An exploration of the critical and reflective thinking and the culturally relevant literacy practices of two preservice teachers
As a result of the persistent achievement gap between culturally diverse students and their White counterparts, schools face the challenge of how to eliminate academic deficits among their students and ensure that students receive a high quality and equitable educational experience. This study sought to add to the body of literature about how White, female preservice teachers can increase their effectiveness in their field experiences in culturally diverse schools. This qualitative research study examined two White female preservice teachers' critical and reflective thinking regarding race, culture, and power and the extent to which their critical and reflective thinking influenced their culturally responsive literacy practices. The study also investigated changes in the preservice teachers' personal beliefs, dispositions, and worldview regarding racial and cultural differences and the extent to which the preservice teachers connected their coursework and field experience regarding diversity and culturally responsive instruction. The study took place during the final semester of their schooling and field practicum before student teaching. Multiple data sources, including participant observation, pre- and post-surveys, initial and follow up interviews, online threaded discussions, field observations, and preservice teacher artifacts, were collected and analyzed. Data analysis revealed three broad categories: (1) the influence of the two women's personal belief systems and prior experiences on their learning and teaching, (2) their understandings regarding multicultural education and culturally responsive literacy teaching practices, and (3) their implementation of culturally relevant instruction in their preservice teaching experiences. Both women's personal belief systems and prior experiences presented obstacles to their learning regarding multicultural education and culturally responsive instruction and their teaching of children from diverse backgrounds. Their culturally responsive literacy teaching practices, like their views of multicultural education, were based, in part, on what they learned from their coursework, interactions with classmates, and teaching observations during the semester. Implications of the study included the need for preservice teacher education programs to place more emphasis on self-reflection and relational reflection regarding race, culture, and power among prospective teacher candidates and to incorporate explicit culturally relevant pedagogy in the teacher preparation program.
Teacher education|Literacy|Reading instruction|Curriculum development
Cassie F Zippay,
"An exploration of the critical and reflective thinking and the culturally relevant literacy practices of two preservice teachers"
ETD Collection for Tennessee State University.