Exploring the spaces of culturally relevant pedagogy: the discursive (trans)formation of the pedagogical practices of two teachers of English language learners
Th e U n i v e r s i t y o f U t a h G r a d u a t e S c h o o l STATEMENT OF DISSERTATION APPROVAL The dissertation of Heeok Jeong has been approved by the following supervisory committee members: Thomas N. Huckin , Chair ABSTRACT This discourse-oriented ethnographic case study, using constant comparison, critical discourse analysis (CDA) and cultural-historical-activity theory (CHAT) within a Foucauldian framework, investigates how the pedagogical practices of 2 teachers of English learners
... English learners were (trans)formed over the course of 1½ academic years, and how their (trans)formation created spaces for culturally relevant pedagogy, and how those spaces promoted the literacy development of English learners. This study showed that one White female teacher with a strong passion for English learners and with the discursive subject position as an immigrant in society, when she was afforded the opportunity to connect her pedagogical practices with the wider community practices, (trans)formed her pedagogical practices and moved from a hybrid/borderland pedagogy into culturally relevant pedagogy, allowing her English learners to participate in shared production of knowledge in Third Space. However, another White female teacher, who never experienced a lower discursive subject position in society, and who did not have opportunities for self-disrupting meaning-making processes concerning how to educate English learners, embodied and enunciated the teacher-scripted individual/technical discourses and practices circulating in teacher education, professional development, school and curriculum. This study illuminates how teachers can become transformative intellectuals who empower English learners by creating expansive collective activity learning cycles that iv include members of the whole community, connecting in-school literacy with out-ofschool literacies. Implications are that (a) the enactment of culturally relevant pedagogy is not the inevitable result of an individual teacher's desire or passion for the education of ELLs, but it is, rather, associated with the situation of teachers within networks of power relations and sociocultural discursive contexts that promote culturally relevant pedagogy; (b) teachers and teacher educators need to be educated about the inevitable impact of sociocultural context on the education of ELLs and about the importance of ideological and political clarity; and (c) funding is urgently needed for educating teachers of English learners about the funds of knowledge approach to education and for the recruitment of teachers from linguistically, culturally, economically marginalized groups, along with funding for English learner students' resources and materials.