Subscribe Today
Home Articles Reader Opinion Editorial Book Reviews Discussion Writers Guide About TCRecord
transparent 13

Learning to Attend to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners Through Teacher Inquiry in Teacher Education

by Steven Z. Athanases, Juliet Michelsen Wahleithner & Lisa H. Bennett - 2012

Background/Context: Learning to meet students’ needs challenges new teachers often focused on procedures, management, materials, and curriculum. To avoid this development pattern, student teachers (STs) need opportunities to concentrate especially on needs of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students. Teacher inquiry (TI) holds promise as one such opportunity.

Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: We sought to understand how STs in a teacher credential program with a history of attention to diverse learners were learning about their CLD students through TI.

Research Design: We examined data collected from 80 STs over a 6-year period, including 80 TIs; STs’ data analysis field memos; questionnaires with reflections on TI processes and products; and taped ST peer discussions and conferences with instructor. Data also documented TI instruction, classroom culture, and opportunities to develop learning related to conducting TI. Drawing on research and theory, we developed, tested, and used a rubric of 17 indicators of attention to CLD learners as a means to examine the range of ways and the extent to which STs attended to CLD students through TI.

Findings/Results: STs took actions of various kinds to learn about diverse students: researching contexts and histories; examining student work and performance at full-class, subgroup, and individual levels; and asking and listening beneath the surface to students’ reasoning, attitudes, beliefs, and concerns about school learning and other issues. Various assessment and inquiry tools supported the process, helping STs develop data literacy to attend to CLD learners. However, TI elements were used to varying degrees, in various ways, and with varying levels of success. Two cases illustrate the range of TI tools that STs used to learn about their CLD learners, to generate data and evidence about learning, and to act in ways responsive to what they learned about students.

Conclusions/Recommendations: Those interested in studying multiple STs’ inquiries for attention to CLD learners may need to develop frames and analytic methods to examine a corpus of cases. This study was grounded in an assumption that such crosscutting analyses accumulate knowledge to disseminate to larger audiences, challenging conceptions that values of TI are purely local, serving only those directly involved.

To view the full-text for this article you must be signed-in with the appropriate membership. Please review your options below:

Store a cookie on my computer that will allow me to skip this sign-in in the future.
Send me my password -- I can't remember it
Purchase this Article
Purchase Learning to Attend to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners Through Teacher Inquiry in Teacher Education
Individual-Resource passes allow you to purchase access to resources one resource at a time. There are no recurring fees.
Become a Member
Online Access
With this membership you receive online access to all of TCRecord's content. The introductory rate of $25 is available for a limited time.
Print and Online Access
With this membership you receive the print journal and free online access to all of TCRecord's content.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 114 Number 7, 2012, p. 1-50
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 16470, Date Accessed: 9/18/2021 10:23:57 AM

Purchase Reprint Rights for this article or review
Article Tools

Related Media

Related Articles

Related Discussion
Post a Comment | Read All

About the Author
  • Steven Athanases
    University of California, Davis
    E-mail Author
    STEVEN ATHANASES is professor in the School of Education at the University of California, Davis. He studies diversity and equity in the teaching and learning of English and in teacher education and development. Recent publications include “Advocacy for Equity in Classrooms and Beyond: New Teachers’ Challenges and Responses” with L. C. de Oliveira (Teachers College Record) and Mentors in the Making: Developing New Leaders for New Teachers, coedited with B. Achinstein (Teachers College Press). He has received awards for distinguished research from the Association of Teacher Educators and the National Council of Teachers of English.
  • Juliet Wahleithner
    University of California, Davis
    E-mail Author
    JULIET MICHELSEN WAHLEITHNER is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Education at the University of California, Davis. Drawing from her experience as a high school English language arts teacher and a teacher consultant with a regional site of the National Writing Project, her dissertation research examines how high school English language arts teachers use their knowledge of writing instruction to negotiate the diverse writing needs of their students and the pressures of high-stakes accountability.
  • Lisa Bennett
    University of California, Davis
    LISA H. BENNETT is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Education at the University of California, Davis. She currently teaches reading methods and academic literacy courses at California State University, Fresno. Her research interests include inquiry in teacher education, academic literacy, and early literacy instruction. Her dissertation focuses on how an inquiry stance is shaped and mediated by teachers’ practices over time.
Member Center
In Print
This Month's Issue