Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies ETDs

Publication Date



Teacher perceptions about diversity and the achievement gap were examined. Participants were alternative teacher licensure candidates at the student teaching phase of their preparation program. Two-hour individual, in-depth, and semi-structured interviews were conducted with each of the participants. Additionally, the participants participated in focus groups that engaged them in discourse about the achievement gap (definitions, contributing factors, and solutions). Finally, the participants submitted written statements related to diversity, multiculturalism and critically reflective practice. Critical discourse analysis of the interview/focus group transcripts and the participants written statements was conducted to identify the underlying ideologies of the participants. The study yielded three major findings. First, although one of the program's core values was critically reflective practice, critical reflection was approached from a technical or methods-focused construct versus critical reflection leading to critical consciousness. Second, the participants held hegemonic ideologies including meritocracy, individualism, and cultural deficit that may hinder their success with children of color. Finally, the participants' written and oral discourse revealed discursive strategies that detracted from issues of race. These discursive strategies are referred to by Irene Yoon (2012) as Whiteness-At-Work. The need for critical multicultural teacher education programs that effectively prepare counter-hegemonic teachers is highlighted through this study.'


Teacher ideology, achievement gap, hegemony, hegemonic ideology, critical multiculturalism, whiteness-at-work, critical reflection, critical multicultural teacher education

Document Type




Degree Name

Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

Earick, Mary

Second Committee Member

Gerstein, Jackie

Third Committee Member

Trinidad-Galvan, Ruth