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An Examination of the Impact of Learning Disability Status and Cultural and Linguistic Background on Pre-Service Teachers' Attributions

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Item Summary

Title:An Examination of the Impact of Learning Disability Status and Cultural and Linguistic Background on Pre-Service Teachers' Attributions
Authors:Keaulana, Christina
Date Issued:May 2016
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2016]
Abstract:In social psychology, attributions are inferences about the causes of events or behaviors, and attribution theory is concerned with how individuals interpret events and how this relates to their thinking and behavior. Educators often attribute the underachievement of students with learning disabilities (LD) and students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to inherent deficiencies in their families, cultures, and communities. Teachers’ attributions can have a powerful impact on students’ self-perception of their competence as well as their motivation and performance because teachers’ cues influence students’ own attributions for their successes and failures. This study employed an experimental vignette design to investigate how student identification as LD/non-LD and Native Hawaiian/Caucasian affected pre-service teachers’ attributional responses for locus of control, stability, and controllability in hypothetical scenarios of student academic failure and behavioral challenges. The 85 pre- service teacher participants were drawn from two teacher education programs in Hawaii, The University of Hawaii at Manoa and Leeward Community College. Interaction effects showed relatively low levels of frustration and control over academic outcomes for Caucasian students with LD compared to those without LD, however LD status did not appear to significantly impact responses for Native Hawaiian students. Contrary to previous research studies, findings indicated that participants believe problematic behavior is more likely to recur from students without LD. Teacher education programs may consider providing more instruction for pre-service teachers related to deficit thinking, culturally responsive teaching, differentiation, attribution retraining, positive behavior interventions and supports, social emotional learning, and collaborative strength-based strategies facilitate positive attributions toward students with LD.
Description:Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Education

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