Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A post-modern teacher educator: A phenomenological study of teacher educators with significant experience in high-needs, high-minority urban schools
by Robinson, Derrick Eugene, Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2016, 252; 10111899
Abstract (Summary)

Four decades of university-based teacher education reform has failed to yield favorable outcomes in teacher effectiveness in P-12 schools. A rising tide of reform and criticism from governmental agencies and neo-liberal reformers has resulted in one-dimensional, structural approaches to impacting teacher effectiveness, based on the assumption that teacher effectiveness is universal across all school contexts. This study suggests that for university-based teacher education programs to impact teacher effectiveness, particularly in high-needs, high-minority schools, they must: a) define teacher effectiveness, b) contextualize the impact of high-needs, high-minority schools on teacher effectiveness, and c) provide the knowledge, structure and disposition to be effective teachers in the high-needs, high-minority context. To meet this task, this study boldly employs a post-modern theoretical positioning of the university-based teacher educator, one with professional experience or service in high-needs, high-minority schools, as the leading change agent in impacting teacher effectiveness in high-needs, high-minority schools.

Through a qualitative research design, this study utilizes phenomenology to uncover the lived experiences of qualifying teacher educators, those with experience and service in high-needs, high-minority schools, to define teacher effectiveness, effective teacher characteristics, and the uniqueness of the high-needs, high-minority urban school context. Through semi-structured, open-ended interviews, the lived experiences of qualifying teacher educators were gathered and analyzed using the Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen method of analysis to describe the shared experience of teacher effectiveness in high-needs, high-minority urban schools.

Findings suggest three themes that align respectively with each research question. When determining the effectiveness of teacher educators for preparation of pre-service teachers to enter high-needs, high-minority schools, dispositions matter. When conceiving teacher effectiveness within high-needs, high-minority urban schools, responsiveness matters. When reflecting on what makes the high-needs, high-minority urban learning environment different from what is thought of as the traditional school environment, findings suggest that people matter. What emerges as the composite experience of effectiveness in the high-needs, high-minority urban schools, is the significance of the counter-narrative focus.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lewis, Chance W.
Commitee: Butler, Bettie R., Hancock, Stephen D., Lim, Jae-Hoon
School: The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Department: Curriculum and Instruction
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-A 77/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Pedagogy, Teacher education
Keywords: Culturally responsive pedagogy, Phenomenology, Teacher educator effectiveness, Teacher effectiveness, Urban schools
Publication Number: 10111899
ISBN: 9781339750767