Matching Items (5)

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Understanding youth cultures, stories, and resistances in the urban southwest: innovations and implications of a Native American literature classroom

Description

This study examines the multiple and complicated ways that Native American students engage, accept, and/or reject the teachings of a Native American literature course, as they navigate complex cultural landscapes

This study examines the multiple and complicated ways that Native American students engage, accept, and/or reject the teachings of a Native American literature course, as they navigate complex cultural landscapes in a state that has banned the teaching of ethnic studies. This is the only classroom of its kind in this major metropolitan area, despite a large Native American population. Like many other marginalized youth, these students move through "borderlands" on a daily basis from reservation to city and back again; from classrooms that validate their knowledges to those that deny, invalidate and silence their knowledges, histories and identities. I am examining how their knowledges are shared or denied in these spaces. Using ethnographic, participatory action and grounded research methods, and drawing from Safety Zone Theory (Lomawaima and McCarty, 2006) and Bakhtin's (1981) dialogism, I focus on students' counter-storytelling to discover how they are generating meanings from a curriculum that focuses on the comprehension of their complicated and often times contradicting realities. This study discusses the need for schools to draw upon students' cultural knowledges and offers implications for developing and implementing a socio-culturally sustaining curriculum.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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In pursuit of opportunity: alternative education pathways for dropped-out students in Worcester, MA

Description

The intention of this research is to bring us to Worcester, Massachusetts, New England's second largest city, to critically investigate the punitive patterns that exist in the "second chance" opportunity

The intention of this research is to bring us to Worcester, Massachusetts, New England's second largest city, to critically investigate the punitive patterns that exist in the "second chance" opportunity structure experienced by young people who have been dropped-out of schools. The conceptual framework I've constructed pulls from developed theories on the relationship between structural processes, institutional practices and lived experiences of marginalization. There is a need to understand how the process of school leaving, the label of "dropout," and the pursuit of second-chance opportunity are connected and exercise forms of punishment that have clear messages about the worth of these young men's aspirations and the value in fostering support for their opportunities. This critical ethnography introduces the narratives of four young men, marginalized by race and class, whose pursuits of alternative education pathways in Worcester, MA lead them towards constructing an inclusive opportunity on one's own terms. My assertion here is that the social issue is not exclusively about "dropouts," but about the relationships our schools, neighborhoods and society at large have on creating the enabling conditions of opportunity for our most marginalized students.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Native American history instruction in an urban context: an exploration of policy, practice, and Native American experience

Description

This study examines the genesis, practice, and Native experiences of stakeholders with two Arizona kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) statute that mandate instruction of Native American history. The research questions

This study examines the genesis, practice, and Native experiences of stakeholders with two Arizona kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) statute that mandate instruction of Native American history. The research questions relate to the original intent of the policies, implementation in urban school districts, how Native American parents experienced Native American history in their own education and their aspirations for this type of instruction in their children's education. Lomawaima and McCarty's (2006) safety zone theory was utilized to structure and analyze data. Critical Indigenous Research Methodologies (CIRM) (Brayboy, Gough, Leonard, Roehl, & Solym, 2012; Smith, 2012) was used in this interpretive policy analysis and phenomenological research study. Interviews were conducted with policymakers, a department of education official, urban school district personnel, and Native American parents with children in the pertinent school districts. Data included in-depth interview and legislative committee meeting transcripts, artifacts including bill versions, summaries and fact sheets, school board manuals, and the state social studies standards. The findings indicate that the intent of the statutes was to foster a better understanding among students (and hence, the state's citizenry) leading toward reciprocal government-to-government relationships between tribal nations and non-tribal governments. Teaching sovereignty and self-determination were fundamental. Although the school-based participants had limited knowledge of the policies, the district personnel believed they implemented the mandates because the state social studies standards were utilized to frame instruction. However, the 45 social studies standards related to Native Americans focus on extinct (referred to as historic in the standards) Native societies. The social studies standards ignore contemporary tribal nations and are thus inefficacious in supporting the goal of a better understanding of sovereignty, or in supporting Native American self-determination. The Native parent participants defied stereotypical images; they were involved in their children's educational attainment and were reintroducing cultural and tribal capital. Recommendations include allocating funds to support implementation of the policies at the local school and state levels, establishing culturally responsive curriculum that recognizes and promotes tribal nations and tribal sovereignty, and strengthening relationships between tribal nations, school districts, and the state department of education.

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Urban music education: a critical discourse analysis

Description

In this study, I uncover the coded meanings of "urban" within the music education profession through an exploration and analysis of the discourse present in two prominent music education journals,

In this study, I uncover the coded meanings of "urban" within the music education profession through an exploration and analysis of the discourse present in two prominent music education journals, Music Educators Journal (MEJ) and The Journal of Research in Music Education (JRME). Using critical discourse analysis (CDA), I investigate how the term "urban" is used in statements within a twenty-year time span (1991-2010), and how the words "inner-city," "at-risk," "race," and "diversity" are used in similar ways throughout the corpus. An in-depth examination of these five terms across twenty years of two major publications of the profession reveals attitudes and biases within the music education structure, uncovering pejorative themes in the urban music education discourse. The phrase "urban music education" is rarely defined or explained in the corpus examined in this study. Rather, the word "urban" is at times a euphemism. Based on a CDA conducted in this study, I suggest that "urban" is code for poor, minority, and unable to succeed. Relying on the philosophical ideas of Michel Foucault, I uncover ways in which the profession labels urban music programs, students, and teachers and how the "urban music education" discourse privileges the White, suburban, middle class ideal of music education. I call for an evaluation of the perceptions of "success" in the field, and advocate for a paradigm shift, or different methods of knowing, in order to provide a more just teaching and learning space for all music education actors.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Factors affecting teacher satisfaction in an urban school district

Description

The purpose of this study was to distinguish factors that influence the satisfaction levels of teachers in urban school districts. This work also distinguished factors that directly impacted teachers' level

The purpose of this study was to distinguish factors that influence the satisfaction levels of teachers in urban school districts. This work also distinguished factors that directly impacted teachers' level of satisfaction towards their work and their attitude towards the administration of their schools. Forty-one teachers from two kindergarten through eighth grade schools in the southwest region of the United States were given a modified version of the 2007/08 Schools and Staffing Survey, a federally recognized survey on the satisfaction levels of teachers in America, combined with a select number of questions created by the researcher in this study to address the research questions of this study. Data were collected and analyzed through Survey Monkey, an online data portal, and imported into SPSS for data analysis. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were compiled to provide answers to the research questions established for this study. Results from this study indicated that although a majority of teachers sampled were satisfied with their teaching positions (78%), kindergarten through fourth grade teachers were more satisfied than teachers in the older grades. For the whole group, salary was the most influential factor; however, the teachers with 11 to 15 years of experience were the only ones who chose salary as their primary choice to increase their satisfaction. This study found that the levels of satisfaction per subgroup (teachers' years of experience, level of education, gender, age, type of certification, and grade level) were different than the group needs as a whole. This study revealed that the needs of the whole group and the needs of the subgroups can differ, consequently individual differences of the staff need to be taken into consideration. To view the staff as a whole may discredit the needs of the individual. Even though data indicated that a significant number of teachers felt supported by their administration, this study revealed the need for administrative staff to address specific issues of subgroups in their schools.

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Date Created
  • 2011