Preservice Teachers’ Experiences on Becoming Culturally Responsive Educators
An Action Research Case Study
Keywords:Action research, Case study, Culturally responsive pedagogy, Multilingual learners, Reflection, Tutoring
Reflection on teaching and learning is considered one of the most essential elements of teacher development. With the rise of multilingual learners in U.S. public schools, the role of critical reflection has become even more prominent in teacher preparation programs to disrupt preservice teachers’ (PSTs) biases and stereotypes regarding these learners and their families. Moreover, to address the widening educational inequities and to enact more equitable teaching practices, PSTs ought to reflect on their pedagogical practices with the guidance of an educator-mentor. Therefore, this qualitative action research case study explored how one teacher preparation program implemented reflective and experiential practices in their graduate Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages coursework to assist PSTs in systematically examining their understandings of culturally responsive practices. Our research was grounded in culturally responsive teaching. Our findings revealed that our PSTs had an awareness of culturally responsive pedagogy; they recognized the importance of learning from and with their students and families but still had areas for growth when implementing culturally responsive practices, prompting us to further explore how these PSTs enact culturally sustaining practices in their future classrooms.
Allen, A., Hancock, S. D., Starker-Glass, T. and Lewis, C. W. (2017) ‘Mapping culturally relevant pedagogy into teacher education programs: A critical framework’, Teachers College Record, Vol. 119, No. 1, pp.1–26. https://doi.org/10.1177/016146811711900107
Batchelor, K. E., DeWater, K. and Thompson, K. (2019) ‘Pre-service teachers' implicit bias: Impacts of confrontation, reflection, and discussion,’ Journal of Educational Research and Innovation, Vol. 7, No. 1, Article 3.
Bettez, S. (2017) ‘Flipping the script from talking to teens about “celebrating diversity” to promoting equity through embracing vulnerability and enacting courage’, Multicultural Perspectives, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 90–97. https://doi.org/10.1080/15210960.2017.1301091
Carter, P. L. and Welner, K. G. (eds.) (2013) Closing the opportunity gap: what America must do to give every child an even chance, Oxford, UK: University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199982981.001.0001
Christ, T. and Sharma, S. A. (2018) ‘Searching for mirrors: Preservice teachers’ journey toward more culturally relevant pedagogy’, Reading Horizons: A Journal of Literacy and Language Arts, Vol. 57, No. 1, pp. 55–73.
Dana, N. F. and Yendol-Hoppey. D. (2014) The reflective educator’s guide to classroom research, Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Daniel, S. M. (2016) ‘Grappling with culturally responsive pedagogy: a study of elementary-level teacher candidates’ learning across practicum and diversity coursework experiences’, The Urban Review, Vol. 48, No. 4, pp. 579–600. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11256-016-0369-6
Fasching-Varner, K. J. and Seriki, V.D. (2012) ‘Moving beyond seeing with our eyes wide shut: a response to “there is no culturally responsive teaching here”’, Democracy & Education, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 1–6.
Gay, G. (2018) Culturally responsive teaching: theory, research, and practice, 3rd edition, New York: Teachers College Press.
Gomez, J. C. (2020) ‘Development of EFL teachers' pedagogical content knowledge through action research in a master's program’, Problems of Education in the 21st Century, Vol. 78, No. 4, pp. 533–552. https://doi.org/10.33225/pec/20.78.533
González, N., Moll, L. C. and Amanti, C. (2005) Funds of knowledge: theorizing practices in households, communities, and classrooms, Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Gujarati, J. (2018) ‘Taking action: (Re)imagining professional development through the teacher research project’, i.e.: inquiry in education, Vol. 10, No. 2, Article 2.
Hammond, Z. (2015) Culturally responsive teaching and the brain: promoting authentic engagement and rigor among culturally and linguistically diverse students, Thousand Oakes, CA: Corwin.
Hine, G. S. (2013) ‘The importance of action research in teacher education programs’, Issues in Educational Research, Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 151–163.
Honigsfeld, A., Connolly, M. and Kelly, S. (2013) ‘Demystifying teacher action research: lessons learned from a graduate education capstone experience’, Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, Vol. 79, No. 2, p. 15–21.
Irwin, V., Zhang, J., Wang, X., Hein, S., Wang, K., Roberts, A., York, C., Barmer, A., Bullock Mann, F., Dilig, R. and Parker, S. (2021) Report on the condition of education 2021. NCES 2021–144, [Online], Available: https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2021144 [12 Dec 2022].
Kemmis, S., McTaggart, R. and Nixon, R. (2014) The action research planner: doing critical participatory action research, Singapore: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-4560-67-2
Koubek, E. and Wasta, S. (2022) ‘Examining the role of self-reflection as an impetus for cultivating equitable practices for multilingual learners’, The Teacher Educators’ Journal, Vol. 15, No. 1, Article 5.
Ladson-Billings, G. (1995) ‘Toward a theory of culturally relevant teaching’, American Educational Research Journal, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 465– 491. https://doi.org/10.3102/00028312032003465
Ladson-Billings, G. (2014) ‘Culturally relevant pedagogy 2.0: aka the remix’, Harvard Educational Review, Vol. 84, No. 1, pp. 74–84. https://doi.org/10.17763/haer.84.1.p2rj131485484751
Ladson-Billings, G. (2021) Culturally relevant pedagogy: asking a different question, New York: Teachers College Press.
Lambeth, D. T. and Smith, A. M. (2016) ‘Pre-service teachers' perceptions of culturally responsive teacher preparation’, Journal of Negro Education, Vol. 85, No. 1, pp. 46–58. https://doi.org/10.7709/jnegroeducation.85.1.0046
Lewis Chiu, C., Sayman, D., Carrero, K. M., Gibbon, T., Zolkoski, S. M., and Lusk, M. E. (2017) ‘Developing culturally competent preservice teachers’, Multicultural Perspectives, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 47–52. https://doi.org/10.1080/15210960.2017.1267515
McLeod, S. A. (2022) Maslow's hierarchy of needs – Simply Psychology, [Online] www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html [12 Dec 2022].
McNiff, J. (2016) You and your action research project, London, UK: Routledge.
Merriam, S. B. and Tisdell, E. J. (2016) Qualitative research: a guide to design and Implementation, San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.
Mertler, C. A. (2020) Action research: improving schools and empowering educators, 6th edition, Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
Nieto, S. and Bode, P. (2018) Affirming diversity: the sociopolitical context of multicultural education, 7th edition, Boston: Pearson Education.
Noddings, N. (1984) Caring: a feminine approach to ethics & moral education, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Norton, L. (2019) Action research in teaching and learning: a practical guide to conducting pedagogical research in universities, 2nd edition, London: Routledge.
Paris, D. (2012) ‘Culturally sustaining pedagogy: A needed change in stance, terminology, and practice’, Educational researcher, Vol. 41, No. 3, pp. 93–97. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X1244124
Paris, D. and Alim, H.S. (eds.) (2017) Culturally sustaining pedagogies: teaching and learning for justice in a changing world, New York: Teachers College Press.
Ryken, A.E. and Hamel, F.L. (2016) ‘Looking again at “surface-level" reflections: Framing a competence view of early teacher thinking’, Teacher Education Quarterly, Vol, 43, No.4, pp. 31–53.
Salerno, A.S. and Kibler, A.K. (2015) ‘Questions they ask: Considering teacher-inquiry questions posed by pre-service English teachers’, Educational Action Research, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 399–415. https://doi.org/10.1080/09650792.2015.1012174
Schneider, J. (2019) ‘Teaching in context: Integrating community-based service-learning into TESOL education’, TESOL Journal, Vol. 10, No. 1. pp. 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1002/tesj.380
Skepple, R. G. (2015) ‘Preparing culturally responsive pre-service teachers for culturally diverse classrooms’, Kentucky Journal of Excellence in College Teaching and Learning, Vol. 12, Article 6.
Shosh, J. M. and McAteer, M. (2016) ‘The CARN/ARNA inaugural Study Day inquiry: What happens to action research after the master’s degree?’, Educational Action Research, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 4–20. https://doi.org/10.1080/09650792.2015.1132001
Schulte, A. K. (2017) ‘The impacts of preservice action research in a rural teaching residency’, Journal of Inquiry and Action in Education, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 69–76.
Storms, S. B. (2015) ‘Social justice in practice? Exploring teacher candidates’ commitment toward change agency through action research’, Action in Teacher Education, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp. 156–171. https://doi.org/10.1080/01626620.2015.1004600
Villegas, A. M. and Lucas, T. (2007) ‘The culturally responsive teacher’, Educational Leadership, Vol. 64, No. 6, pp. 28–33.
Vaughan, M. and Burnaford, G. (2016) ‘Action research in graduate teacher education: A review of the literature 2000–2015’, Educational Action Research, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 280–299. https://doi.org/10.1080/09650792.2015.1062408
Warren, C. A. (2018) ‘Empathy, teacher dispositions, and preparation for culturally responsive pedagogy’, Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 69, No. 2, pp.169–183. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022487117712487
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Ekaterina Koubek, Stephanie Wasta
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors declare with this manuscript intended for publication to ERIES Journal that:
- all co-authors agree with the publication of the manuscript even after amendments arising from peer review;
- all co-authors agree with the posting of the full text of this work on the web page of ERIES Journal and to the inclusion of references in databases accessible on the internet;
- no results of other researchers were used in the submitted manuscript without their consent, proper citation, or acknowledgement of their cooperation or material provided;
- the results (or any part of them) used in the manuscript have not been sent for publication to any other journal nor have they already been published (or if so, that the relevant works are cited in this manuscript);
- submission of the manuscript for publication was completed in accordance with the publishing regulations pertaining to place of work;
- experiments performed comply with current laws and written consent of the Scientific Ethics Committee / National Animal Care Authority (as is mentioned in the manuscript submitted);
- grant holders confirm that they have been informed of the submitted manuscript and they agree to its publication.
Authors retain copyright and grant ERIES Journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the published work with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in ERIES Journal. Moreover, authors are able to post the published work in an institutional repository with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in ERIES Journal. In addition, authors are permitted and encouraged to post the published work online (e.g. institutional repositories or on their website) as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.