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From Tri-Cultural Conflict to Tri-Cultural Connection: How Successful Urban Science Educators Become Culturally Connected

Abstract
Urban districts suffer from a severe shortage of qualified science teachers. Therefore, many new science teachers will need to take positions in urban districts with little or no exposure to urban communities. As a result, prospective teachers find it difficult to learn how to negotiate the cultural contexts of urban teaching. Consequently, it is essential for teacher preparation programs to begin to examine the cultural contexts of urban science teaching to understand how to support the personal and professional well being of novice urban science educators. Through in-depth phenomenological interviews this research documents the experiences, perceptions, and beliefs of veteran urban science teachers and how they navigated pathways to successful teaching careers. Results focus on how the cultural levels of teacher socialization (personal, institutional, and societal) shaped their induction into the teaching profession. In addition, the analysis of the data suggests that teacher preparation programs need to be reconceptualized to include a specific focus on culturally relevant and responsive pedagogy, teacher identity development, and how to develop community networks and connections. This restructuring is key for novice urban teachers to either increase their cultural sensitivity, or align their own cultural belief systems in-order to develop the necessary skill set to become successful urban science teachers.
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dissertation
article
dissertation
Date
2010-02-01
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