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Elementary Special Education Teachers' Cultural Awareness and Beliefs In One Urban School District Regarding African American Learners

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dc.contributor.advisor Larke, Patricia en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Webb-Hasan, Gwendolyn en_US
dc.creator Willis, Janet en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2012-02-14T22:20:58Z en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2012-02-16T16:18:30Z
dc.date.available 2014-01-15T07:05:30Z
dc.date.created 2011-12 en_US
dc.date.issued 2012-02-14 en_US
dc.date.submitted December 2011 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1969.1/ETD-TAMU-2011-12-10710 en_US
dc.description.abstract Today's urban schools are composed of students from diverse cultural backgrounds and varying levels of academic readiness. At the same time, approximately 88% of teachers are White and middle-class. The dispositions of teachers have important educational ramifications. Teachers' beliefs structure the classroom atmosphere, influence perceptions regarding the abilities of students, and impact how they teach and expect students to learn and behave. In order to foster an accepting and productive learning environment, teachers must have cultural awareness. To ensure that all learners receive a solid academic foundation, teachers must be able to instruct dissimilar students. Special educators have been trained to work with students with unique, special needs, but the reality of today's demographics - and special education classrooms in particular - mandate that they also have the cultural knowledge to effectively serve diverse students. Perceptions and attitudes of elementary special education teachers regarding their cultural awareness and beliefs need to be explored. This study examined the cultural awareness beliefs of elementary special educators working in urban school districts located in southeast Texas. The research also needs to ascertain whether ethnicity or length of service effected such teachers' cultural awareness beliefs. Using the Cultural Awareness Beliefs Inventory (CABI) instrument, the investigator gathered self-reported data from 54 participants. The reliability and validity of the instrument were determined to be sound by previous investigators. The CABI contains eight major components: Teacher Beliefs, School Climate, Culturally Responsive Classroom Management, Home and Community Support, Curriculum and Instruction, Cultural Sensitivity, Cultural Awareness, and Teacher Efficacy. Data were analyzed using percentage analysis and one-way analysis of variance. The findings include: 1) Participants had favorable perceptions towards the School Climate, Culturally Responsive Classroom Management, and Cultural Awareness variables; 2) Participants had unfavorable perceptions regarding Teacher Beliefs; 3) In contrast to some previous research, it did not appear that teaching experience impacted cultural beliefs; and 4) Importantly, it was discerned that teachers' ethnicities yielded statistically significant effects on their cultural awareness and beliefs regarding African American special education students. en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Multicultural Education en_US
dc.subject Special Education Teachers en_US
dc.subject Special Education Reform en_US
dc.subject Overrepresentation of minorities in special education en_US
dc.subject Diversity training and professional development for educators en_US
dc.subject culturally responsive pedagogy en_US
dc.subject teacher retention en_US
dc.title Elementary Special Education Teachers' Cultural Awareness and Beliefs In One Urban School District Regarding African American Learners en_US
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.department Teaching, Learning, and Culture en_US
thesis.degree.discipline Curriculum and Instruction en_US
thesis.degree.grantor Texas A&M University en_US
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy en_US
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMember Carter, Norvella en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMember Lewis, Chance en_US
dc.type.genre thesis en_US
dc.type.material text en_US
local.embargo.terms 2014-01-15 en_US

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