Five White teachers’ stories: their challenges, their changes, their connections with urban students of color

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Authors
Burkhalter, Kimberly D. Johnson
Advisors
Alagic, Mara
Issue Date
2011-07
Type
Dissertation
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Abstract

Across the United States students of color make up approximately 69% of the urban school population. More than 85% of the classroom teachers are White and predominantly females and 40% of the urban schools do not have teachers of color in their classrooms. Educational systems often struggle in their efforts to support the needs of racially and culturally diverse students; students‟ educational success is usually not regarded as a function of students‟ culture. The study comprises a narrative inquiry, captured in the stories of five White teachers, and analyzed through the lenses of critical social theory, critical pedagogy and socio-cultural theory. Teachers shared their stories regarding their awareness of racial and cultural differences and the effects these differences have on teaching practices and engaging students of color in learning. They articulated how their personal and professional life experiences may have changed their understanding of racial and cultural differences as well as challenged them to change their teaching practices in order to provide culturally relevant instruction and elicit engaged interactions from their students of color.

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Thesis (Ed.D.)--Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Educational Leadership
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Wichita State University
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