Teaching for Human Connection: Relationships, Race, and the Training of Teachers
THEISEN-HOMER-DISSERTATION-2018.pdf (1.589Mb)(embargoed until: 2022-11-01)
Theisen-Homer, Victoria Marie
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CitationTheisen-Homer, Victoria Marie. 2018. Teaching for Human Connection: Relationships, Race, and the Training of Teachers. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
AbstractWhile theorists, educators, and researchers have identified the importance of meaningful teacher-student relationships, there is little research out there that explores what teachers need to do to form such relationships, or how teacher education programs are attempting to prepare teachers to do so (Grossman & McDonald, 2008). In this study, I employ ethnographic methods, particularly portraiture (Lawrence-Lightfoot & Davis, 1997), to explore how two different teacher residency programs – No Excuses Teacher Residency (NETR) and Progressive Teacher Residency (PTR) – attempt to prepare their teacher residents to form meaningful relationships with students, especially across cultural differences, and how residents make sense of these practices in the program and beginning practice. Contrary to what might be expected, I find that NETR intentionally and repeatedly addresses teacher-student relationships, but in a way that is consistent with how they approach other aspects of teaching: NETR views relationships as instrumental to student achievement and attempts to teach residents how to manufacture these with the use of discrete moves. More consistent with what is known of progressive schools, PTR centralizes teacher-student relationships, viewing them as fundamental to education, and approaches their growth holistically, in part by immersing residents in the nurturing school that spawned PTR. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages. Moreover, the two programs each hold a different social justice vision and offer differing approaches to coursework on race, but this is limited by social forces like colorblind racism and white fragility. Ultimately, both programs leave visible imprints on the beginning relational practice of their graduates, but school factors reinforce or undermine teachers’ willingness/ability to implement lessons from their training program. Moreover, the way teachers learn to understand and form relationships in each program has powerful implications for the different populations of students they will serve.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37366145