A case study of Texas regional education service center multicultural/diversity trainers' perception of teacher resistance and structural barriers to multicultural education

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Title: A case study of Texas regional education service center multicultural/diversity trainers' perception of teacher resistance and structural barriers to multicultural education
Author: Ibrahim, Eronif
Abstract: This qualitative case study of eight veteran Texas Regional Education Service Center Multicultural /Diversity Trainers examined their perceptions of structural barriers and teacher resistance to a voluntary program of Multicultural /Diversity Training (MDT ) . It also explored how they made sense of their roles in light of their social locations . Data were collected through in -depth semi -structured interviews of the trainers , observations of MDT sessions , and examination of relevant documents . Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method . Three themes associated with structural barriers emerged : contextual factors , lack of administrative support , and the Texas system of accountability , particularly high stakes testing . The contextual factors were differences in regional cultures , the autonomy of the Education Service Centers , and the voluntary nature of MDT . Lack of administrative support for MDT is crucial because teachers often take administrative response to school reform as their cue for action or inaction . In Texas , high stakes testing exerts influence at every educational level , particularly on teachers in relation to curriculum , instruction , student placement and professional development choices . Teacher resistance to MDT occurred in the training sessions and in the classroom setting . During the training sessions teachers resisted MDT because it challenged deeply held beliefs and encouraged self -examination , personal disclosure , and discussions of race /ethnicity and culture . Resistance in the educational setting was manifested in maintenance of a Eurocentric perspective , and in school practices such as negative attitudes toward multicultural education and MDT , placement of students of color in special education and lower tracks , and negative attitudes toward all people of color . Ultimately , trainers suggest that they are enmeshed in a system that seeks to maintain the status quo , and that too many teachers have low expectations for students who are different from themselves and conform to a deficit model when dealing with those students .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -2489
Date: 2009-05-15

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A case study of Texas regional education service center multicultural/diversity trainers' perception of teacher resistance and structural barriers to multicultural education. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -2489 .

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