and Implemented Diversity Content of a Teacher Education Institution Open Access

Stenhouse, Vera L (2009)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/xp68kg481?locale=en
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Abstract


Abstract
Mission Possible?
An Analysis of the Intended and Implemented Diversity Content of
a Teacher Education Institution
By Vera L Stenhouse
Current research in teacher education primarily focuses on a single unit of analysis, such
as a course, rather than a comprehensive investigation of a whole teacher education
institution. Additionally, although a substantial body of literature focuses on teacher
education in urban settings, less attention has been directed towards the teacher educators
in these locations. Lastly, a curricular disconnect exists between specific courses offered
on diversity issues in a teacher education program and the accompanying coursework in
other courses within the same program. This study sought to address these limitations in
teacher education research by examining an urban southeastern United States teacher
education institution and its teacher educators. The research investigated teacher
educators' understanding of and the manner by which they implemented diversity and
multicultural education concepts across a program of study. Additionally, the institutional
context in which teacher educators work was examined. Guided by Zeichner, Grant, Gay,
Gillette, Valli, and Villegas'(1998) design principles for multicultural teacher education,
this case study used interviews, focus groups, observations, and institutional documents
to address the following research questions:
1. What were the backgrounds, philosophies of education, training, and
experiences of teacher educators in a program whose mission explicitly
defines diversity as a component of teacher preparation?


2. What was the relationship between teacher educator training,
backgrounds, and experiences and the ways they defined and implemented
concepts, theories, and frameworks regarding diversity and multicultural
education?
3. What individual or institutional factors advanced, limited, or prevented
discourse and practices regarding diversity in a teacher education
program?
Findings revealed that teacher educators possessed unique narratives that yielded
common themes in relationship to their backgrounds, philosophies of education, training,
and experiences regarding diversity. Teacher educators' diversity discourse mirrored their
narratives by centering primarily on race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, less so
gender, language, and ability. Additionally, teacher educators universally were able to
define and name key terms within diversity and multicultural education literature.
Collectively teacher educators' pedagogies reflected their articulated definitions;
however, their individual implementation varied in form, content, and consistency.
Furthermore, factors influencing discourse and practices encompassed individual,
structural, and institutional elements. Finally, findings from the current study
substantiated the institution's viability as a multicultural teacher preparation institution;
however, findings suggest a need for more intricate examinations of what constitutes an
institution's permeation of critical attention and observed implementation of diversity and
multicultural education tenets.

Table of Contents


Table of Contents
Introduction.....................................................................................
1
Statement of the Problems....................................................................
2
Institutional Context....................................................................
2
Teacher Educators...................................................................... 3
Diversity..................................................................................
5
Significance of the Problems...............................................................
6
Institutional Context.................................................................... 6

Teacher Educators...................................................................... 7
Diversity.................................................................................. 9
Framework and Guiding Principles.........................................................
11
Literature Review..............................................................................
14
Literature Search Strategy............................................................
14
Multicultural Education and Teacher Preparation Programs................... 15
Teacher Educators...................................................................... 27
Definition of Terms...........................................................................
32
Diversity........................................................................................
32
Multicultural Education................................................................
33
Methodology.......................................................................................... 33
Setting...........................................................................................
34
The University....................................................................
35
The College........................................................................
36
The Department..................................................................
37


The Master's Program...........................................................
38
Pilot Study.....................................................................................
41
Data Sources.................................................................................
43
Interviews............................................................................ 44
Observations........................................................................ 46
Focus Group.........................................................................
48
Documents........................................................................... 49
Field Notes...........................................................................
51
Data Analysis................................................................................
52
Interviews............................................................................ 56
Observations........................................................................ 56
Focus Group.........................................................................
57
Documents........................................................................... 57
Field Notes...........................................................................
58
Reliability......................................................................................
58
Validity..........................................................................................
60
Internal Validity...................................................................
61
External Validity..................................................................
64
Limitations....................................................................................... 65
Summary.......................................................................................... 66
Findings........................................................................................... 66
About the Participants..................................................................
67
Individual Participant Narratives
69


Bellraye

...................................................................
69
Chameleon...............................................................
71
Ciarra......................................................................
75
Erin........................................................................ 76
Jamie......................................................................
79
Kira........................................................................
80
Michelle..................................................................
82
Puppet Lady.............................................................
85
Sofia......................................................................
87
William..................................................................
88
Thematic Overview of Training, Background, Experiences, and Philosophies
91

Training............................................................................
91
Backgrounds...................................................................... 97
Experiences........................................................................ 102
Philosophies of Education ......................................................
105
Participants' Definitions of Terms and Implemented Pedagogy..................
107
Researcher-Generated Terms and Their Relationship to Practice.........
108
Diversity.................................................................. 108
Multicultural education................................................ 110
Culturally responsive pedagogy....................................... 115
Urban..................................................................... 120
Participant-Generated Terms and Their Relationship to Practice.........
123
Empowering education................................................. 123

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