Influence of Language, Culture, and Power on Teacher Instructional Decision-Making with High-Achieving African America Students in Advanced Secondary English Classrooms
Reed Marshall, Tanji Philicia
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This qualitative study was designed to examine the influences of language, culture, and power on teacher instructional decision-making with high-achieving African American students in advanced secondary English classrooms. The research questions were crafted to address how language, culture, and power influenced: (1) teachers' instructional planning when working with high-achieving African American students in the secondary English classrooms as they use literary and informational texts to support literacy development; (2) teachers' understanding of how language, culture, and power impact instructional decision-making when planning for literacy development with high-achieving African American students in advanced secondary English classrooms, and (3) teachers' understanding of how language, culture, and power influence learning and achievement for high-achieving African American students in advanced secondary English classrooms. The framework for this study was grounded in several intersectional theories related to; (a) schools as communities of practice (Wenger, 1998); (b) language as identity shaper and inseparable from culture (Delpit, 2002;Gee, 2005; Labov, 1972; Lee, 2007; Nieto, 2010; Smitherman, 1977; and Thornborrow, 1999); (c) culture as emergent due to human interaction (Carrithers, 1992); (d) power is a force in all relationships and interactions, which creates imbalances and determine the degree to which the language variations and cultures interact freely and equitably (Burbules, 1986; Freire, 1921/1970; Giroux, 1992; Nyberg, 1981; Shrigley, 1986); (e) race is a social construct and racism is normal infiltrating every aspect of US society including the education of marginalized groups (Delgado and Stefancic, 2012; Ford, 2010; Ladson-Billings, 1995); (f) secondary students acquire, develop, and engage with literacy differently from their elementary counterparts and require teachers to deepen their knowledge about the ways adolescents engage with texts (Alexander, 2003; Chall, 1983; Goldman and Snow, 2015; Idrisano and Chall, 1995; McConachie and Petrosky, 2009; Moje, 1996/2002; Piercy and Piercy, 2010; Schoenbach, Greenleaf, and Murphy, 2012; Shanahan and Shanahan, 2008). Participant interviews, lesson plans, and field notes generated data to address the research questions. Findings demonstrated language, culture, and power are intersectional and influence every aspect of the instructional decision-making process. This study provides insight into teacher's thinking about their planning and how the inquiry constructs influence that planning.
- Doctoral Dissertations