Capstone/Dissertation Title

Researching the Effectiveness of Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity in Building Background as a Literacy Instruction Strategy

Term

Spring 2-8-2015

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Feride Erku

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Deirdre Kramer

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Deborah Lauer

Abstract

This study seeks to determine if participation in the staff development program Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) helps teachers identify differences in English learner’s backgrounds that can be attributed to cultural factors. Key influences included the researcher’s past and present professional experiences and SEED training. SEED participants and non-participants in two school districts were given a survey to measure a teacher’s ability to identify potential background knowledge gaps in real-world scenarios and in reading passages that English learners may encounter in the classroom. Survey results were evaluated using statistical analysis. Findings of this study suggest that nonSEED participants were more likely to correctly identify background knowledge gaps than SEED participants. It was also found that age or teacher experience may be better indicators of a teacher’s ability to identify differences in English learner background knowledge.

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