Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

Preparing preservice teachers for culturally responsive classroom management

How can preservice teachers be prepared for culturally responsive classroom management?

Duration
2016  -   2020
Contact
Brigitte Theeuwes

Researchers

  • Prof. Dr. W.F. Admiraal - supervisor
  • Prof. Dr. E.J.P.G. Denessen – supervisor
  • Dr. N. Saab – co-supervisor

Project description

Future teachers, in particular those who will teach at urban schools, will probably be faced with students who have highly diverse ethnic-cultural, religious, socio-economic and linguistic backgrounds. In order to create a positive and respectful socio-emotional classroom climate in such a culturally diverse classroom, teachers have to take into account students’ cultural frames of reference besides responding appropriately to their social, emotional and cognitive needs. This way of effectively managing students in culturally diverse classrooms is defined as culturally responsive classroom management. However, preservice teachers feel underprepared for this challenging task.

According to cognitive theory and the theory of reasoned action, an important prerequisite for performing culturally responsive classroom management is the willingness to practice it. In pursuit of this claim, it seems reasonable to expect that teacher education programs should focus on the development of positive attitudes and self-efficacy beliefs toward culturally responsive classroom management. We might expect that this could encourage preservice teachers to practice culturally responsive classroom management. Yet, this requires a clear look at what culturally responsive classroom management means in a Dutch context, particularly in secondary schools.

The first study of this project aims to gain insight in the construct of culturally responsive classroom management in a Dutch secondary school context from a teacher and student perspective. Therefore interviews with individual in-service teachers and student focus groups from culturally diverse secondary schools were conducted. The research questions are:

  1. What do in-service teachers from secondary culturally diverse schools understand with a positive socio-emotional classroom climate? 
  2. Which problems do in-service teachers from secondary culturally diverse schools encounter related to the creation of a positive socio-emotional classroom climate?
  3. Which examples of culturally responsive classroom management strategies do in-service teachers from secondary culturally diverse schools give related to the creation of a positive socio-emotional classroom climate?
  4. What do students from secondary culturally diverse schools like about their teachers, related to a positive socio-emotional classroom climate?

The goal of the second study is to examine preservice teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs, attitudes and intentions toward culturally responsive classroom management in the context of university teacher education programs. For this study a vignette-questionnaire will be constructed based on the results from the first study.

In a third study preservice teachers’ attitudes, self-efficacy beliefs and intentions toward culturally responsive teaching will be examined in relation to their culturally responsive classroom management practices. Students’ perspectives will also be taken into account.

The fourth study will combine results of the previous studies into an intervention for preservice teachers regarding the enhancement of their intentions toward culturally responsive classroom and their culturally responsive classroom management practices. The extent that this intervention affects preservice teachers’ intentions and practices will be examined.