The Role Mentoring Plays in a White Female Novice Teacher's Perceptions of Her Enculturation into a Culturally Diverse Campus
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Many of America's schools are populated with diverse student populations, while the teaching population remains largely White. This creates dissonance for White teachers and students of color. Possibly mentoring can assist novice White teachers as they enculturate into the profession and their culturally diverse campuses. This qualitative research, conducted from an Interpretivism paradigm, used a case study of a White female novice teacher at a culturally diverse campus to understand the role mentoring played in a White female novice teacher's perceptions of her enculturation into a culturally diverse campus. Several methods of data collection were used, including 9 semi-structured interviews with the novice teacher, email dialogues, 3 days of shadowing, as well as two semi-structured interviews with the subject's principal and mentor. The data was analyzed using the constant comparative method. This White female novice teacher taught at a campus with a large Hispanic student population. She struggled to feel confident in her work and in her relationships with her mentor, her fellow teachers, her administrators, her students and their parents. She relied heavily on her faith and her fellow novice teacher and teammate. Her mentor visited her once a week. She liked her mentor, but never felt she received the assistance desired. She recognized she knew little about the Hispanic culture of her students; she was willing to learn more, but failed to see her own privileged membership in the dominant White culture and its effect on interactions with her students. The discussion of this study looks at the structuring of an effective mentoring program for novice teachers, and the new teacher?s frustrations with the mentoring received; her relationship struggles with her principal and other staff, but also some successes in forming friendly relationships; her desire to understand her Hispanic students and their culture, yet her inability to see her membership in the dominant culture, as well has her school and district's "color-blind" approach to race; and her perceptions of her enculturation into the profession of teaching. The conclusions of this study discuss mentoring new teachers, the role of principals in the induction of new teachers, cultural differences between teachers and students, and the influence of faith and character with a teacher and his/her teaching.
Noble, Erica Michelle (2012). The Role Mentoring Plays in a White Female Novice Teacher's Perceptions of Her Enculturation into a Culturally Diverse Campus. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from