DEVELOPING BELIEFS AND CHALLENGING ASSUMPTIONS: A CASE STUDY OF A BEGINNING TEACHER’S UNDERSTANDING OF PARENT ENGAGEMENT
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Using a single case study methodology, the purpose of this research was to investigate how school culture, induction programs, and a beginning teacher’s prior beliefs and experiences influenced a beginning teacher’s understanding of parent engagement. Literature was reviewed pertaining to teacher induction, teacher interactions with parents, the effects of culture on beliefs, and the importance of an individual’s prior beliefs on future beliefs. The data for this study was obtained from three semi-structured interviews with a beginning teacher, single semi-structured interviews with the school’s principal, vice principal, and an experienced teacher, reflections from cultures walks performed by the experienced teacher and the researcher, and document scans of division and school records. It was found that the most important experiences that influenced the beginning teacher’s thinking about parents were her involvement in an undergraduate class focused on community and parent engagement, and her own experiences growing up with her parents. Other findings revealed that the beginning teacher needed further assistance in creating meaningful relationships with parents, the school culture had a limiting effect on the beginning teacher’s growth, and that the weakest influences on the beginning teacher’s understanding of parent engagement could be attributed to her inductions program. Implications include recommendations that beginning teachers have experience with parents off the school landscape, have access to professionals who successfully create parent-teacher relationships, and have taken a course focused on parent engagement during their undergraduate work. As well, a recommendation that school-based administrators receive parent engagement training is proposed. It is suggested that further research be done to understand the interplay between a beginning teacher’s prior beliefs about parent engagement and different school cultures and induction programs.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
CommitteePushor, Debbie; Cottrell, Michael; Wason-Ellam, Linda; Carr-Stewart, Sheila; Burgess, David
Copyright DateMarch 2015