Cultural Socialization Process of Effective Educators of Students of Color in an Elementary School District
Henry, Patricia May
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The purpose of this life history study was to identify the experiences that influence the cultural socialization process of teachers and the factors that contribute to the effective instruction of students of color. Six female teachers who are currently assigned to third, fourth, or fifth grade students in elementary schools participated in this research project. Their experiences range from the second year in the classroom to thirteen years of teaching, and they have all had assignments as language arts teachers. Data for this qualitative research was collected from two face-to-face interviews, principals? written descriptions about classroom environments, and participant observations. The interviews were transcribed from audio cassettes and the data was analyzed using Burke?s Pentadic Analysis, Linde?s Creation of Coherence and features from Spradley?s Participant Observation. Each teacher claimed unique lived experiences, but there were similar threads of high teacher expectation, meeting the needs of students and affirming the cultural differences of the students of colors that were sewn together in all their narratives. The cultural socialization process of the participants was connected to pivotal events that were linked to creation of coherence in their lives. These epiphanies were identified in their earliest recollection and continued into their instructional practices. The findings of this study indicate that there are deep layers that can emerge when teachers reflect on the events that influence their effectiveness with students of color. The conclusions are that effective teachers of students of color are guided by an agenda that includes the multiple roles that they have to assume in order to achieve the goal of success for all their students. Recommendations for further research and implications for theory and practice were also discussed.