Date: December 2013
Creator: Mason, Lindsey Lea
Description: The increasing cultural diversity in the United States has brought not only richness, but also complex challenges, to various segments of American society, particularly with regard to public schools. As the student population continues to diversify while teacher population remains predominately White, female, and middle class, teacher awareness in the classroom might be an integral piece to assist students marginalized by stereotypes in feeling more empowered in the school community. Through qualitative data collection and analysis, and framed by Basil Bernstein’s language code theory, this study explored teachers’ perceptions of how classroom interactions, in light of differences in communication, might impact students of different socio-economic backgrounds from the teacher. The findings of this study indicated that the participants expressed a desire to connect with all of their students, regardless of their background. They also discussed challenges that made relationships difficult, such as feelings of disconnect from their Title I students and their families based on differences in home life and background. This dissonance was often difficult for the participants to reconcile due to pressures and difficulties in their teaching situations, such as the large number of students and the scheduling of classes, curricular pressures, and other district expectations such as ...
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