Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Learning the Ropes: A Grounded Theory Study of Children Crossing Cultures
by Reynolds, Patricia E., Ed.D., Northcentral University, 2012, 122; 3510585
Abstract (Summary)

Educators in American public school settings have tried to determine the best practices to reach an increasingly diverse student population. In this qualitative study using grounded theory design, 13 individuals who have graduated from high schools in northern Virginia were asked to recollect their experiences as they moved through the dual process of language acquisition and acculturation. A grand tour, or open-ended question, began the examination of the 13 participants, who at one time during their educational career were designated Limited English Proficient in U.S. schools. The data were collected and codified to determine the strategies and dispositions used as students integrated into the schools and acquired a new language and a new identity in U. S. schools. The data were examined to determine the behaviors this group of participants engaged in as they moved toward acculturation. A multifaceted, constant comparative analysis of the data led to the categories becoming saturated and providing fit, grab, and relevance to the substantive area of children crossing cultures in educational environments. The generated theory, learning the ropes, became the basic social process students engaged in as they crossed cultures. Four main stages of the basic social process: frozen in time, turtling, painting a new picture, and finding the future was related by all 13 participants. These four stages contributed to the outcome of the new theory grounded in the participants' actual experiences, recollections and behaviors. Learning the ropes indicated that a strong educational focus on language development contributes to the ways an individual would enter and sustain the acculturation process. The theory suggested that sociocultural aspects of the process should be more carefully integrated into school settings to provide children crossing cultures with a more successful model toward acculturation. Further research in the areas of race, cultural transmission, and teacher involvement were indicated by the findings.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stillman, Susan
School: Northcentral University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: English as a Second Language, Multicultural Education, Teacher education
Keywords: Bilingual education, Cross-cultural, English as a second language, English language learners, Multicultural
Publication Number: 3510585
ISBN: 978-1-267-34742-8
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