Epistemological antecedents to culturally relevant and constructivist classroom curricula: A longitudinal study of teachers' contrasting world views
TATE Volume 12, Number 4 ISSN 0742-051X Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
This study explored how teachers' prior experiences, beliefs about knowledge, and schooling contexts collectively influenced their ability to implement classroom curricula that were culturally relevant to their students and that were constructivist in orientation. Using a case study design, this paper presents a 4-year longitudinal study of Dan, a second-career teacher who entered teaching after being a field scientist for an international corporation for 6 years, and Amy, who became an English teacher after being a floral designer for 10 years. Using the theoretical perspective of world view as described by Shuell (1992) [Teaching and Teacher Education, 8(1), 83–90] and Cobern (1993) [The practice of constructivism in science education, Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science], I explored the professional development of Dan and Amy, who differed in their world views. Specifically, I examined how their world views gave shape to their classroom learning environments, including their classroom curricula and their interactions with students during their initial years of becoming teachers. Multiple sources of data were gathered throughout the 4 year study from formal and informal interviews, observations of classroom teaching, stimulated recall interviews, and biographical interviews. Using the constant comparative method of data analysis, salient themes emerged from the data, including beliefs about teaching content knowledge, beliefs about learners, and influences on classroom curriculum. Implications for creating constructivist and culturally relevant classroom curricula are discussed.
Powell, R.R. Epistemological antecedents to culturally relevant and constructivist classroom curricula: A longitudinal study of teachers' contrasting world views. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 12(4), 365-384. Elsevier Ltd.