From marginalization to relational space: A descriptive phenomenological study of teachers who changed their assumptions and beliefs about problematic students
Little attention has been paid to the issue of educational equity at the micro level—the teacher-student interaction. Every year, children experience marginalization by their teachers, simply because this year's teachers have defined them as problems and withdrawn the attention necessary for success.
The purpose of this study was to describe the experiences of teachers who reported a change in their thinking about a student initially perceived as problematic. The change took place when the teachers experienced the Let Me Learn Process®, an advanced learning system that provides an inward look at a learner's internalized learning behaviors, an outward analysis of a learner's actions, and a vocabulary for communicating these specific learning processes. Nine elementary teachers of varying ages, grades, and locations provided descriptions of their experiences regarding changes in thinking about problematic students in open, in-depth interviews. The data were analyzed using a conceptual model based on components of teacher thinking found in the literature with attention to emergent themes.
The central emergent finding was the importance of teachers “understanding” of their students and themselves as learners. Teachers' development of successful teaching-learning relationships occurred after they reconceptualized themselves and their students as equal, active participants in the teaching-learning relationship. This change was an outcome of working with their students to understand themselves and each other using a shared conceptual framework for learning.
0530: Teacher education