Junior high school teachers and the meaning perspectives they hold regarding their Mexican American students: an ethnographic case study

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Title: Junior high school teachers and the meaning perspectives they hold regarding their Mexican American students: an ethnographic case study
Author: Herrera, Socorro Guadalupe
Abstract: The major findings of this case study emerged from the qualitative research question : What meaning perspectives are indicated by teachers' discourse regarding their day -to -day interactions with their Mexican American junior high school students ? These findings surround five meaning perspectives teachers hold in these daily interactions with these students . Two of these meaning perspectives are epistemic , one is psychological , and two are sociocultural . According to transformation theory , which served as the substantive theoretical framework for the study , a meaning perspective functions as a structure of assumptions and a belief system through which we interpret and evaluate experience . The two epistemic meaning perspectives identified in this study involve the ways in which teachers come to know what they know and the uses they make of that knowledge . These two epistemic meaning perspectives , reification and reductionistic prescriptivism were identified according to five different meaning schemes indicated in teachers discourse . A psychological meaning perspective of colorblind nonaccommodative denial was also indicated by teachers discourse in this case study . Psychological meaning perspectives involve the influences of such phenomena as self -concept , locus of control , and defense mechanisms . Additionally , two sociocultural meaning perspectives were identified . These sociocultural meaning perspectives are best described as ideologies ; specifically the ideology of the benevolent autocrat and the ideology of the manana conflict . According to the transformation theoretical conceptualization of the term , distorted (that is based on or in limited , contradictory , and /or impermeable premises ) , four of the five (two epistemic and two sociocultural ) meaning perspectives identified in this study are distorted . Therefore , these findings indicate that teachers' relationships with their Mexican American students are subject to interpretations which may be personally constraining and interactively self -defeating . That their students suffered the culture clash of the consequent interpretations is evident in teachers' own discourse . That teachers suffered as well is evident in the frustration and perpetual negativity notable in the same discourse . These findings point to the need for preservice education and inservice teacher education , grounded in critical reflection on premises and assumptions in prior learning and socialization , especially for those mostly White , monocultural educators who teach in cross -cultural learning environments .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /16695
Date: 1995-12

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Junior high school teachers and the meaning perspectives they hold regarding their Mexican American students: an ethnographic case study. Doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /16695 .

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