Capstone/Dissertation Title

One teacher's intention to journey beyond the barriers of race and social class one conference at a time

Term

2005

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAEd

Abstract

I. Overview of Topic: I have been working with a diverse population since I began teaching. Three years ago, I have a particularly challenging student in all aspects of school. He motivated me to find new ways to meet his social and academic needs at school and each year, I have a group of students with similar needs. These students are what motivated me to start this research process in order to meet the needs ofÊeach child in my classroom. II. Key Influences in Framing of Study: One of the experts in the field that was very helpful was Ruby Payne. Her book not only gave a clear understanding to the reader that poverty deals with a lot more than how much money one has, but also focuses on the support systems and various resources a child may have available to them. Another book that I found helpful was by Samuel Casey Carter. He looked into schools with high levels of poverty that were finding ways to meet the students' needs and be successful as a school. This book gave me ideas of how to work with the students in my classroom. A third expert was Linda Crawford who is skilled in Responsive Classroom approaches, which focus on social growth and community building in the classroom. This book was helpful for helping create an environment where all students feel safe and successful so that learning can take place. III. Method of Study: There were three main components that guided my research and implementation. The first was relationship building in order to create a classroom community. The second component included four academic strategies. The first was the implementation of an Academic Coach (mentor) for small group reading, second was one-on-one teacher to student reading time for science and social studies content, third was using interactive writing journals, and finally, there was partner spelling study time. I worked with all my students, but focused my study on the students of poverty in my classroom. My materials were my everyday teaching materials, and student materials, such as books and notebooks. IV. Results, Findings, or Outcomes: This research showed a significant increase in student test scores in science, social studies, and spelling due to the one-on-one teacher-student time and the spelling study time with partners. The research showed the importance of community building in the classroom in building a safe, successful environment for all students. This research showed overall growth in students involved in this study, showing that no matter the background of the student, they can be successful in the classroom setting.

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