Date of Award

Summer 8-13-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Middle-Secondary Education and Instructional Technology

First Advisor

Laurie Brantley-Dias

Second Advisor

Joyce King

Third Advisor

Wanjira Kinuthia

Fourth Advisor

Brian Williams

Abstract

The purpose of this case study was to investigate the empowering instructional practices of three technology-using teachers in an elementary school populated by low-income African American students. The participants, from Ladson ES, had been teaching a variety of grade levels and had between six and ten years of experience. Over the course of six months the researcher collected data including field observations, interviews, and artifact reviews, such as lesson plans and student assignments. Portions of frameworks of multicultural education, empowering education, and culturally relevant pedagogy were linked to examine and document the teachers’ instructional strategies and technology use as it related to empowerment education. Analysis occurred through an iterative process where data was coded and recoded until saturation was reached and themes emerged. Findings from this study indicated that teachers used technology and empowerment as a way to provide exposure, increase self-esteem, and prepare students for their futures. Through a variety of software tools and instructional practices, including cooperative groups, classroom roles, and student discussions students engaged in the learning process and teachers created an environment that was pleasant for student learning and engagement. Students were empowered in a variety of ways: through the use of videos to expose them to different cultures, building of confidence, and use of cooperative groups to help them learn how to work together. The results of this study indicate that teachers would benefit from training on how to integrate technology with multicultural education and how to further instruct for empowerment especially in elementary school classrooms. Additionally, the results also point out the need for more empowerment in classrooms for both teachers and students.

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