Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Phenomenology of Preparing Culturally Proficient Teachers: Modeling Co-Teaching and Critical Discourse in a Rural State College
by Hurner, Casey, Ed.D., University of South Dakota, 2017, 177; 10607235
Abstract (Summary)

Every student deserves to be educated by teachers who are culturally proficient to ensure their needs are being met within inclusive school systems. This calls for educator preparation programs to ensure teacher candidates are culturally proficient. However, this is a pedagogical shift in isolated, rural settings due to the challenges rural communities pose for cultural proficiency (Sileo, Sileo, & Pierce, 2008). Modeling co-teaching and critical discourse in educator preparation allows teacher candidates to explore historical and systemic inequities of marginalized populations. Understanding these inequities can allow teacher candidates to recognize how diversity may impact the lives of various individuals and learn to honor the cultural uniqueness of others.

The purpose of this study was to explore the perspectives of teacher candidates within a course modeling co-teaching and critical discourse in educator preparation to capture the essence of their experiences. The conceptual framework created to guide this study centralizes co-teaching in educator preparation to model and promote critical discourse embedding critical theory and disability inquiry. This study used a phenomenology approach to obtain the essence of teacher candidates’ experiences. Participants of the study were pursuing a degree in education from a rural state college. Of the participants, 92% were female and 98% were white. To ensure the essence of teacher candidates’ experience prevailed, the researcher used a peer debriefing process and member checking to ensure validity.

Three themes emerged from the survey responses and four participant interviews. Each theme had three sub-themes that emerged as well. The first theme was a prosocial environment, with sub-themes of connectivity, multiple perspectives, and critical discourse. The second theme was vulnerability, with sub-themes of professors as change agents, self-awareness, and critical consciousness. The last theme was empowerment, with sub-themes of advocacy, pedagogical awareness, and understanding and honoring culture. Interconnections of the themes were analyzed and presented to combine the conceptual framework of the study with the findings.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Curtin, Susan
Commitee: Card, Karen, DeJong, David, Pease, Craig, Reed, Kristine
School: University of South Dakota
Department: Educational Administration
School Location: United States -- South Dakota
Source: DAI-A 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Special education, Teacher education
Keywords: Co-teaching, Critical theory, Cultural proficiency, Cultural relevance, Disability inquiry, Teacher preparation
Publication Number: 10607235
ISBN: 9780355118865
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