Dissertation

Successfully serving the underserved: profiles of AVID teachers

This mixed-methods study utilized data generated by 100 voluntary survey participants and five voluntary interview participants to construct a robust profile of AVID teacher attitudes, knowledge sets and practices. The researcher used the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient statistical test as well as qualitative open coding data analyses to answer the two research questions about AVID teacher attitudes, knowledge sets and practices. The K-12 public school system in California, and within the broader context of the United States, is increasingly diverse along cultural, linguistic, learning and socio-economic lines. This fact, in addition to the persistent achievement gap between high performing, mostly White and Asian students, and their underserved and underrepresented counterparts, typically African Americans, Latinos, low-income students, and English learners, brings to the forefront the need for recruitment, retention and development of teachers who can successfully serve diverse populations. This study recommends attitudes, knowledge sets, and practices helpful for teacher educators, school principals, and human resource directors in school districts to meet the needs of historically underserved students, as well as a highly diverse population of students. The key attitudes driving the AVID teachers in the sample are as follows: they continually want to become better teachers, they believe all students can achieve high personal and academic goals, they believe they should be persistent in helping students meet their goals, believe students have different learning needs, believe in empowering students to be independent, believe in collaboration, believe motivation is a key factor of learning, believe students are whole beings, and believe programmatic success is multi-dimensional. The primary knowledge sets held and honed by the sample are as follows: they know inquiry-based curriculum and know the importance of student contexts in their learning. The dominant practices that emerged from sample are as follows: they show students they care, reflect about their teaching, practice culturally relevant, responsive pedagogy, link student knowledge, collaborate and integrate collaborative activities in their classrooms, motivate students by celebrating success and do not allow failure. This study finds that while educational policy documents, in general and more specifically the Council of Chief State School Offices (CCSSO), provide a comprehensive articulation of what quality teachers must know and be able to do they often are silent regarding attitudinal dispositions that are useful in serving historically underserved populations as well as highly diverse populations. The findings of this study suggest that AVID teachers exemplify the CCSSO’s 10 main indicators of teacher quality as well as demonstrate culturally relevant/responsive and caring frameworks of teaching. The overarching implication for this study is that both policy-makers and educational leaders should retain, develop and recruit teachers who do or can be nurtured to, demonstrate such indicators and repertoire of attitudes, knowledge sets and practices.

Dissertation (Ed.D., Educational Leadership)--California State University, Sacramento, 2012.

This mixed-methods study utilized data generated by 100 voluntary survey participants and five voluntary interview participants to construct a robust profile of AVID teacher attitudes, knowledge sets and practices. The researcher used the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient statistical test as well as qualitative open coding data analyses to answer the two research questions about AVID teacher attitudes, knowledge sets and practices. The K-12 public school system in California, and within the broader context of the United States, is increasingly diverse along cultural, linguistic, learning and socio-economic lines. This fact, in addition to the persistent achievement gap between high performing, mostly White and Asian students, and their underserved and underrepresented counterparts, typically African Americans, Latinos, low-income students, and English learners, brings to the forefront the need for recruitment, retention and development of teachers who can successfully serve diverse populations. This study recommends attitudes, knowledge sets, and practices helpful for teacher educators, school principals, and human resource directors in school districts to meet the needs of historically underserved students, as well as a highly diverse population of students. The key attitudes driving the AVID teachers in the sample are as follows: they continually want to become better teachers, they believe all students can achieve high personal and academic goals, they believe they should be persistent in helping students meet their goals, believe students have different learning needs, believe in empowering students to be independent, believe in collaboration, believe motivation is a key factor of learning, believe students are whole beings, and believe programmatic success is multi-dimensional. The primary knowledge sets held and honed by the sample are as follows: they know inquiry-based curriculum and know the importance of student contexts in their learning. The dominant practices that emerged from sample are as follows: they show students they care, reflect about their teaching, practice culturally relevant, responsive pedagogy, link student knowledge, collaborate and integrate collaborative activities in their classrooms, motivate students by celebrating success and do not allow failure. This study finds that while educational policy documents, in general and more specifically the Council of Chief State School Offices (CCSSO), provide a comprehensive articulation of what quality teachers must know and be able to do they often are silent regarding attitudinal dispositions that are useful in serving historically underserved populations as well as highly diverse populations. The findings of this study suggest that AVID teachers exemplify the CCSSO’s 10 main indicators of teacher quality as well as demonstrate culturally relevant/responsive and caring frameworks of teaching. The overarching implication for this study is that both policy-makers and educational leaders should retain, develop and recruit teachers who do or can be nurtured to, demonstrate such indicators and repertoire of attitudes, knowledge sets and practices.

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