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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

More Than Just Awareness: Pre-Service Teachers Learning About Culture and Cultural Competence Through Their Students
by Pluretti, Jennifer A., Ed.D., University of Rochester, 2018, 273; 10857325
Abstract (Summary)

The increasing racial, ethnic and linguistic diversity of pre-school to high school (P-12) students in the United States is well-documented, as is the fact that classroom teachers are predominately White and speak a dialect close to Standard English. Teacher education programs must prepare teachers who can relate to, and respect, P-12 students of color, ensure students are academically successful, and help students maintain their cultural identity. The purpose of this qualitative study, using a multiple case study research design (Stake, 1995; Yin, 2012, 2014) was to explore how pre-service teachers' burgeoning understanding of cultural competence (Ladson-Billings, 1995) was impacted by learning about the cultures of elementary students. Five undergraduate Inclusive Childhood Education majors participated in the study. They each selected an elementary student in their separate field placement classrooms about whose culture they learned. They communicated about their learning through one focus group, responding to three questions I posed on a Blackboard (private course management) site, and responding to each of their peers' posts, participating in individual interviews and completing an exit survey sent via email. I kept a researcher's journal as well, which became another piece of data. Data analysis included coding toward thematic analysis aimed at examining pre-service teachers' learning about the elementary students' cultures and the pre-service teachers' developing understanding of cultural competence. The study's over-arching theme of more than just awareness, supported by the three emerging themes: building relationships, acknowledging familial impact, and teacher actions, are the access points for which pre-service teachers may begin to build an understanding of culture and cultural competence.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hursh, David
School: University of Rochester
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 79/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Teacher education
Keywords: Cultural Competence, Cultural Revelevant Pedagogy, Culture, P-Students, Teacher Education
Publication Number: 10857325
ISBN: 978-0-438-03219-4
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