Date of Award
Morgridge College of Education, Teaching and Learning Sciences, Curriculum and Instruction
P. Bruce Uhrmacher
Teachers, Culturally responsive teaching, Education reform
Currently there is an increasing focus on teacher quality in educational reform, a lack of empirical research on exactly what culturally responsive teaching looks like, and a great deal of confusion on how teacher dispositions may be important in education. This study seeks to examine what great teachers believe, intend, and do while examining their dispositions in the process.
Three research questions guided this study: 1) What are the intentions and beliefs of culturally responsive teachers? 2) How does culturally responsive teaching operationalize? 3) What are the dispositions of culturally responsive teachers? To respond to these questions, I use Educational Criticism and Connoisseurship, a qualitative research method developed by Eliot Eisner (1998). Educational criticism is comprised of four dimensions: description, interpretation, evaluation, and thematics.
The findings suggest that there are similarities in the intentions, beliefs, operations, and dispositions of culturally responsive teachers. However, it was readily apparent that culturally responsive teaching operationalized differently for different teachers, leaving us to recognize that we cannot simply give teachers a checklist to ensure that great teaching manifests. Further, the study revealed that while the participants sought to reach the aims of what many culturally responsive scholars seek, they are confused by the label resulting in unintended consequences. This leads to the suggestion of evolving the label culturally responsive pedagogy to personalized pedagogy. Finally, the study recognizes the controllable and uncontrollable contexts of education. This has broad sweeping ramifications for policymakers and administrators, as they must recognize in their hunt for identifying what quality teachers do, there are a number of elements outside of teachers‘ control that affect students‘ educations.
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Bradley M. Conrad
Received from author
Conrad, Bradley M., "Intentions, Operations, Beliefs, and Dispositions of Teachers at Culturally Diverse Schools: Examining the Intricacies and Complexities of Great Teachers" (2011). Restricted Access ETDs. 22.