Community-Engaged Teacher Preparation: Understanding Impact on Practice

Elmore, Jacob, Education - School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia
Youngs, Peter, University of Virginia

This dissertation consisted of three studies that focused on preparing and supporting teacher candidates for culturally responsive teaching. In the first manuscript, structural equation model and latent variable path analysis was conducted to examine survey data of teacher candidates’ (n = 102) perceptions of their program’s coherence and opportunities to learn in regard to their self-efficacy toward culturally responsive teaching. In the second manuscript, we conducted a qualitative case study and examined the pedagogical beliefs and instructional practices of five novice elementary teachers who were graduates from a community-engaged teacher preparation program in the Midwest. Using activity theory, we found that these community-engaged teachers varied in their instructional practices and appropriation of tool use based on the intersection of their identities/backgrounds and the messages and expectations they received in their school settings. We grouped teachers into one of three distinct cases to explain differences and used cross-case analysis to explain similarities for all five teachers. In the third manuscript, we interviewed four elementary school leaders and interviewed and observed five novice teachers in the Midwest through a qualitative case study. We used sense-making theory to understand how these school leaders conceptualized culturally responsive pedagogy and observed at least one novice teacher who worked in their school. We found that school leaders’ understanding and conceptualizations of culturally responsive pedagogy seemed to influence the messages they gave their teachers concerning expectations for curriculum and instruction. These messages seemed to also influence the teachers’ enactment of instructional practices. Through these three studies, we provided implications for research and practice.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Teacher Education , Culturally Responsive Teaching, Community-Engagement
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