Capstone/Dissertation Title

Teacher Cognitions in Relation to Pedagogical Practices and Transformative Learning for Purposes of Pre-service Teacher Education

Term

Spring 2-24-2015

Capstone

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Vivian Johnson

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Terrance Kwame-Ross

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Curtiss Paul DeYoung

Abstract

This study purpose is to explore the connection of teacher beliefs, knowledge about education, teaching, and learning in relation to classroom practice of university academics, who use transformative pedagogies to teach education courses on diversity, social justice and equity. The study is built on the assumption that teaching is a cultural construct (Hollins, 2011b). Second, the study is built on the assumption that human learning is a multi-dimensional and complex process mediated through culture and situated in a particular institutional setting (Wertsch et al., 1995).

The study attempts to accomplish this aim through an interpretive, qualitative evaluation of one, African-American university professor’s ideological beliefs and the socialization of these beliefs on education, human learning, knowledge and its relationship to teaching in his classroom. He is situated in a conservative, Protestant, liberal arts institution to prepare pre-service teachers to teach students from varying cultures and ethnicities that differ from their own.

To allow the discourse of power and privilege to go unchallenged and unshaped in teacher education programs for pre-service teachers will not support the learning of diverse and underserved students (Hollins, 2011b). The education process of preparing the next generation of pre-service teachers is complex. . . such complexity requires teacher educators to develop programs that will create habits of mind that replace the dominant social discourse of power and privilege in teacher learning. In addition, to change the social discourse, teacher education programs must focus on education research and practice in teacher preparation that explores all voices, not just the dominant voices of research on teacher education, even if it means examining hard questions about one’s own personal perspective on these issues.

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