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Title "You don't speak correct English": Teacher knowledge about linguistic diversity/language acquisition and its role in pedagogy
Publication Date
Date Accessioned
Degree PhD
Discipline/Department Curriculum and Instruction
Degree Level doctoral
University/Publisher University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign
Abstract This dissertation is a qualitative multi-case study of in-service teachers Sara and Raniya and pre-service teacher Tiera (all pseudonyms), who varied in grade level and experience in teaching. The purpose of the study was to investigate teacher knowledge of linguistic diversity, particularly African American Language. This study is foregrounded by the language of all students and the ways teachers enact knowledge about this topic in their classrooms. Language is, after all, a foundation for all learning; academic content, assessment and instruction are conveyed via oral, written and/or literary language. If student academic profiles hinge on competency of the language used/accepted in the classroom, much attention must be prioritized to student language, teacher knowledge about student language, and the way these entities manifest in the classroom. My cases, then, are instantiations of the larger phenomenon I seek to explore: teacher knowledge about language diversity and its role in pedagogy. The three cases were situated in a small urban community, nearby a Midwest university, and were selected through a process of surveys and initial interviews. Observations of each teacher spanned two to three months, with an aim to document the role of teachers’ linguistic knowledge as it played out in curriculum, pedagogy, and student interaction. Data were analyzed through a process of open and selected thematic coding. In my journey to tease out what knowledge my participants had about this topic, and the meaning of such knowledge in their lives as teachers, I found that experiences did not fit “neatly” within categories. They, in fact, intersected, enhanced, and meshed into one another. Still, after loosely categorizing them, I questioned what experiences “counted” as sources for “real” knowledge. Particularly, what role do personal experiences play in knowledge construction? Attempts to trace the manifestation of their knowledge in the classroom were not as linear a process as I had anticipated either. It was in this process, however, that I began to consider not just what teachers know, but what counts as knowledge, and how they come to know at all. These new inquires helped me develop a theoretical frame that I propose in this dissertation and served as a significant finding in this project. This framing is a view of teachers as embodied toolkits, in which pedagogy is interpreted as a teacher’s lived work, and an enactment of one’s myriad life experiences. My approach dismantles traditional notions of a toolkit, where a text or resource is emphasized as the “expert” source of pedagogy, or in other cases, perceived as an appendage of strategies with which the teacher periodically consults. This approach helped me understand the role Sara’s academic, professional, and, especially, personal life experiences played in her development of a racially conscious curriculum that sought to build students’ racial identities and awareness. Interpreting Raniya as an embodied toolkit helped me see how her academic…
Subjects/Keywords African American Language; linguistic diversity; pedagogy; teacher knowledge
Contributors Bauer, Eurydice (advisor); Harris, Violet J. (Committee Chair); Dyson, Anne H. (committee member); Moller, Karla J. (committee member)
Language en
Rights Copyright 2015 Alice Lee
Country of Publication us
Record ID handle:2142/88277
Repository uiuc
Date Indexed 2018-11-19
Grantor University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Issued Date 2015-07-15 00:00:00

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