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Learning about racial equity in teacher practice: A mixed-methods study of white teacher candidate development

Parr, Alyssa (2020) Learning about racial equity in teacher practice: A mixed-methods study of white teacher candidate development. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Students experience lifelong benefits from having an effective teacher (Chetty et al., 2014), but white teachers are often unprepared to effectively support the learning of students of Color (Ladson-Billings, 2001; Lowenstein, 2009). This well-documented ineffective support for learning, and subsequent racial inequity in academic outcomes, likely originates from white teachers’ perceptual frameworks (i.e., cognitive processes, beliefs) that engender deficit-oriented teacher practices and undermine students of Color’s learning. Existing theory (e.g., Adams et al., 2008; Matias & Mackey, 2016) suggests these patterns of inequity can be disrupted through transformative activities that challenge teacher candidates to re-construct their perspectives on issues of race. In this study, I explored how teacher candidates learned about racial equity in teacher practice through transformative teacher education activities. Using a mixed-methods multiple case study design, I collected quantitative survey and behavioral assessments as well as qualitative records of meaning-making from a sample of five teacher candidates participating in a teacher certification program. Then, I employed qualitative coding of interview transcripts, quantitative descriptive statistics and visualization techniques, and mixed-methods evaluations of confirming, disconfirming, and complementary evidence to understand teacher candidates’ development in transformative activities. The findings offer a novel perspective on the developmental process that underlies how teacher candidates challenge perceptual frameworks and learn about equity in teacher practice during teacher education as well as inform robust targets for future intervention efforts to better prepare white teachers to effectively teach all students.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Parr, Alyssalyssa.parr@gmail.comakp410000-0001-8901-1483
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWallace,
Committee MemberCimpian,
Committee MemberCorrenti,
Committee MemberGalla,
Committee MemberKokka,
Committee MemberSobolak,
Date: 17 May 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 20 March 2020
Approval Date: 17 May 2020
Submission Date: 11 April 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 299
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Psychology in Education
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Critical whiteness studies, Racial equity, Sociocultural psychology, Teacher development, Teacher education
Date Deposited: 17 May 2020 17:30
Last Modified: 17 May 2020 17:30


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