Being and Living in Research: A Discussion on Cultural Experience and Cultural Identity as Referents in Knowledge Production

By Berry, Theodorea Regina | Journal of Thought, Spring 2005 | Go to article overview

Being and Living in Research: A Discussion on Cultural Experience and Cultural Identity as Referents in Knowledge Production


Berry, Theodorea Regina, Journal of Thought


The Research

As we begin to journey through this new 21st century, schools, colleges, and departments of education (SCDEs) are endeavoring to meet the challenge of preparing (future) teachers to be responsive to the educational needs of their students. This is especially true in relationship to the education of students of diverse backgrounds (Ladson-Billings 2001; 1999; 1994) in urban educational settings. Education for diversity has become an important consideration in curriculum and pedagogy for colleges/universities, state boards of education, school districts, and agencies including NCATE. This is further complicated by the fact that the majority of students entering the teaching profession are White and female.

   The prospective teacher population is ... predominantly white. The
   enrollment of schools, colleges, and departments of education
   (SCDEs) in the late 1990s was about 495,000. Of these, 86 percent
   were white; about 7 percent were African American; about 3 percent
   were Latino. The number of Asian-Pacific Islander and American
   Indian-Alaskan Native students enrolled in SCDEs is negligible.
   (Ladson-Billings 2001, p. 4)

In 2000, 108,168 students earned degrees in education (National Center of Educational Statistics). Of these, 82,044 were women, 69,894 were White women and 21,922 were White men. These numbers are staggering next to the increasing numbers of non-White students in America's public schools. Just these numbers indicate a potential cultural gap between most teachers and their students. Do these White teachers' cultural experiences lend themselves not only to teach but also reach their diverse student populations? If not, are we, as teacher-educators, preparing our mostly White teaching force to teach diverse student populations?

As a teacher-educator preparing my students, including/especially White students, to teach diverse student populations, first, I have to gain access to and create understandings of the cultural experiences of our teacher education students. The understandings of these cultural experiences will, at minimum, give me a glimpse of my students' cultural identities; "white Americans also have a cultural identity" (Robinson 1999, p. 88). I propose to accomplish this through the use of educational autobiographies, students' stories of schooling experiences. Autobiography in the classroom is not a new phenomenon (Graham 1991; Knowles & Holt-Reynolds 1994; Miller 1998; Schubert & Ayers 1992). Researchers have incorporated autobiographies for various reasons toward the goal of education. "Narrative has the power not just to change the teller-writer but to affect the listener-reader as well" (Garrod, Ward, Robinson, Kilkenny 1999, p. xv).

Secondly, I propose to incorporate educational autobiographies through the praxis of engaged pedagogy (hooks 1994). In this way, I, as teacher-educator/ researcher, can model a praxis that may demonstrate some level of understandings of my students' cultural experiences toward the goal of teacher education. Subsequently, I endeavor to create intersections within teacher preparation, teaching practice and autobiography with critical reflection as the tool by which intersections may occur. In this way, I intend to model a praxis my students' deem worthy of emulation and that I, as teacher-educator/researcher, can examine in an attempt to address two questions in this ongoing research: (1) What happens to my practice, as teacher-educator, when I incorporate the educational autobiographies of prospective teachers planning to teach African American students in an urban area into the classroom experience and (2) how, if at all, does exposure to the use of educational autobiography in engaged pedagogy affect students' subsequent teaching practice?

Two principal subjects will be the focus of this study: the teacher-educator/ researcher and her students. To date, several issues/topics have surfaced from the data: relationship (building) between teacher and student, stories as tool for teaching, teacher's critical reflection, literature for teaching diversity, social studies for teaching diversity, co-teaching and collaboration, alternative feedback for teaching, alternative versus/and traditional evaluation for teaching, cultural identity, and cultural experience. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Being and Living in Research: A Discussion on Cultural Experience and Cultural Identity as Referents in Knowledge Production
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.