Characteristics of Teachers Who Are Consistently Succwssful With Economically Disadvantaged Students. A Qualitative Study About Fourth and Fifth Grade Teachers Who Are Successful With Economically Disadvantaged Students.

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Title: Characteristics of Teachers Who Are Consistently Succwssful With Economically Disadvantaged Students. A Qualitative Study About Fourth and Fifth Grade Teachers Who Are Successful With Economically Disadvantaged Students.
Author: Spivey, Donna Susan
Advisors: Dr. Paul Bitting, Committee Chair
Abstract: The purpose of the research was to identify personal and professional strategies in fourth and fifth grade teachers who are continuously successful with economically disadvantaged students. This qualitative study involved two fourth and two fifth grade teachers. An initial and a follow-up interview were conducted with each teacher participant. In addition, two classroom observations were completed recording the data on observation charts, scripting, and field notes. Participants' lesson plans, continuous dialogue through email and before and after each observation, as well as classroom photographs were also examined to support data triangulation. Their principals were also asked why they thought these teachers had been successful with this student population. Data analysis revealed that these four teachers used similar personal and instructional strategies in their classrooms. In addition, data revealed that common personal characteristics of these teachers coupled with their philosophies, enhanced their abilities to make personal connections with students, which all four teachers felt to be most important to their academic and school success with economically disadvantaged students. Without the personal connections and understanding of individual students' needs and experiences, the teachers would not have known how to help them make connections with their instruction and academic content. Students' personal needs also had to be addressed in such a way as to enhance self-esteem and provide material resources for participation in daily activities, and special activities such as field trips. All four teachers emphasized the importance of providing experiences for students to build a general knowledge base and expressive vocabulary from which students could draw to make successful academic and social connections and have a deeper understanding of their newly gained knowledge. Listening to these teachers' voices and observing them with their students has revealed information that can be useful for teachers and administrators who work with economically disadvantaged students. The implication of this study is that the personal and instructional characteristics identified in these four teachers can enhance not only teacher and administrator knowledge of how to successfully educate this student population, but also increase the number of educators being consistently successful with disadvantaged children.
Date: 2006-08-18
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Educational Administration and Supervision
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/4495


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