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Technological Equity in Local and National K-12 Education: How Can I Be More Mindful About Promoting Digital Access and Fluency in My Future Classroom?

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The purpose of this study was to determine how I, as a future teacher, can best combat inequities in technological access and fluency in my future classroom. In this study, I explored a range of literature on the role of

The purpose of this study was to determine how I, as a future teacher, can best combat inequities in technological access and fluency in my future classroom. In this study, I explored a range of literature on the role of technology in the classroom, the digital divide in home and school settings, and variance in digital literacy. Additional insight was gained through interviews and observing school faculty in three public school districts in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. This provided a better understanding of local context in order to gain a sense of the national and local realities of the digital landscape as they relate to educational equity in the educational settings where I aim to serve as a certified teacher.

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2017-05

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Racial and gender identities of young mathematically-successful Latinas

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A fundamental motivation for this study was the underrepresentation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers. There is no doubt women and men can achieve at the same level in Mathematics, yet it is not clear why women

A fundamental motivation for this study was the underrepresentation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers. There is no doubt women and men can achieve at the same level in Mathematics, yet it is not clear why women are opting out. Adding race to the equation makes the underrepresentation more dramatic. Considering the important number of Latinos in the United States, especially in school age, it is relevant to find what reasons could be preventing them from participating in the careers mentioned. This study highlight the experiences young successful Latinas have in school Mathematics and how they shape their identities, to uncover potential conflicts that could later affect their participation in the field. In order to do so the author utilizes feminist approaches, Latino Critical Theory and Critical Race Theory to analyze the stories compiled. The participants were five successful Latinas in Mathematics, part of the honors track in a school in the Southwest of the United States. The theoretical lenses chosen allowed women of color to tell their story, highlighting the intersection of race, gender and socio-economical status as a factor shaping different schooling experiences. The author found that the participants distanced themselves from their home culture and from other girls at times to allow themselves to develop and maintain a successful identity as a Mathematics student. When talking about Latinos and their culture, the participants shared a view of themselves as proud Latinas who would prove others what Latinas can do. During other times while discussing the success of Latinos in Mathematics, they manifested Latinos were lazy and distance themselves from that stereotype. Similar examples about gender and Mathematics can be found in the study. The importance of the family as a motivator for their success was clear, despite the participants' concern that parents cannot offer certain types of help they feel they need. This was manifest in a tension regarding who owns the "right" Mathematics at home. Results showed that successful Latinas in the US may undergo a constant negotiation of conflicting discourses that force them to distance themselves from certain aspects of their culture, gender, and even their families, to maintain an identity of success in mathematics.

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2011

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A cultural historical activity theoretical (CHAT) framework for understanding the construction of inclusive education from Turkish teachers' and parents' perspectives

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Inclusive education has become a global movement through the policies of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (e.g., Salamanca Statement). These policies led many developing nations to adopt these policies in their national policy agendas. Turkey has developed

Inclusive education has become a global movement through the policies of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (e.g., Salamanca Statement). These policies led many developing nations to adopt these policies in their national policy agendas. Turkey has developed inclusive education policies that deal with the education of students with disabilities (SwD). However, although SwD are the largest group who are marginalized and excluded from educational opportunities, there are other groups (e.g., cultural-linguistic minorities) who experience educational inequities in access and participation in learning opportunities and deal with enduring marginalization in education. This study examined a) Turkish teachers’ and parents’ conceptualizations of inclusive education for diverse groups of students, namely SwD, Kurdish students (KS), and girls, who experience educational inequities, b) how their construction of students’ identities influenced students' educational experiences in relation to inclusive education, c) how their stories revealed identities, differences and power, and what role privilege played in marginalization, labeling, and exclusion of students within conceptualizations of inclusive education. I used cultural historical activity theory (Engeström, 1999) and figured worlds (Holland et al., 1998) to understand the teachers’ and parents’ interpretations and experiences about inclusive education. This qualitative study was conducted in four different schools in Maki, a small southwestern city in Turkey. A classroom photo, with a vignette written description, and a movie documentary were used as stimuli to generate focus group discussions and individual interviews. I conducted classroom observations to explore the context of schooling and how students were positioned within the classrooms. Classroom artifacts were additionally collected, and the data were analyzed using a constant-comparative method. The study findings demonstrated that students had different equity struggles in access, meaningful participation, and having equal outcomes in their education. The education activity system was not inclusive, but rather was exclusive by serving only certain students. SwD and girls had difficulty accessing education due to cultural-historical practices and institutional culture. On the other hand, Turkish-only language policy and practices created tensions for KS to participate fully in education activity systems. Although stakeholders advocated girls’ education, many of them constructed SwD’s and KS’ identities from deficit perspectives.

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2016