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Awenowicz, Melissa A. (2009) THE INFLUENCE OF BELIEFS AND CULTURAL MODELS ON TEACHER CANDIDATES' PROFESSIONAL IDENTITIES AND PRACTICES. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study contributes to the existing literature in teacher education on the relationship between what are commonly referred to as beliefs with the theoretical framework of cultural models (D'Andrade, 1992; Gee, 1996, 1999, 2004; Holland, 1975, 1999; Holland and Quinn, 1987; Shore, 1996), offering a richer understanding of how beliefs and cultural models impact teaching candidates' abilities to learn to teach. More specifically, this study examines how teacher candidates' beliefs and cultural models about schooling, teaching, and learning affect their capacity to learn and grow as educators through a teacher education program and how they develop professional identities as they are confronted with concepts and ideas that may not align with their cultural models about teaching. Additionally, this study examines how candidates negotiate the tensions that exist when beliefs and cultural models are confronted or challenged within the contexts of the teacher education program.In conducting this study, attitude and belief inventories were taken across time and context, teaching and course artifacts were analyzed, teaching tapes were evaluated, and university and school site influences unpacked. Together these data strands helped to determine the ways in which cultural models were constructed and revised through a teacher education program. This study triangulated these various data strands to compile a holistic view of the relevance, influence, and significance of the different aspects of a program's components in influencing a candidate's beliefs, cultural models, and emergent professional identities. Critical discourse analysis was the theoretical framework used for this study, using cultural models and beliefs as the unit of analysis, allowing for the analysis of competing ideologies regarding teaching and learning and connecting to the issues examined in this study, particularly how identity shifts and is constructed through participation in socially situated communities and practices. CDA provided a framework for exploring how the different experiences and aspects of the program contributed to the development of identity through competing and expanding cultural models.The findings of this study recommend ways teacher education programs can more directly and effectively impact candidate learning to create optimum experiences, necessary to stimulate and use the tensions between beliefs, practices, and contexts.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Awenowicz, Melissa
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairThein, Amandaathein@pitt.eduATHEIN
Committee MemberLesgold, Alanal@pitt.eduAL
Committee MemberPetrosky,
Committee MemberMiller,
Date: 4 September 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 15 June 2009
Approval Date: 4 September 2009
Submission Date: 3 August 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: cultural models; teaching practices; pre-service teacher training; teacher beliefs; English Education
Other ID:, etd-08032009-134214
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:56
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:48


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