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How culture influences teacher self-reflective problem solving behavior and self-efficacy : experiences of White female teachers working through relationship with Black students in a Mid-Western American city

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Item Summary

Title: How culture influences teacher self-reflective problem solving behavior and self-efficacy : experiences of White female teachers working through relationship with Black students in a Mid-Western American city
Authors: Tolson, Bonnie Lynn
Keywords: culture
Issue Date: May 2013
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2013]
Abstract: Teachers make a difference. White female middle-class teachers represent 84 percent of Americas' teachers. How does culture influence the self-reflective problem-solving behaviors of urban teachers? Urban schools fail youth by opening the doors for a mass exodus. The problem solving behavior of urban teachers may contribute to the student exodus through suspensions, expulsions and unchallenged idleness. Fifty-percent of urban youth, mostly black and brown, who enter high school as ninth graders leave without a diploma. They "drop out." Students who drop out of high school have an increased chance of going to prison, while many die on the streets.
The research conducted was a traditional qualitative case study. A non-probability purposive sampling technique was utilized to recruit participants. Nine white middle-class female teachers and one African American female were interviewed about the strategies each used to solve a specific difficult problem situation with one of their black students. During semi-structured taped interviews, teachers were asked several questions about a difficult problem situation with a black student that they had resolved.
The four broad themes generated from the data were, Teachers as Adolescents; Agency, Self-efficacy, and Problem Solving; Relationship and Language; concluding with Teachers' Experiences and Benefits. A surprising finding was that teacher cross-cultural training utilizing Ruby Payne's (2005) controversial approach A framework for understanding poverty, seemed to initially make a positive impact on the teachers' approach to problem-solving.
In the long term, however, such training supported a deficit model for urban students. One important finding was when teachers had personal contact and a loving relationship with people of color outside of the school day; that appeared to have a positive effect on their problem-solving abilities and relationships with students. When teachers' cultural ideas conflicted with students, a positive sign was that some teachers were willing to change their minds and their story. When teachers were able to change their minds, the result was a positive transformation in their relationship with students and the students' relationship with their education, which tended to influence agency and self-efficacy.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/102008
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Education



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