A Case Study of Five Urban Middle School Teachers Involved In A Culturally Responsive Teaching Teacher Study Group
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This qualitative study examined urban middle school teachers' participation in a teacher study group (TSG) focused on culturally responsive teaching (CRT) content. Specifically, the researcher investigated the professional development experiences of five urban middle school teachers participating in a TSG on CRT and examined how these urban middle school teachers described their learning experiences of the CRT content. A purposeful sample of five teachers was used. Data collection was done with open-ended surveys, semi-structured interviews and field notes during the interviews and TSG sessions. The data were transcribed and analyzed using constant comparison. Data were continuously shuffled, sorted and re-organized as part of the constant comparative method. Through this method, key themes about TSGs and teachers' learning experiences emerged and were reported. The data analysis for research question one produced three overarching themes: changes in perception of staff development, building relationships and impact on instruction. Each theme had descriptors that further explain more specific aspects of the data results. The second research question was designed so the researcher could report descriptions of each participant's learning experiences of CRT content from the TSG experience. Two major themes emerged for research question two: personal and professional development. The discussion offers considerable support for the findings of existing research on TSGs and the positive attitude towards this design of professional development. The importance of building relationships in TSGs and the impact this TSG had on instruction are contributed to the literature. In this study the findings are reported in the voices of the participants, which is lacking in the current literature. Also, two major themes of the participants' learning of CRT are presented, personal and professional responsibilities, which are new to the existing literature. In conclusion, this research produced two important results for the educational realm: 1) the tremendous need for schools and school districts to offer our current practitioners better and more meaningful staff development, 2) Trained and certified teachers have little to no understanding of the tenets of culturally responsive teaching methods. CRT practices that are proving meaningful, validating and effective need to be further studied and reported.
Kerr, Alicia Ann (2010). A Case Study of Five Urban Middle School Teachers Involved In A Culturally Responsive Teaching Teacher Study Group. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from