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Emerging Research Question

bmontaque's picture

For this upcoming research paper, I have two ideas that I am considering talking about.

My first idea would be to continue to tak about the idea of teachers being seen as the "white savior" can impact classroom dynamics. During my time in SLA, I noticed that the dynamics between studnets of color and their white or non-white teachers were very different. Through some of my observations, I noticed that the white teachers at times tried to be more catious about their actions and there words being that at times their language and chocie of words caused little disputes amoung the teacher and the students.

My second idea is to explore how expectaions can vary amoungst teachers depending on the type of school that they are teaching in. This is something that I wondered about when I was asked to give feedback on a studnet presentation. I notice that I let my own bias' allow me to give a student a grade that was much better than the overall product of the work. I did this becuase based off of the schooling I recieved, it was much more rigious and advanced and I was not sure about how to grade this particular student being that the expecations of my praxis school were and are extremely different from that of my high school. this made me wonder how do teachers make that transition from teaching at extremely rigiorous and strict teaching envioromrnts to schools that are less rigioous and strict. What standards do you hold those students up to then? What challenges do those teachers face during that transition and do they feel equipped to handle that transition? What does that adjustment look like and what if that teacher realizes that his/her specific studnets may not be where it is that they need to be compared to their peers? What do those teachers do? I think this topic would be interesting to explore being that it is a challenge that some teachers face when going from one school to another and I wonder how do teachers deal with that especailly when the new school is very differnt in terms of teaching and expectations than what they are used to. 


jccohen's picture


Both of these are viable ideas for your final field paper.  The first seems to me more straightforward, in that it sounds like you've observed a number of interactions that would provide plenty of descriptive data for your paper.  You could use your description, perhaps with several key vignettes, as the basis for an exploration of dynamics between teachers and students as informed by race, among other factors.  We've used some readings that would offer context from the literature, and you might find another piece or two relevant to your findings.

Your second idea is also intriguing and seems to me a bit more complicated.  Here you might offer several vignettes from your placement site that show something about expectations, including your own experience giving feedback, as you note above.  I'm also thinking that the teacher panel offered some insight into the question about how teachers deal with these questions, including their own transitions.  In terms of perspectives from the literature, I think some of our readings may help, e.g. the Davis piece on high expectations in math classrooms, but you'll probably want to look further to see what you can find about how teachers deal with transition from a more to a less rigorous environment. 

I'm interested to see which direction you choose and where you go with it!