Teacher practices while interacting with preschoolers in inclusive settings

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Marisa D. Roach Scott (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Judith Niemeyer

Abstract: The overall purpose of this study was to examine, record, and describe teacher practices that were considered culturally responsive to preschoolers with disabilities who do or do not share the same racial background as the teacher. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to explore the relationship between the teacher’s racial background and her teaching practices when compared between two preschoolers with disabilities. First, it examined teacher practices of African American and European American teachers across specific teaching behaviors to determine whether or not similarities existed across these groups of teachers when compared between the two children. Second, it examined the same teacher practices to determine whether or not differences existed in the interactive patterns of African American (AA) and European American (EA) teachers across these same teaching behaviors and the same sample of children. Using a mixed methods research design, two African American teachers and two European American teachers from separate Head Start programs participated in this fiveweek study along with two children with disabilities; one from the same racial background and one from a different racial background as the teacher. Teachers were observed using a teacher-child interaction scale and missed opportunities records to document observed practices that could be considered culturally responsive. A single audiotaped teacher interview was used to examine each teacher’s articulated practices. Teachers were asked to complete two cultural-focused surveys to help gain insight in their self-reported practices that could be considered culturally responsive. The utilization of qualitative and quantitative measures helped to create a profile of each teacher’s practices (observed, articulated, and self-reported) as she interacted with the children under study. Results showed several similarities among the observed and self-reported practices for both groups of teachers, African American and European American. Across both groups, (a) the level of physical involvement differed between the two children; and (b) the teachers’ communicative style showed some variation between the two children, were common themes that emerged through the comparison. Additional outcomes suggested that some differences among the two groups were more indicative of each individual teacher’s personality and disposition, rather than solely her racial background. Future studies are needed on more pro-longed time within each teacher’s classroom to further understand the role of culture on the teacher and her practices.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2009
Cultural, Head Starts, Preschoolers, Teacher practices
Children with disabilities $x Education, Preschool $z United States.
Education, Preschool $x Social aspects $z United States.
Head Start programs $z United States.
Teacher effectiveness.
Cultural competence.

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