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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Learning Your Kids: An Action Research Approach to Home Visits and Teacher Practice
by Polson, Bilal, Ed.D., Hofstra University, 2013, 161; 3587287
Abstract (Summary)

Due to demographic shifts suburban schools are having difficulty meeting the needs of students of immigrant, poor and working class families. Schools are forced with the difficult task of closing learning gaps with students who may have difficult circumstances. Literature indicates fostering a healthy home / school connection by conducting educational home visits may support schools ability to embrace the cultural wealth and social capital of students and their families. In a suburban elementary school, six elementary school teachers and the assistant principal formed a research team to explore the relationship between home visits and teachers' practice.

The study focused on an overarching question: What is the relationship between home visits and teacher practice? The sub questions were: (1) What changes occur in teachers' thinking about students' contexts following home visits? (2) What changes occur in teacher practice following home visits? (3) How do teachers think these changes influences student learning?

The action research study consisted of three distinct phases of work cycles. The phases were, Phase I, Initiation, Phase II, Duration and Phase III, Conclusion. The team investigated how home visits influence teachers' practice and their perception of students' learning. The team collected data through conducting home visits, group meetings, peer classroom observations, triad discussions and maintained journal notes, audio tapes, and electronic notifications. The findings were teachers' improved practice, teachers' professionalism and professional growth. These themes emerged from the home visits, classroom applications experiences and group meetings of the action research project.

Keywords: cultural wealth, action research, home visits, teacher practice, professional development, students' home contexts

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Byrne-Jimenez, Monica
Commitee: DiMartino, Catherine, Garcia, Andrea, Long, Susi, Thompson, Eustace
School: Hofstra University
Department: Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 74/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Early childhood education, Elementary education
Keywords: Action research, Cultural wealth, Home visits, Professional development, Students' home contexts, Teacher practice
Publication Number: 3587287
ISBN: 978-1-303-24420-9
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