Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2021

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Middle Grades Education

Department

Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Ann Bennett

First Committee Member

Dr. Anete Vasquez

Second Committee Member

Dr. Nihal Khote

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to collect the lived experiences of English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teachers to amplify the voices of the teachers regarding their needs in teaching multicultural students. This study sought to increase awareness regarding pedagogical approaches in teaching multicultural students, as well as to provide a description of teacher perceptions and experiences about teaching immigrant students. The problem identified in this study, as well as the gap in the existing research literature, is that teachers are not adequately prepared to teach students who immigrate to the United States from other countries. The research methodology was grounded in a qualitative methodology and a narrative research design. Through lived experiences and storytelling, this study explored teacher perceptions and experiences of educating immigrant students. The participants of the study included six teachers that were interviewed, participated in a focus group, and completed journal prompts. The location of the research site was in the state of Georgia. Critical Race Theory was explored in terms of its application to current educational contexts. Three of the tenets of Critical Race Theory were applicable and relevant to this study: understanding the centrality of racism, interest convergence, and centrality of experience. Additionally, five central themes were outlined as a result of the data collected: Instructional Curriculum & Resources, Instructional Time, Instructional Challenges, Teaching Experience & Preparation, and Life Experience. Teachers highlighted issues with the provided instructional curriculum, access to resources, and having inadequate instructional time to teach and re-teach lessons to students. Additional instructional challenges were presented based on levels of preparation to instruct multilingual learners. All of these experiences, including both the personal and professional, framed pedagogical approaches in the multicultural classroom.

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