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O'Brien, Jason L.
High school social studies teachers' attitudes towards the inclusion of ELL students in mainstream classes
h [electronic resource] /
by Jason L. O'Brien.
[Tampa, Fla.] :
b University of South Florida,
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2007.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic dissertation) in PDF format.
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes of high school social studies teachers who had English Language Learners (ELL) mainstreamed in their social studies classes. In the school district in which the study took place, approximately 70% (n=240) of the high school social studies teachers had ELL students in their classrooms. For the quantitative portion of the survey, 344 surveys were given to each social studies department chairperson in the county to be completed by all the teachers who currently had ELL students in their social studies classroom. For the qualitative portion of the study, eight high school social studies teachers were interviewed as to their attitudes towards mainstreaming ELL students. Both the survey and interview instruments were developed by Reeves (2002) when she measured teacher attitudes towards mainstreaming ELL students. While a majority of teachers appreciated the cultural diversity which ELL students brought to the classroom, more than three-fourths of the teachers reported that they would prefer ELL students not being in their social studies classrooms until they have reached a minimum level of English proficiency. While a broad spectrum of attitudes were reported towards support teachers received, many survey and interview participants did not feel that the training offered in university coursework or from the school district was particularly beneficial in preparing them to teach ELL students. A clear majority of teachers reported time for both planning and instructional delivery as major obstacles when ELL students are mainstreamed in content area classes. Finally, a majority of teachers (66%) supported making English the official language in the United States. Recommendations for future research and for future policy makers were reported in the final section of the study.
Advisor: J. Howard Johnston, Ph.D.
x Secondary Education
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
High School Social Studies Teachers' Attitu des Towards the Inclusion of ELL Students in Mainstream Classes by Jason L. OBrien A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Secondary Education College of Education University of South Florida Co-Major Professor: J. Howard Johnston, Ph.D. Co-Major Professor: Brbara Cruz, Ed.D. Tony Erben, Ph.D. Toms Rodrguez, Ph.D. Date of Approval: May 21, 2007 Keywords: ESOL, ESL, subj ect area, perceptions, LEP Copyright 2007, Jason L. OBrien
Dedication This study is dedicated to my soul ma te Lorie O'Brien. Without her support and encouragement, it would not have been possibl e. It is also dedicat ed to Connor, Pierce, Moo, Dookie, and Finn. They were forced to spend many weekends and evenings without their dad around while he was finishing his di ssertation. Lastly, it is dedicated to Marins Rivas, for opening my eyes to the popul ation of ELL students in our classrooms.
Acknowledgements I would like to thank Brbara Cruz fo r helping me through this long, arduous journey. She is my mentor, my friend, and my hero. She is the teacher that I will always strive to be. She gives generously of her mo st precious commodity, her time, while at the same time expecting nothing in return. I would also like to thank Howard J ohnston for his suggestions and comments which greatly improved this study. I also woul d like to thank members of my family for supporting and believing in me, while I comple ted this difficult task. My mom deserves special thanks for instilling in me a work ethic which allowed me to finish this manuscript and has served me well throughout my life. Rory and Kathy have offered encouragement and support and have always let it be known how proud they are of my accomplishments. Finally, I would like to thank Beth Putn am for teaching me that writing is not something you simply do, rather it is a difficu lt and time-consuming practice that requires much revision (even when you're writing one paragraph). Last, to all my students at TC durin g the 2006-2007 school year, I thank you for your patience and understanding as the stress and pressure grew.
i Table of Contents Chapter One: Introduction...................................................................................................1 Statement of the Problem.........................................................................................1 Theoretical Framework............................................................................................4 Purpose of the Study................................................................................................7 Research Questions................................................................................................12 Assumptions...........................................................................................................13 Threats to External/Internal Validity.....................................................................14 Definition of Terms................................................................................................16 Chapter Two: Review of the Literature.............................................................................18 Introduction............................................................................................................18 ELL Populations Across the U.S...........................................................................20 Programs Available for ELL students....................................................................21 History of Legislation in Regards to ELL instruction...........................................24 Policy Implementation in U.S. Schools.................................................................29 Teacher Training Programs in the U.S..................................................................31 Theoretical Framework of the Study.....................................................................37 Attitudes and Expectations for ELLs.....................................................................40 Teacher Expectations and Significance of Teacher Attitudes...............................45 Summary................................................................................................................47 Chapter Three: Methods and Procedures...........................................................................48 Introduction............................................................................................................48 Qualitative Instrument...........................................................................................50 Qualitative Procedure.............................................................................................51 Qualitative Analysis...............................................................................................52 Quantitative Instrument.........................................................................................53 Quantitative Procedure...........................................................................................55 Quantitative Analysis.............................................................................................56 Chapter Four: Results........................................................................................................58 Introduction............................................................................................................58 Return Rates...........................................................................................................59 Demographics of Survey Participants....................................................................60 Demographics of Interview Participants................................................................61 Research Question One: Survey Data....................................................................65 Research Question One: Interview Data................................................................67
ii Research Question Two: Survey Data...................................................................68 Research Question Two: Interview Data...............................................................73 Research Question Three: Survey Data.................................................................75 Research Question Three: Interview Data.............................................................77 Research Question Four: Survey Data...................................................................79 Research Question Four: Interview Data...............................................................83 Research Question Five: Survey Data...................................................................89 Research Question Five: Interview Data...............................................................91 Research Question Six: Survey Data.....................................................................92 Research Question Six: Interview Data.................................................................96 Chapter Five: Conclusions and Recommendations...........................................................98 Purpose of the Study..............................................................................................98 Research Questions................................................................................................99 Methods and Procedures........................................................................................99 Discussion of Findings: Research Question One.................................................100 Discussion of Findings: Research Question Two................................................102 Discussion of Findings: Re search Question Three..............................................106 Discussion of Findings: Research Question Four................................................107 Discussion of Findings: Research Question Five................................................111 Discussion of Findings: Research Question Six..................................................112 Multiculturalism vs. Assimilation: Final Reflections..........................................114 Recommendations for Future Research...............................................................116 Recommendations for Future Policy...................................................................121 References..................................................................................................................... ...125 Appendices..................................................................................................................... ..144 Appendix A: Survey............................................................................................145 Appendix B: Interview Guide..............................................................................149 Appendix C: Letter to Department Chairpersons................................................150 Appendix D: Cover letter to teachers...................................................................151 Appendix E: Informed Consent Letter.................................................................152 Appendix F: Research Questions with ................................................................154 Corresponding Survey Questions About the Author....................................................................................................End Page
iii List of Tables Table 1 Ethnicity of Survey Participants................................................................60 Table 2 Students should avoid native language use................................................65 Table 3 Results for native language use..................................................................66 Table 4 Results for coursework modification.........................................................69 Table 5 Reported behaviors fo r coursework modification......................................71 Table 6 Results regarding time requirements.........................................................75 Table 7 Reported attitude toward time....................................................................76 Table 8 Attitudes towards training..........................................................................80 Table 9 Attitudes toward support received by teachers..........................................81 Table 10 Effects of ELL inclusion............................................................................89 Table 11 Effect of ELL st udents on class progress...................................................91 Table 12 General attitude s toward ELL inclusion....................................................94
iv High School Social Studies Teachers' Attitu des Towards the Inclusion of ELL Students in Mainstream Classes Jason L. O'Brien ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes of high school social studies teachers who had English Language Lear ners (ELL) mainstreamed in their social studies classes. In the school district in which the study took place, approximately 70% (n=240) of the high school social studies teachers had ELL students in their classrooms. For the quantitative portion of the survey, 344 su rveys were given to each social studies department chairperson in the county to be completed by all the teachers who currently had ELL students in their social studies clas sroom. For the qualitative portion of the study, eight high school social st udies teachers were interviewed as to their attitudes towards mainstreaming ELL students. Both th e survey and interview instruments were developed by Reeves (2002) when she measured teacher attitudes towards mainstreaming ELL students. While a majority of teachers appr eciated the cultural diversity which ELL students brought to the classroom, more than three-fourths of the teachers reported that they would prefer ELL students not being in their social studies classrooms until they have reached a minimum level of English proficiency. While a broad spectrum of attitudes were reported towards support t eachers received, many survey and interview
v participants did not feel that the training offered in univers ity coursework or from the school district was particularly beneficial in preparing them to teach ELL students. A clear majority of teachers reported time for both planning and instructional delivery as major obstacles when ELL students are mainst reamed in content area classes. Finally, a majority of teachers (66%) supported making English the official language in the United States. Recommendations for future research a nd for future policy makers were reported in the final section of the study.
1 Chapter One Introduction and Statement of the Problem On a bright November morning, my prin cipal called me out of my classroom to inform me that I would be receiving a new fema le student in my fift h grade class. I asked my principal what her name was, and he replied, I dont know, she doesnt speak any English. This student had arrived in the Un ited States from Bolivia three days earlier and was expected to successfully assimilate into an American classroom. As intimidated as she must have felt, Juanita eventually became well-liked and th e students took great pride in helping her learn Eng lish and about American culture In retrospect, teaching her was one of the most challenging tasks Ive had as a teacher. However, it also turned out to be one of the most rewarding. It occurred to me as I was struggling to effectively teach her in my social studies classroom that my attitude towards her being in my class was very important. How I valued her native la nguage use and her differences from my American students, it seemed, could directly lead to her success or failure. According to Peregoy & Boyle (2005), when students sens e that teachers truly recognize and value their home language and culture, they are more likely to feel positive about school and learning. After talking to other teachers, it seemed that other teachers were also faced with the challenge of teaching students who don t speak English. Through my conversations with fellow educators, however, there seem s to exist a broad spectrum of attitudes towards having English Language Learners (ELL s) in mainstreamed classrooms. For the purposes of this study, attitudes will be de fined as feelings or reactions toward a
2 phenomenon (Sapsford, 1999). While I was extremely concerned with how I could effectively teach a student who couldnt unde rstand me, I wondered how other teachers dealt with these students. On e colleague commented, I mean, cmon, I was clueless so I smiled at him (the ELL student) a lot and put him in the corner and let him draw. While most teachers who teach in Florida (t he state of the proposed study) will at one time most likely have an ELL student w ho speaks Spanish in their classroom, the phenomenon is by no means unique to Florida or to Spanish speakers. Across the United States there are curre ntly more than 400 languages spoken by ELL students in grades K12 (Kindler, 2002). According to U.S. Census data gathered in th e year 2000, 18.4% of the population of the United States between th e ages of 5-17 (i.e., school-aged children) reported that they spoke a language other th an English at home (U.S. Census, 2000). This number is significantly larger than the num ber reported in 1990 ( 13.8%) and represents more than 9.7 million students nationwide. In the year 2000, 11% of the K-12 populat ion in public schools in Florida was classified as ELL (OMSLEOffice of Mu lticultural Student Language Education Report, 2000/2001). Due to many factors, including economic reasons and people seeking refuge from political instability, Florida has experienced an influx of immigrants from Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, and other Latin Amer ican countries in the Caribbean. Many of these citizens dont speak English and their chil dren are classified as ELL students in the public school system. In the past, several term s have been used when referring to this population, among these are Limited English Prof icient (LEP), English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and Non-Native English Spea kers (NNES). Because it is the current accepted term in the profession, I will refer to students who do not speak English as their
3 native language as ELL students. Based on census and enrollment data provi ded by school distri cts across the U.S., the trend is that the number of ELL student s will continue to in crease in the coming years. Therefore, an important question is, What is the nature of ELL students educational experience? While ELL students ar e typically enrolled in some type of language service program in their schools, cost restraints and genera l policy dictate that the majority of these students time at school is spent in ma instream classes with native English-speaking teachers and peers, a practice commonly referred to as mainstreaming (Berube, 2000). While all co urses have subject-s pecific language, the social studies may require students to have a higher level of Englis h-speaking proficiency to succeed. Social studies, with its complex voca bulary and abstract concepts can be especially problematic. In a study conducted specifically on this topic, Short (1998) found that ELL students do not receive the la nguage and academic support they need to master the problematic vocabulary and difficu lt reading and writing that are endemic to the social studies classroom. Conversely, becau se of the language difficulties experienced by many ELL students, it is like ly that their presence in mainstream classes brings unique challenges to teachers. These challenges, in turn, may negatively or positively affect teachers' attitudes toward teaching in gene ral and toward ELL students in particular. Several studies indicate that teachers in highe r grade levels (i.e., mi ddle school and high school) have a less positive attitude towards mainstreaming in general (Bender, Vail, & Scott, 1995; Houck & Rogers, 1994; Rogers, 1987) Two major themes identified in these studies were extra time required to teach mainstreamed students and the difficulties faced
4 when modifying coursework. In many mainstream classrooms, conten t area teachers ar e not aware of ELL students linguistic levels, cultural divers ity, and learning styles which all play an important part in their lear ning process (Carrasquillo & Rodrguez, 2002). It is possible that these common misunderstand ings can be exhibited in at titudes towards this growing population. Yet, as noted by Reeves (2002), little information is available on teachers who have experienced the inclusion of ELL students in their mainstream, subject area classroom" ( p. 3). This research study will attempt to explore some of the attitudes of teachers which are associated with mainst reaming ELL students in high school social studies classrooms. Theoretical Framework This study is based on the theore tical framework known as social constructivism, which will be discussed in greater detail in Chapter Two. Social constructivists focus on the social nature of the learning process, as well as the reality that is constructed as a resu lt of social interactions. Se veral research studies have concluded that the teachers attitude plays an important part in the overall learning process (Bloom, 1976; Diaz-Ri co & Weed, 2002; Garcia, 1999; and Krashen, 1981). An assumption I will make for the purpose of this study is that teacher attitudes are directly related to the rea lity of having ELLs in the mainstream social studies classroom. Each day teachers and ELLs are engaged in social interactions inherent in instruction, and these interactions will affect the attitudes of teachers. Measuring these attitudes as they are created is a major goal of this proposed study.
5 Adherents of social constr uctivism feel most meaningf ul learning occurs when individuals are engaged in so cial activities with othe r human beings (McMahon, 1997). Social constructivism is based on the premise that the social world of the learner includes the learner, the teacher, friends, other stude nts, and other people (Cobb, 1994). Another assumption of mine is that teachers who ha ve mainstreamed ELL st udents will construct some reality based on their attitudes towa rds having ELL students in their classrooms. The ELL students ability to speak English a nd the extent to which they are able to participate in classroom discussions and activ ities will have an important impact on the reality that is created by th e social studies teacher. Because the teacher plays such an important role in the education process, both in terms of what content is taught and what me thods are used to teach it, it seems that studying the underlying attitudes of teachers with ELL students in their mainstream classrooms would help educators better unders tand the types of experiences that both ELL students and social studies teachers have as well as the social interactions in the classroom. Undoubtedly, other factors influe nce the experiences of ELL students in secondary social studies classrooms, but the scope of this study will only be concerned with the teachers attitudes and pe rceptions towards the ELL students. While several studies (Cummins, 2000; Harklau, 1994 & 2000; Walqui, 2000) have explored the perspectiv es of the ELL on mainstream in clusion, few have explored the issue from the teachers point of view, fu rther, a review of the literature reveals no study that has been conducted solely on high sc hool social studies teachers. Kim (2004) conducted a study of how ELL students create id entities in high school social studies classrooms, and while her study acknowledged the important role of the teachers, her
6 focus was on the experience of the students themselves. However, three studies which will be discussed more thoroughly in the lite rature review (Verplaetse, 1998; Youngs & Youngs, 1999; and Youngs & Youngs, 2001) have se t forth a thematic framework for the study undertaken by Reeves (2002) by identify ing major themes in attitudes of teachers with ELL students mainstreamed in their content area classrooms. Although generic instruments that measure teacher attitude s towards mainstreaming exist, currently Reevess framework is the only one availabl e specifically for measuring the relevant phenomena in this study. The themes that Reeves used to measure these attitudes were: 1. Languagespecifically, how long do teachers f eel ELLs need to successfully acquire English, how useful is the ELLs native language in the mainstream classroom, and what are the teachers attitudes towards making E nglish the official language of the U.S.? 2. Modification of courseworkwhat modificat ion strategies do te achers use in the mainstream classroom for ELL students, if any, and can this modifica tion be justified to English-speaking students in the mainstream classroom? 3. Timedo teachers have enough time to ade quately address the needs of ELL students in the mainstream classroom and how does having ELL students mainstreamed affect the rest of the class? 4. Training and supportis the tr aining that teachers have received adequate to teach ELL students? Is adequate training available to teachers of ELL stude nts that desire it? Do administrators and ESOL personnel support the mainstream teacher adequately? And do ESOL personnel conduct a sufficient amount of meetings with the mainstream teachers? 5. Educational environmentdo all students be nefit from the inclusion of ELL students
7 in mainstream content area classes? 6. General mainstreaming attitudeshow do c ontent area teachers feel about the process of mainstreaming, in general? These themes represent some of the most sali ent issues that arise when ELL students are mainstreamed in content area classrooms. These themes take into consideration the teacher, the ELL, and the native-speaking students in the classroom. My study used the instruments created by Reeves, but were admi nistered only to high school social studies teachers who had ELL students mainstreamed in their classrooms when the study was conducted. Purpose of the study The purpose of this study is to investig ate the attitudes of social studies teachers who have ELL students mainstreamed in thei r classrooms. Of the more than 3.6 million ELL students in the K-12 setting for th e 2001-2002 school year, 59.6% were taught solely in English in mainstream settings (Z ehler et al., 2003). Howe ver, researchers know very little about the ramifi cations of mainstreaming ELL students in this setting. I am choosing to study high school social studies teachers (a s opposed to middle school or elementary school teachers) with mainstreamed ELL students for two reasons. First, social studies do es not exist as a separate course at the elementary level. Therefore, to measure the effect of having an ELL mainstre amed in a social studies class, it must be measured at the secondary level. More importa ntly, the ultimate goal of social studies in this country is to produce pa rticipating and critically-thi nking members of a democracy (called good citizens). It is my assumption that high school social studies classes create
8 the milieu in which important and difficult c oncepts and skills (e.g. citizenship, critical thinking, capitalism) are taught. When teaching abstract and difficult concepts such as these, students who are not proficient at sp eaking English will presen t unique challenges to their content area teachers. My assumption is that these challenges will affect teacher attitudes towards these students and the learning environment. If these challenges are not overcome, some students may not learn these esse ntial ideas and skills that are an integral component of the social studies curriculum. Si nce high school is the la st level of formal schooling for many of these students, the eff ects of these challenges may be far-reaching. In her unpublished doctoral dissertation Jenelle Reeves (2002) conducted a study to uncover the attitudes and pe rceptions of middle school an d high school teachers (from a variety of disciplines) who had ELL stude nts mainstreamed into their classrooms. Reeves surveyed 281 of these teachers, 32 of which reported their subject area as social studies. The school district in which Reeves conducted her study (Knox County, Tennessee) had only 12 high sc hools and no single high school had more than 33 ELL students at the time of the study. Of the four teachers whom Reeves interviewed and observed for her study, only one was a social studies teacher and this teacher only had one ELL student mainstreamed in her clas sroom. Also, only 18.7% of the teachers in Reeves' study indicated that they had any training in regards to working with ELL students. The enrollment statistics and tr aining criteria for the district in which I conducted my study differ significantly from Re evess and will be discussed in further detail later. To measure the teachers attitudes towards ELL student s in mainstream social studies classrooms, Reeves used themes de veloped by Verplaetse (1998) and Youngs and
9 Youngs (2001), in their research. Reevess ( 2002) general findings in regards to each theme are listed below. Language Many of the participating teachers in Reev ess study displayed an attitude that underestimated the time necessary for ELL st udents to successfully acquire English. Generally, teachers thought that ELL students sh ould be able to learn English within two years of entering school. There is a large body of research that indicates that while BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills) are ordinarily learned by students within the first two years of speaking a language, CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency) may take as long as seven to ten years (Cummins, 1979). BICS is generally interpreted as social competency in a language (i.e., students are able to use the second language to communicate with others) while CA LP is specialized language that is used for academic purposes (Cummins, 1984). In Reevess study, teachers generally believe d that immersion in an English-rich environment was the best way for students to learn English. This mirrors the belief by many people that placing an English learner in an English only environment will aid in the rapid acquisition of English. Programs su ch as these, commonly called submersion (or sink-or-swim), fail to take into consider ation the students leve l of competency with their native language which significantly a ffects English acquisition (Cohen, 1976). The effectiveness of submersion programs has been challe nged most notably by Krashen (1985) and by several other researchers, as we ll. A majority of participants in Reeves study also felt negatively towards the utility of using a students native language in the
10 classroom even though several researchers have shown that bilingual programs of this type can result in ELL students out-performi ng their English-only counterparts (Ramirez & Yuen, 1991; Oller & Eilers, 2000; Thomas & Collier, 2001; Kenner, 2007). Finally, a majority of Reevess respondents did not provide instructional materials in the ELL students native language. Modification of coursework Reeves found that a slight ma jority (59%) of teachers displayed a willingness to modify coursework for ELL students. Also 60.6% of the teachers believed it would not be difficult to justify modifying coursewo rk for ELL students (based on their limited English proficiency) if asked by an English-speaking classmate. Time A majority (70%) of teachers in Reev ess study felt that they did not have adequate time to deal with the needs of ELL students in their mainstream classrooms. Teachers also felt that the inclusion of ELL students in their classes increased their workloads, and that this prevented them fr om making more coursework modifications for ELL students. Training and Support Less than 18% of the teachers in Reevess indicated that they had been trained to teach ELL students. However, only slightly more than half (52%) were in favor of more training, which could mean that either they did not think that trai ning was effective or that the primary obligat ion for educating ELL students was not theirs. In general, teachers
11 also felt that they were receiving inadequate support from their schools administration when ELL students were mainstreamed in th eir classrooms. While teachers perceived slightly more support from ESOL personnel th an administrators in their schools, few teachers reported scheduling regular conferences with ESOL personnel. Educational Environment Teachers perceived the educational envir onment resulting from the inclusion of ELL students to be positive. English proficient students exposure to cultural diversity was perceived to be the greatest benefit of ELL inclusion in content area classrooms. General Attitudes While 72.4% of the teachers surveyed would welcome the inclusion of ELL students in their content area classrooms 74.9% felt that ELL students should not be included in their mainstream classrooms until they had reached a minimum level of English proficiency. Overall, many of the teachers perceived the ELL students to be good kids in their classrooms. The school district in which this study was undertaken is within the ten largest school districts in the United Stat es and is one of the largest in the state of Florida. It has 23 high schools that served more than 46,000 students in the 2005-2006 academic school year (School District Website, 2005). At the ti me of the study, the sc hool district had 344 high school social studies teacher s, a slight majority of whic h were male, and the ages of the social studies teachers within the distri ct ranged from 22 years to 66 years. While exact numbers were not available, the secondary social studies superv isor for this school
12 district stated that in his estimation, 70-80% (n=240-275) of a ll high school social studies teachers had at least one ELL mainstreamed in their classrooms and many had several (S. Jones, personal communication, 2005). Becau se so many high school social studies teachers within this school district have ELL students mainstreamed in their classrooms, it is expected that information gleaned fr om this proposed study will have important implications for the school di strict as well as other distri cts in the state which have similar policies for educating ELL students. Research Questions The research questions that gui ded this inquiry are as follows: What are high school social studies t eachers attitudes towards ELL students using their native language to learn in thei r mainstream social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies t eachers attitudes towards modifying coursework for ELLs in their mainst ream social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies teacher s attitudes towards the amount of time required to teach ELLs in their main stream social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies t eachers attitudes towards training and support they receive to teach ELLs in thei r mainstream social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies teacher s attitudes towards the effect on the education environment when ELLs are ma instreamed in their social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies teach ers attitudes in general, towards mainstreaming ELLs in their social studies classrooms?
13 It is my belief that having ELL students mainstreamed into content area classrooms will have an effect on teacher attitudes. While I believe that most teachers will indicate a general lack of preparedness in teaching ELL students, I want to investigate to what degree this lack of preparedness affects their attitudes towards teaching these ELL students. By distributing a su rvey instrument to teachers and reporting on the perceived effects that mainstreaming has on their attit udes, I hope to add to the body of knowledge in regards to mainstreamed social studies classrooms. Assumptions I had two underlying assumptions be fore the study was conducted. These assumptions were based on my experience having ELL students mainstreamed in my classroom and conversations I have had in the pa st with other educators. The first is that teachers would experience at least some frustration when teaching ELL students academic content. The second is that teach ers perceived themselves as largely underprepared to teach mainstreamed ELL students w ith the same proficiency as they do their native English-speaking counterparts. I deliberately limited the scope of the study to include only high school social studies teachers who currently had one or more English language learners mainstreamed in their classrooms in one part icular school district in Florida. After I collected survey data, I chose eight teachers who had English language learners in their classrooms and conducted interviews. It must be noted, that by only interviewing people who agreed to the interview, I may not have ha d an entirely representative sample of the school district.
14 Threats to Internal/External Validity The researcher assumed that the responde nts to the survey answered honestly. The major threat to internal validity was the res pondents feeling that an answer that conveyed negative feelings toward main streamed students may have resulted in negative actions taken by a supervisor. Since the department chairpersons collected the surveys in some instances (although the envelopes were sealed), it is hoped that th e respondents did not feel pressured to answer in a manner that would please these people. To guarantee the greatest chances of anonymity, I provided enve lopes to the participants in which they could seal their completed surveys before turn ing them in to their department chairs. It was also made clear in the survey itself that the surveys were uncoded and completely anonymous and that I was the only person who read the responses. The department chairpersons addressed this c oncern by explaining to the teac hers that they did not read the responses and I asked the department chairs to leave the room while surveys were completed. After collecting the data, a majority of the surveys were returned to me in the self-addressed, stamped envelopes which I provided, so the risk of department chairpersons reading the survey data was minimized. To avoid "instrumentation bias," which can occur when participants are required to choose from a set of statements, participan ts were allowed to choose "no opinion" for all of the questions in the first section of the survey. Selection bias may have occurred while analyzing the surveys. Selection bias is defined as an error or bias that causes a sample to not be representative of the popul ation from which it came. This may have been caused be caused by some of the teach ers not completing and returning the survey instrument, thus denying me access to important data on their attitudes towards having
15 English language learners mainstreamed in th eir social studies clas srooms. Also, since I did not personally distribute the surveys to the teachers, it is possible that some systematic bias occurred (e.g., some chairpers ons did not distribute th e surveys) at their respective schools. In an attempt to contro l for this, I sent a reminder email to the department chairpersons asking them to ensu re that all teachers were given the survey instrument. External validity is defi ned as the approximate validity with which we can infer that the presumed causal relationship can be generalized across different types of persons, settings, and times (Cook & Cam pbell, 1979, p. 37). Because I did not use a truly random sample, I am making no claims that the findings will generalize to the larger population of all high school social studies teachers in the United States. However, by using multiple methods of surveys and interv iews, I hoped to develop at least a minor degree of population transferability to othe r social studies teachers who have English language learners mainstreamed in their clas srooms elsewhere. The results of the study cannot be generalized to time periods other th an the one in which the study took place or to settings beside the high school social studies classes in which the study took place. Last, as in all qualitativ e inquiry, this study contains threats to interpretive validity. Interpretive validity is present to the degree that the researcher accurately portrays the meaning given by th e participants to what is being studied (Johnson, 1997). In an effort to control for this, I record ed participants res ponses and used lowinference descriptors (i.e. reporting respons es which are phrased identically to the participants responses) when writing results. The only exception to this was one of the interview participants at whose interview my tape recorder malfunctioned. During that
16 interview, I took field notes a nd typed the transcript immediat ely afterwards. I then sent the transcript (that day) to the teacher for verification. My field notes contained one error regarding the number of year s the participant had taught overseas and this erroneous information was corrected before the data we re used for analysis. Within two weeks of conducting the interviews, a transcript was sent via email to all the pa rticipants for them to verify. In all cases, with the exception not ed above, all interview participants were in agreement that the data accurately descri bed their attitudes towards having English language learners in their so cial studies classrooms. Afte r the data were gathered, I shared the responses with two committee member s to ensure that they were in agreement in regards to the emerging themes within the data set. Finally, my personal appearance may, to some degree, affect the interactions during the interview process. Th e fact that I am a Caucasia n male, with blonde hair and blue eyes may have caused the survey particip ants to answer in wa ys that are different from ways in which they might respond to a person of another ethnic background. In two cases, I feel that my appearance helped ma ke the participants f eel comfortable making critical remarks about the mainstreaming process. Definition of Terms Attitudes were defined as feelings about or reactions toward a phenomenon (Sapsford, 1999). Comprehensible input refers to the belief that humans acquire language only when they understand the messages with wh ich they are presented (Krashen, 1985). English Language Learners (ELLs) are non-native speakers who are learning English.
17 English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) is a popular acronym used in K-12 schools. Limited English Proficient (LEP) is a federal term for a student who is not a native speaker of English, has not developed full proficiency in the language and requires support services (i.e., ESOL classes or modi fied instruction in content classes) and monitoring. Mainstreaming is placing ELLs in classrooms in which the school curriculum is delivered through the medium of English a nd it has not been modi fied for non-native English speakers (Carrasquillo & Rodriguez, 2002). Submersion is placing ELL students with nati ve-English-speaking students in content-area classes with no form of special support (Ova ndo, Collier, & Combs, 2003).
18 Chapter Two Review of the literature Introduction Social studies is one of the core academic disciplines common to the elementary and secondary school curriculum in the Un ited States. The National Council for the Social Studies defines social studies as "a school program whose primary purpose is to help young people to develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a cultu rally diverse, democratic so ciety in an interdependent world (NCSS, 2004, p. 1). Creating a genera tion of well-informed, critically thinking students is a difficult job, especially as the needs of students grow. As classrooms become more and more diverse, teachers ar e encountering students from a variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds. How does the inability of his or her students to speak English affect the teachers ab ility to teach social studies? Unfortunately, very little is known about the effects of ELL students on t eacher attitudes in the social studies classroom. Even though more and more studies are being conducted that explore students and teachers attitudes towards diverse learni ng environments, no research study has ever been undertaken that focuses solely on high school social studies teachers attitudes towards the inclusion of English Language L earners in their classroom. Because of this paucity in research, not e nough is known about the ramifications of mainstreaming students in these settings. However, there is literature available that has focused on the experiences of mainstream teachers of ELL st udents in a variety of settings and in a
19 variety of content area classes. Beginning with the increase in ELL populations across the United States, and the subsequent incr ease in the amount of students who are mainstreamed, this review will then outline the history of legislative decisions that pertain to ELL students in American schools. Next, this review will describe various teacher preparation programs across the United States for social studies teachers in an effort to understand the nature of their training for ELL students. Then, a proposed theoretical framework will be discussed fo r understanding teachers attitudes towards ELLs who are mainstreamed into their soci al studies classrooms. Finally, teacher attitudes and expectations towards ELL students, as well as the effects of these attitudes and expectations will be discussed. As stated earlier, this study used inst rumentation and pro cedures developed by Reeves (2002) to measure teacher attitudes, but focuses solely on high school social studies teachers with ELL students mainstreamed in their classrooms. The term attitude as a construct, much like constructivism, has many definitions. A review showed more than 30 reported definitions in social science literature (Rao, 2004). According to Cook (1992), attitudes are compri sed of three elements: cognitionthe individuals percep tion of the attitude object affectthe emotional underpinnings of th ese beliefs and the amount of positive or negative feeling that an individual has toward the attitude object behavior-responsesobservable behavior or the individua ls intention to behave in a particular manner towards the attitude object. For the purposes of simplicity and clarity, I will use the definition of the term attitudes as feelings about or reactions to ward a phenomenon (Sapsford, 1999, p. 140).
20 Specifically, attitudes will be defined as how teachers feel about ELL inclusion in regards to the specific themes listed earlier. Furt hermore, while this study does not measure teacher behavior, an assumption of mine is that attitudes toward s the inclusion of ELL students in the mainstream classroom will have some effect on teacher behavior. ELL Populations Across the United States According to data collected in the 20 00 U.S. census, the foreign-born population in the United States was 31.1 million, up from the 19.8 million reported in 1990. This represents a 57.7% increase in only 10 y ears (U.S. Census, 2000). Many of these people who have immigrated to the U.S. bring with them children who ar e not proficient in English. Since the majority of immigrants to the U.S., in fact, speak languages other than English, more than 90% of immigrant school children come from non-English speaking countries (Short, 2002). U.S. residents over th e age of five, excluding visiting students, who reported speaking English less than ve ry well on the 2000 U.S. Census numbered nearly 20,000,000 (U.S. Census, 2000). Furtherm ore, between the 1990-1991 school year and the 2000-2001 school year, the ELL popul ation has grown approximately 105% nationally, while the general school populati on has grown only 12% (Kindler, 2002). In the last ten years, North Carolina has the dis tinction of possessing the highest growth rate of ELL students in the nation. Due primarily to its farm and factory jobs, which have lured many Latino immigrants to both rural and urban neighborhoods, North Carolina has experienced greater than a 400% increase in the number of ELL students in its classrooms (Zhao, 2002).
21 While individual states have experienced varying degrees of increases in the number of ELL students, approximately 60% of the 5.6 million foreign-born population who moved to the United States between 1995 and 2000 entered the country through the six "gateway" states of California, Florida, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Texas (U.S. Department of Commerce Press Rel ease, 2003). What has been particularly difficult for many school districts is the fact that within thes e states, many immigrants are settling far from traditional immigration hubs (Zhao, 2002). The effect is that school districts within these states are now having to train teachers to t each ELL populations in areas that in the past have had very homogenous, English-speaking populations. Based on these data, a compelling case can be made that a significant number of ELLs are currently enrolled in the nations schools, especially in Florida, the state of the proposed study. In fact, according to the Nati onal Center for Education Statistics, in the 2002-2003 school year Florida had 203,712 ELL students (National Center for Educational Statistics 2004). This number represents 14.7% of the tota l population of students aged 5-17. For this school year, only California and Texas had more ELLs grades K-12. Programs Available for ELL students The proposed study focused on students who were mainstreamed in classrooms in which instruction is solely in English. However, a variety of bilingual education programs have been implemented across the Unite d States in the past decades. Bilingual education programs are defined as educationa l programs that use tw o languages, one of which must be English, for teaching pur poses (Peregoy & Boyle, 2005). Bilingual
22 education programs take many forms, but tw o goals are common to all: (1) to teach students the English language a nd (2) to provide instruction of the core curriculum in the home language while students are learning E nglish proficiency (Lessow-Hurley, 2000). The following are brief descriptions of seve ral of the most popular types of bilingual education programs. Transitional Bilingual Education These programs offer instruction in the prim ary language (non-English) for one to three years. The purpose is to build a foundation in literacy and academic content that will facilitate English language and academic development as students acquire English. The goal of this program is to develop English language proficiency as quickly as possible (Peregoy & Boyle, 2005, p. 25). Maintenance Bilingual Education In this model, instruction is given in both English and the minority language beginning in elementary school and oftentimes lasting into middle and high school. As the name implies, the goal of this type of program is to help language minority students develop and maintain their primary language, as well as become fully proficie nt in both oral and written English. Immersion Education Unlike the American immersion model, in which students are immersed in English medium classes, the first bilingual immers ion programs were developed in Canada for
23 different purposes. The goal is of these pr ograms is to teach a minority language to language majority students. Students in these programs receive instruction in their second language (e.g., Spanish) to develop second la nguage proficiency while learning academic content. The goal of these programs is proficiency in both the native and second language. Special pedagogic techniques are us ed in these classroom s to help students understand, learn, and participate in the ne w language (Peregoy & Boyle, 2005). The success of these programs has been extensiv ely studied and evaluated by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (Genesee, 1984; Swain & Lapkin, 1989). Two-Way Immersion Programs These programs, also called developmental bilingual education, are created to serve both language majority and language minor ity students. Equal numbers of native speakers of English and language minority sp eakers are grouped toge ther in the same classrooms. In the early grades, instruction is delivered in the non-English language. This procedure provides second language devel opment for English speakers as well as intensive primary language development for native speakers of the minority language (Christian, 1994). Instruction in English begins with about 20 minutes a day in kindergarten and is gradually increase d as students move up in grades until approximately equal time is given for both la nguages (Reynolds, Da le, & Moore, 1989). As a result of this type of program, bo th groups develop and maintain their home languages. The effects of the two-way progr am has been developed, researched, and evaluated throughout the United States with positive results (Lindholm, 1990; Lindholm & Gavlek, 1994; Peregoy, 1991; Peregoy & Boyle, 1990). It must be noted, however, that
24 bilingual education programs serve only a small percentage of eligible students across the United States (Peregoy & Boyle, 2005). Much more commonly, stude nts who arrive in this country are placed in educational settings in which the ultimate goal is for students to quickly learn English and little attention is paid to th e students home language. The following section will explor e legislation that pertai ns to ELL students in K-12 classrooms. History of Legislation in Regards to ELL instruction Since the latter part of the nineteenth century, the United States has opened its borders to millions of immigrants from nati ons all across the globe. One direct effect of this human migration is that many student s who do not speak English attend American elementary, middle, and high schools. An important facet of this investigation, then, is to identify the historic legislat ion that has mandated how ELL stude nts are to be educated in the nations classrooms. An important questi on that needs to be answered is, How do these policies affect the experience of both teachers a nd ELL students in the classroom? The educational policies of todays school s in regards to ELL students trace their origins to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VI of the act states: No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program of ac tivity receiving federal financial assistance (Berube, 2000, p. 16). English Language Learners are protected unde r this act because their limited English proficiency is viewed as an extension of their national origin. As a result of this
25 legislation, in theory, all ELL students must be given equal educational access and opportunities as their Englis h-speaking counterparts. In response to challenges in federal c ourt that the Civil Rights Act was not adequately addressing the n eeds of ELL students, the federal government passed the Bilingual Education Act of 1968 under the Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This Act federally f unded programs that were truly bilingual in nature and whose goals were that students become biliterate (Crawford, 1999). However, across different school districts in the United States, many court cases were initiated by groups who felt that ELL students in their resp ective school districts were not receiving adequate instruction to meet their needs as both English learners and K-12 students. On May 25, 1970, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued an official memorandum to clarify the schoo l districts responsibility to provide equal educational opportunities to ELL students (English La nguage Learner KnowledgeBase, 2004). The memorandum states: Where inability to speak and understand the English language excludes (ELL) children from effective participation in the educational program offered by the school the district must take affirmative steps to rectif y the language deficiency in order to open its instructi onal programs (Pottinger, 1970, p. 1). Despite this mandate by the federal g overnment, nationwide many ELL students had still not been given e qual access to learn in U.S. schools. In 1974, in the case Lau v. Nichols a group of Chinese immigrants challenged the San Francisco school district and maintained that their language minority ch ildren were not receiving equal educational treatment under the provisions of Title VI of th e Civil Rights Act. At this time, the school
26 district of San Francisco imposed a requirement that before students could participate in the educational programs of the schools, they must have al ready had basic proficiencies in English. The subsequent ruling by the Supr eme Court is considered a landmark on the scale of Brown v. Board of Education in regards to its effect on educational policy. The Supreme Court stated that by [solely] providing students with the same facilities, textbooks, teachers, and curriculum[ ]st udents who do not understand English are effectively foreclosed from a ny meaningful education ( Lau v. Nichols 1974). The Lau decision gave the OCR authority to regul ate how schools must design meaningful instruction that was responsive to th e needs of ELL students (Berube, 2000, p. 20). However, the OCR (the primary enforcing agent of Lau v. Nichols ) has taken a reactive, rather than proactive stance in dea ling with violations of this decision (Berube, 2000). Specifically, instead of approving language programs before they are implemented, the OCR investigates complaints to see if a school district is taking appropriate action with regards to edu cating ELL students. This wording has proven especially problematic for the OCR because school districts are able to use the ambiguity of the term appropriate to their advantage. As a result, school districts are given much latitude to develop their own programs for ELL students. As Walqui states, While school districts may have a general polic y for the education of students learning English this policy is usually cast in vague and imprecise terms (Walqui, 2000, p. 17). The result of this is a great many inconsis tencies among school di stricts in the United States. In 1981, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Casteada v. Pickard (1981) created guidelines to measure whether or not schools we re in compliance with the requirement of
27 appropriate action. These guide lines stated that if a sc hools program, although based on a legitimate educational th eory and implemented thr ough the use of adequate techniques, failed to produ ce results indicating success in overcoming the language barriers confronting ELL students, then th e program may, at that point, no longer constitute appropriate action as far as th at school was concer ned (Berube, 2000, p. 22). By basing the appropriateness of the program on the success or fa ilures of the students in which it served, Casteada v Pickard attempted to disallow districts from being in compliance with legislation just by creating a program and not monitoring its success. However, not all legislation in the pa st several years has considered student success when determining the types of pr ograms for ELL students. In 1998, California voters passed Proposition 227 by a ma rgin of 61% to 39%. This pi ece of legislation stated Whereas, the English langua ge is the national public language of the United States; and Young immigran t children can easily acquire full fluency in a new language if they are heavily exposed to that language It is resolved that: all children in California pub lic schools shall be taught English as rapidly and effectively as possible (Pr oposition 227, Article I, 1998). This legislation effectively banned bilingua l education programs except under certain circumstances and established a sheltered immersion program which could last no more than one school year (Mora, 2005). S heltered immersion was defined as an English language acquisition process for young children in which nearly all classroom instruction is in English but with the curriculum and pres entation designed for children who are learning the langua ge (Proposition 227, Article II, 1998). Considering the research by Cummins regarding the length of time needed to acquire Cognitive Academic
28 Language Proficiency (CALP), this program seems to place unrealistic expectations on the time required for ELL students to acquire English. Likewise, Proposition 203, English for the Children was passed by voters in 2001 in Arizona and took effect at the beginning of the 2002-2003 school year. This legislation requires that ELL st udents be taught English, by be ing taught in English and that they be placed in English language cl assrooms (Arizona Revised Statutes §15-752 English Language Educati on, 2001). This program virtually ended all bilingual instruction in Arizona schools and requires that all ELL stude nts in grades two through eleven be assessed annually in English on a norm-referenced test (Wright, 2005). The results of these standardi zed tests revealed serious achievement gaps between ELL students and their native-speaki ng counterparts and that most ga ins in test scores were the result of excluding test scores of ELL student s who had been in public school less than four years (Wright & Pu, 2005). With President Bushs passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2001, federal funding (mandated under the ESEA Act) for bilingual education has been effectively eliminated. (Peregoy & Boyle, 2005). Furthermore, the NCLB requires an accelerated learning pace for English language learners in order to close the gap between them and the general student popula tion. The NCLB represen ts the culmination of several decades of heated debate, not ju st among lawmakers and educators, but among the general population as well (Peregoy & B oyle, 2005). Across the United States, groups such as English First and U.S. English have lobbied to have English designated as the official language of the U.S. These gr oups feel the use of languages other than English in hospitals, social service agenci es, schools, voting boot hs, and other public
29 venues is considered anathema to our collec tive unity and that for full integration into society, non-native speakers need to be ta ught English (Boulet, 2001). According to Jim Boulet, Executive Director of English Fi rst, Bilingual-education programs say to Hispanic parents: Your child ren aren't real Americans a nd never will be. Bilingual education ensures Hispanic children will grow up to be second-class citizens because such programs keep Hispanic children from learning English when they are young and can do so most easily (Boulet, 2001). The above examples show that there exists a broad spectrum of attitudes toward s language usage and language instruction in the nations classrooms. Within the context of this pr oposed study, I hope to identify some of the attitudes that teachers have in regards to these notions. Policy Implementation in U.S. Schools The significance of the cases brought be fore federal judges should be keenly understood. If it were not for the individual efforts of private ci tizens challenging the existing hegemonic social structures within sc hool districts, there would be no codified bilingual education policies and practic es and probably only miniscule amounts of funding and application of these progra ms across the U.S. (Minaya-Rowe, 1988). Although much of the legislation mentioned ha s attempted to create a more equitable experience for ELL students, the primary dete rmining factor of how these programs are implemented is their feasibility to the re spective school district When developing the policies for ELL students at the school district level, the most implemented, yet least effective method is enrolling ELL students in language service cl asses (often called ESOL for English Speakers of Other La nguages) with mainstream subject area
30 classes (Thomas & Collier, 1997). This method is commonly called mainstreaming or pull-out ESL and it is the most frequently used form of language service in American schools (Moran, 2000). The term pull-out refe rs to the students spending a portion of their day in ESOL classes, but they are pulle d out at specific times so as to increase the amount of time spent in contact with English-speaking classmates and teachers. For the proposed study, mainstreaming will be defined as placing ELLs in classrooms in which the school curriculum is delivered through the medium of English and it has not been modified for non-native En glish speakers (Carrasquillo & Rodriguez, 2002) While the term mainstreaming is most commonly used in the field of special education, it is commonly used to describe the types of environments in which ELLs are placed with their native-speaking counter parts in content area classrooms (Ovando, Collier, & Combs, 2003). Reeves (2002) states that Pull-out ESL cl asses may be popular due to their emphasis on the rapid acquisition of English (p. 17). This rapid acquisition model is based on the belief that immersion in th e target language is the best way to learn it. Many researchers however, conduc ted research to disprove these claims and in his seminal work, Krashen (1985) points out that without comprehensible input, this method can hamper students ability to acqui re English. In a classroom, the concept of comprehensible input refers to the teacher creating an environment in which material presented is supported by contextual clues a nd is presented in ways to maximize the ELL students ability to make sense of what is being said. When these context clues are included in pedagogic practice, the student is better-able to comprehend the meaning of specific words and phrases and thus acqui re English (Krashen, 1985). Misconceptions
31 such as the rapid acquisition model may play an important part in the attitudes of teachers towards their ELL students in the mainstream classroom. If a teacher does not have the training necessary to understand the language acquisition process, he or she may be largely ineffective at te aching these students. Teacher Training Programs in the United States While this study took place in Florida, as a way to contextualize this study within the United States, this section of the literatu re review will report on the types of training required in other states for high school soci al studies teachers as it pertains to ELL students. An exhaustive sear ch has shown no storehouse of information that relates directly to the requirements of preservice social studies t eachers in regards to teaching ELL students in the mainstream classroom. An a ssumption of mine is that the preparation of social studies teachers to teach ELL stude nts, as well as inservice training offered by school districts has a direct impact on teach er attitudes when teaching ELL students in the mainstream classroom. The U.S. Department of Educations Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) reported that from 1992 to 2002, the pe rcentage of ELL students who received mainstream instruction only, without any native language servi ces increased from 3.5 percent to 11.7 percen t of the total ELL student populat ion in grades K-12 (Office of English Language Education, 2003, p. v). The mo st relevant question pertaining to this proposed study then is, what is the nature of training for social studies teachers with ELL students mainstreamed in their content area classrooms and how does it affect the teachers attitudes towards ELL students? Linguistic diversity in classrooms presents
32 additional challenges for mainstream teacher s, with the implica tion being that these teachers will increasingly requi re the training and expertise required to work effectively with the ELL students (Office of English Acquisition, 2003, p. 96). According to a 1996 U.S. Department of Education news release, the percentage of trained teachers and the t ypes of training varied greatly across the U.S. for those teachers who had ELL students mainstreamed in their classrooms. In their 2003 report, the OELA found that many teachers and instru ctional aides who work with ELL students have not received training related specifi cally to instruction of ELL students (Office of English Language Acquisition). In response to the growing number of ELL students that are attending the nations school s, some states have begun of fering English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsements for their c ontent-area teachers who have ELL students mainstreamed in their content area classrooms. These endorsements are earned by taking a prescribed sequence of courses from an accr edited college or university. According to the National Clearinghouse for English La nguage Acquisition & La nguage Instruction Educational Programs, 42 states and the Di strict of Columbia currently offer ESL certification or endorsements (National Cl earinghouse for English Language Acquisition, 2005). In addition, 22 states have legislative requirements or state board requirements that teachers placed in bi lingual/dual language classroom s must have bilingual/dual language certification. However, these legisl ative requirements do not extend to content area teachers who have ELL students ma instreamed in their classrooms. The five states with the highest numbers of ELLs as of the 2002-2003 school year were (in the following order): Ca lifornia, Texas, Florida, Ne w York, and Illinois. In an attempt to describe the similarities or differe nces in training for high school social studies
33 teachers who may have ELL students mainstream ed in their classrooms, I will briefly describe the nature of traini ng required in these states. California In the 2002-2003 school year, California had the most ELL students (1,599,542) in the K-12 setting in the United States According to the California Commission on Teaching Credentials webpage, Teachers of English Learners (EL) must hold an appropriate credential document authorization for English language deve lopment, specially designed academic instruction delivered in English, or cont ent instruction delivered in the primary language.. Crosscultural Language and Academic Development (CLAD), and Bilingual Crosscultural Language and Academic Development (BCLAD) Certificates authorize instruction to E nglish learners (California Commission on Teaching Credentials, 2007a). Teachers who have at least one English Langua ge Learner in their classroom have two options to meet state standard s. They must either take 18 college quarters of coursework which include the courses Language Development and Usage, and Applied Methods in Teaching Bilingual & English Language De velopment or they must complete a 45 hour Commission-approved st aff development program provided by their respective school district (California Comm ission on Teaching Credentials, 2007b).
34 Texas In the 2002-2003 school year, Texas ranked se cond in the nation in regards to the total number (630,686) of ELL students in the K12 setting. The State Board for Educator Certification will certify a social science teac her grades 8-12, if he or she completes an accredited teacher preparation program in the state (State Board for Educator Certification, 2005). The unive rsities in Texas currently require no ESL (English as a Second Language) coursework or training to complete their academic program (Moore, 2005). Florida In the 2002-2003 school year, Florida ranked third in the nation in the number of ELL students (203,712) enrolled in the K-12 se tting. In response to a lawsuit brought against the state by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and to ensure that its teachers were trained to teach ELLs, and thus be in compliance with Lau v. Nichols decision and the 1964 Civil Rights Act, th e state of Florida enacted the Florida Consent Decree on August 14, 1990. This decr ee guarantees that [each student has] equal access to appropriate programming that shall include both access to intensive English language instruction and instruction in basic s ubject matter areas of math, science, social studies, com puter literacy which is (a) unde rstandable to the LEP student given his or her level of English language proficiency, and (b) equal and comparable in amount, scope, sequence and quality to that provided to English proficient students (Florida Consent Decree, 1990, p. 6). However, th e fact that the curricular changes under the consent decree came about as a result of a lawsuit may indicate that the respective
35 districts do not place as high a priority on the educational experience of its ELL students as it does on other populations. Under the auspices of the Florida Consent Decree, the state of Florida has mandated that all of its high school social studies teachers are required to take 60 inservice hours of ESOL training, or three college credits of an ESOL education course. According to the social studies supervisor for the county in which the study will take place, all social studies teacher s in the district are required participate in the ESOL inservice training within two years of being hired as a condition of their employment, regardless of their transferring into the distri ct from another state or being employed prior to the Consent Decree (S. Jones, Persona l Communication, 2005).T he required college course at the University of S outh Florida is commonly called ESOL Competencies and Strategies . The University of South Floridas Co llege of Education website states that the course is Designed to enable participants to m eet the special limitations and cultural educational needs of ELL students in content area classes. This course is also designed to provide a theoretical and pr actical foundation for ESOL co mpetencies and strategies (USF College of Education website, 2005). Sinc e many of University of South Floridas graduates teach in the school di strict of the study, I am ag ain making the assumption that the effectiveness of preparation will signi ficantly impact teache r attitudes toward ELL students in the mainstream classroom. New York In the 2002-2003 school year, New York ranked fourth in the nation with 178,909 ELL students in the K-12 setting. Approved t eacher education programs for grades 7-12
36 social studies currently contain no separate coursework to train teachers to work effectively with ELLs. When queried, the state licensure offi ce replied, Although the [preservice] coursework does not specifically say so, it is intended to help prepare the student of the program to address concerns that can arise when teaching special and diverse limited populations [such as ELL students] (Zeidre, 2005). Illinois In the 2002-2003 school year, Illinois ra nked fifth in the nation with 168,727 ELL students in the K-12 setting. Standard number 3B of the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards states The competent social studies teacher understands the process of second language acquisition and strategies to support the learning of students whose first language is not Enlish. (Illinois Professiona l Teaching Standards, 2002, p. 4). However, when asked in which college course these ski lls were taught, a representative of one of the five largest teachers colleges in th e state replied to me, When its time for accreditation, therell be a mad dash to find a syllabus that has the requirement listed on it. Trust me, theyll all be covered somewhere (Anonymous 2005). It should be noted that this same representative also stated th at, Our advisors for the program do encourage our candidates to take elective coursework in ESL or bilingual educa tion, to build on the cultural knowledge that they are exposed to in the diversity elemen ts of our program. North Carolina Although North Carolina did not rank in th e top five states in total number of ELL students for the 2002-2003 school year, it does ha ve the distinction of having the highest
37 growth rate in the U.S. of ELL students in the K-12 setting. Despite the growing number of ELL students, the state of North Carolina currently does not re quire individuals who teach high school social studies to have a ny training to teach ELL students as a condition for getting a certificate (Jakema n, 2005). Just as in Florida s classrooms, if high school social studies teachers in North Carolina have ELL students mainstreamed in their classrooms, then will there be an effect on teacher attitudes if teachers are have no training to teach these students effectively? Theoretical Framework of the Study Within the realm of the social sciences, the term constructivism refers to the philosophical belief that people construc t their own understanding of reality. Some theorists go so far as to argue that there is no objective reality outside peoples constructs or perceptions (Oxford, 1997). On e of many paradigms that is closely linke d with this view is called social constructivism and it wi ll be used as the theoretical framework of this study (Cobb, 1994; Cobb & Yakel, 1995; Phillips, 1995). I have chosen this framework because it focuses on the social nature of the learning process and can be applied to the construction of reality by the mainstream teacher of ELL students. There are several assumptions shared by a dherents of social c onstructivist theory. First, that reality is constr ucted through human activity and that members of a society [or classroom] invent the properties of their w orld (Kukla, 2000). Attitudes that teachers possess in regards to time necessary to teach ELL students, how coursework should be modified to meet ELL students needs, and the support that mainstream teachers receive are all important components of the realit y-construction within the mainstream high
38 school classroom. This realityconstruction, I believe, is cons tantly changing based on the interactions between teachers and ELL student s, and also by the inte ractions the teacher may or may not have with ESOL support personnel. Another belief of social cons tructivists is that knowledge is a human product that is socially constructed (Ern est, 1999; Gredler, 1997; Praw at & Floden, 1994). For most social constructivists, the empha sis of learning (whether it be language or content) is on the process (rather than just finished products) in activity-bas ed learning situations with meaningful purposes (Rogoff, 1994). From this perspective, teacher attitudes about their ability to effectively teach ELL students (one of the themes in this study) should have some effect on the learning situations which th e teacher creates in this environment. If social interactions between teachers and ELL students are guided by positive or negative attitudes, I am making the assumption that there will be an effect on how the teacher interacts with the ELL student. For example, if a teacher perceives the ELL student as incapable of communicating or even understa nding the academic content with which he or she is presented, the teacher may lower expectations for the ELL student. The effects of lowered expectations will be discussed in greater detail later in this chapter. Another assumption I will make is that th e teacher controls many of the social interactions in social studie s classrooms. While conversation is defined as talk between equals in which no participant has special rights allocated in advance, teacher talk is a language of control (Edwards & Westgate, 1987, p. 25). Several researchers (Sinclair & Coulthard, 1975; Mehan, 1982; & Poole, 1988) ha ve examined the discourse patterns in social studies classrooms and discovered that it typically exists as teacher initiation pupil responseteacher feedback. According to Farrar (1994) there are several reasons
39 why recitation patterns such as these are so common. First, teachers can diagnose students comprehension of the content. Teachers can also control the topic being discussed, and the teacher can control stude nt behavior more easily through questionanswer format. Teacher attitudes towards th e ability levels of the mainstreamed ELL students to answer questions will have impor tant ramifications as to the types of interactions that ELL students have in the mainstream classroom. The social constructivist framework will he lp to understand and interpret the attitudes of the teachers who have created a reality based on the experience of ha ving these students in their classrooms. Constructivist theories are not without their critics, however. Bredo (2000) faults the ambiguous nature of cons tructivism, and argues that by its very nature, it is impossible to define constructivism. This is because any attempt to define constructivism that does not take into account the variety in definitions [of construc tivism] will itself be a created construct (p. 128). Airasian and Walsh (1997) co mment that constructivism should not be used as an instructional approach ; it is a theory about how learners come to know (p. 444). Other critics argue that constructivism has become simply a catchword and that many people use the term without understanding its meaning (ONeill, 1992). Despite these criticisms, how ever, constructivist ideas ha ve spawned hundreds of books and articles and currently influence classr oom teaching practices and teacher education techniques both in the United States and around the globe (Oxford, 1997). It remains a useful theoretical framework to use in understanding and explaining classroom phenomena.
40 Attitudes and Expectations for ELLs Few areas have generated as much literature in the past 40 years as teacher expectations. Beginning with Rosentha l and Jacobsons (1968) landmark (and controversial) Pygmalion Study, the concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy has been a major area of inquiry in the social sciences. In this study, teachers erroneously were led to believe that students would experience dr amatic increases in IQ by the end of the school year. By the end of the school year, the teachers expectations led to the students making significant gains in IQ. While reacti ons to the research conducted on teacher expectations have been varied, hundreds of studies have been conduc ted in a variety of settings that have confirmed the notion th at the self-fulfilling prophecy is a real phenomenon (Brophy, 1983). Rosenthal (1974) identified four broad ways specifically related to the social constructivist paradigm, in which teachers treat students differently based on their expectations of those students. First, teachers provide a more supportive emotional climate for high expectancy students (students for whom the teacher has high expectations). Teachers smile more, they are more receptive to them, and they offer more encouragement. Second, high expectancy stude nts receive more favorable feedback from the teachers and this feedback is focused on the students performance. Low expectation students consistently receive feedback that is related to behavior or cooperation while completing an academic task. Third, teachers often spend more time with and provide more attention to high expectation students. Fourth, teachers provi de high expectation students with opportunities for output. High expectation students are called on more often, are given more hints and prompts when they seem unsure of answers, and are
41 given more-challenging class work and home work assignments. By researching teacher attitudes, and specifically, teacher attitude s towards mainstreaming ELL students in the content area classroom, I hope to gain a bett er understanding of some expectations teachers have in these settings. Teachers attitudes of ELL inclusion can have a significant impact on the educational experiences and opportunities of ELLs (Reeves, 2002). Harklau (2000) made the observation that educators are more able than their students to impose their perspectives and viewpoints as commonsense in the classroom (p. 40). If teachers with mainstreamed ELLs overtly or covertly beli eve that these studen ts are unwilling or unable to accomplish academic tasks as well as their English-speaking counterparts, this can have a significant impact on the academic achievement of these students. As stated earlier, much of the existi ng research focuses on teacher attitudes toward those students in ELL programs. Howe ver, several studies have been conducted that elucidate the types of attitudes and perceptions that mainstream content area teachers possess. In one such study conducted by Verp laetse (1998), the researcher found that English learners are often ma rginalized in these classroom s and their opportunities to interact minimized, even when the classroom t eachers had the best of intentions for their ELL students. In a social studies classroom, th is marginalization is the polar opposite of the goals of the instruction. According to th e National Council for the Social Studies, the primary goal of social st udies instruction is to teach students the content knowledge, intellectual skills, and civic values necessary for fulfilling the duties of citizenship in a participatory democracy(National Council for th e Social Studies, 2005, p. 1). If students are not allowed to exercise their voice in the classroom, and are precluded from
42 learning the content knowledge that allows them to fully understand and participate in a democratic society, then their social studi es instruction has not met their needs. Furthermore, Verplaetse found that the teachers in her study wanted to protect their ELL students from embarrassment, so they refrained from aski ng difficult questions and oftentimes completed the students answers for them (Verplaetse, 1998). Opportunities to interact w ith others are critical for ELL students because language interaction plays an importan t part in language developmen t. Specifically, interaction gives ELL students an opportunity to create unique language output, and forces them to manipulate components of the new language (Swain, 1985). Teachers who do not allow ELL students the opportunity to produce language, in an effort to protect them from embarrassment, are engaged in what Hatch (1992) calls a benevol ent conspiracy (p. 67). By attempting to create a comfortable e nvironment without checking or facilitating development of academic content knowledge, te achers effectively block access to content knowledge acquisition. This strengthens the case that the attitude s that teachers had a bout the abilities of their mainstreamed ELL students had a significa nt impact on teacher behavior. It should also be noted that a ll three teachers in Verplaetses study believed they were acting in their mainstreamed students best interests when they behaved this way. Well-intended but detrimental beliefs such as these (if they exist) are one of the primary justifications for this current study. Recalling my interact ions with ELL students in my classroom, I was lucky enough to speak conversational Span ish, and would often re peat questions in Spanish that I had asked in English. That I was not helping my students learn English never occurred to me, until a colleague pointed out, By not requiring her to answer in
43 English, youre not helping her. Why would sh e learn the term in English if she knows youll repeat it in Span ish? It seems I was a part of the benevolent conspiracy. In another study of teacher perceptions, Clair (1995) conducted interviews of three teachers with mainstreamed ELL student s in their content area classrooms. She found that all three teachers felt unprepared to teach thei r ELL students and furthermore that they believed that the professional development made available to them by their school districts was largely inappropriate. They were, as Clair puts it, learning to educate these students on the job (Clair, p. 194). Another problematic aspect of Clairs findings were the beliefs by her participants that the simple solution for educating ELL students could be found in goody bags and bilingual textbooks for vocabulary words (p. 191). These data point to a common fall acious notion that fails to recognize the complexities of the social and academic integration of ELL students in mainstream classroom settings. These data mirror the findings of other studies (Harklau, 1994; Verplaetse, 1998) that teachers feel varyi ng degrees of unpreparedness when teaching ELL students in subject area classrooms. If teac hers who have these ELL students in their classrooms feel under-prepared to teach them effectively, this coul d have a significant effect on their attitudes and be havior towards these students. Youngs (1999) distributed a 13-item surv ey to middle school teachers that had mainstream ELL students in thei r subject area classrooms. This instrument was created to measure teachers attitudes towards mainstr eaming as either positive or negative. The results of her study were that overall, teacher s attitudes were found to be neutral to slightly positive towards ma instreaming practices. Howeve r, one teacher in the study remarked He [the ELL student] shouldnt even be in my class at this point (Youngs,
44 1999, p. 84). This teacher believed that placi ng this ELL in his mainstream class created too much of a demand on his time, when th ere were dozens of other students in his classroom who spoke English. In later research, Youngs and Youngs (2001) linked teachers attitudes towards ELL inclusion with various predictor variables. This study found that the variables of ELL training, persona l experience with other cultures, contact with ELL students, and gender were significantl y correlated to positiv e attitudes towards ELL inclusion in classrooms. In a paper presented to the National Council of Te achers of English, Layzer (2000) reported the findings of a qualitativ e study she conducted by interviewing several content area teachers with ELL students ma instreamed in their classrooms. She consistently found that teachers perceived th at ELL students were incapable of doing the same quality work as their native-speaking classmates. This belief led the teachers to lower their expectations for the students wh ile completing academic tasks. Anyon (1980) and Oakes (1985) have made it clear that this type of low expectation environment is one of the ways schools reproduce social ine qualities. Collier and Thomas (1999) argue that instead of adjusting expectations downward for ELL students, teachers need to demand more of these students who have to learn roughly 50% more than their Englishspeaking classmates just to be at grade level. Schmidt (2000) conducted a study on mi ddle school teachers with ELL students mainstreamed in their content area classroom s and he discovered an erroneous belief by one teacher that the ELL students in his cla ssroom were only pretending that they didnt understand English. This belief was a byproduc t of the assumption that ELL students native language is a crutch that they use to receive special breaks that arent available
45 to their English-speaking counterparts (S chmidt, 2000, p. 125). Other teachers in this study felt that ELL students shoul d be taught in a self-conta ined classroom with other non-English speaking students until their Eng lish improved and allowed them to be transferred into regular classes. Attitudes such as these, if they exist, can have negative impacts on the social environment that th e teacher constructs with the student. Teacher Expectations and Significance of Teachers Attitudes This review of literature has discusse d a broad spectrum of teacher attitudes towards ELL students, to this point. What are th e manifestations of th ese teacher attitudes in high school settings? Acco rding to Adelman (1999), the single biggest predictor of college success is the quality and intensity of students high school curriculum and instruction. Attitudes towards the perceived ab ility levels of ELL students should have a direct effect on the quality of instruction in the mainstreamed classroom. Furthermore, High school teachers often have the power to determine in which academic classes students are placed (Reeves, 2002). One such wa y this occurs is by tracking. Tracking is placing students in groups based on academic ab ility within the whole school or for part of the school day (Cazden & Beck, 2001). Ordinarily there ar e two tracks: high achievement, or academic tracks, and low achie vement, or vocational tracts. According to Harklau (1999) Teachers who perceive the c ognitive ability of their ELL students to be low based on analyses that are Englis h-language dependent oftentimes recommend lower-track placement and ELL students have be en found to be over-represented in the vocational tract (p. 45). Harklau (1994) also noted that students who are placed in vocational tracts are oftentimes unable to move to academic tracts because of the rigidity
46 of these systems. Traditionally, schools have used the vo cational track to prepare non-college bound students for the job market, while the acad emic track prepared other students for post-secondary studies (Donaldson, 2003). Low track courses often are taught by less experienced teachers, and may contain poor quality instruction (S lavin, 1993). If the teachers in these low tracks think that the students cannot learn, or do not want to learn, they may reduce their teaching efforts (Evert son, 1982)which is one of the behaviors that leads to self-fulfilling prophecies re garding low achievement. The result of this placement is that ELL students lack both th e required courses and the required educational components to effectively enter co llege and to succeed in college classes. If ELL students are denied access to advanced place ment academic core classes, the results could be that many of them will be only prepared to occupy positions in lower -paying service industry jobs. It should be noted that ELL stude nts do not exist as a homogenous group. Dropout rates and achievement rates vary by ethnic group. In the county in which the study took place for the 2000-2001 school year, 86% of Asian students graduated high school in four years while only 51% of Hispan ic students graduated during the same time period (Swanson, 2004). While not a ll of the discrepancy can be traced to the inability to speak English, the differences between groups is significant and a ppears consistently across states (Swanson, 2004). One probable factor is the impact of socioeconomic status (SES) on educational attainment. Krashe n and Brown (2005) found that high SES English language learners outperform lo w-SES fluent English speakers on academic tasks. The results indicate that SES can offset the effects of language proficiency on
47 standardized tests. Another probably factor that influences student-achievement, and a major portion of the rationale for this study is the effect of teachers on the English learners' experience while at school. Teachers may not recogni ze the power they hold over students in classrooms, but their power may be keenly fe lt by their students (Delpit, 1995). It seems worth the effort to attempt to understand the attitudes that social studies teachers have towards mainstreamed ELL students in their co ntent area classrooms in an attempt to see what role (if any) they play in these students achievement. Summary Scant literature exists on the attit udes and perceptions of secondary school teachers who have ELL students mainstreamed into their content area classrooms. No study appears to exist that focuses solely on the attitudes of high school social studies teachers who have ELL students mainstreamed in their classrooms. Because so many ELL students find themselves in these situatio ns, and because teachers can have such a significant impact on their l earning experiences, it seems noteworthy to study these teachers attitudes. This chapter presented a review of literature that focused on the increasing numbers of mainstreamed students, as well as the attitudes of teachers that have been reported in other studies. Finall y, this review discussed the effects that teachers attitudes and perceptions may have on the ELL students in their classrooms. The next chapter will outline the research me thods that were utilized in this study.
48 Chapter Three Methods and Procedures Introduction This chapter will describe the methods of data collection and procedures that I used in this study. Because this study uses the instru ments implemented by Reeves (2002), it used similar methods where appropr iate. The research questions that guided this inquiry were as follows: What are high school social studies t eachers attitudes towards ELL students using their native language to learn in thei r mainstream social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies t eachers attitudes towards modifying coursework for ELLs in their mainst ream social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies teacher s attitudes towards the amount of time required to teach ELLs in their main stream social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies t eachers attitudes towards training and support they receive to teach ELLs in thei r mainstream social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies teacher s attitudes towards the effect on the education environment when ELLs are ma instreamed in their social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies teach ers attitudes in general, towards mainstreaming ELLs their social studies classrooms? Participants of this study were all high school (Grades 9-12) social studies teachers in the district of study who at the time of the st udy had English language learning students
49 mainstreamed in their social studies classrooms. At the ti me of the study there were 344 social studies teachers working in the dist rict, and approximately 70% (n =240) have been identified as having ELL students mainstreamed into their classrooms (S. Jones, Personal communication, December 3, 2005). Teachers were only asked to complete the survey if they currently had ELL students ma instreamed into their high school social studies classes. I chose to do this because it is possible that some teachers may have had ELL students mainstreamed in classrooms more than fifteen years ago, before the Florida Consent Decree was enacted and therefore the training required for content area teachers was much different. Prior to distributing surv eys or contacting participants for survey purposes, Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval was gained as well as approval from the social studies supervisor and the director of research and measurement in the school district in which the study took place. For the qualitative portion of this stu dy, the researcher c hose eight high school social studies teachers from the survey respondents and conducted interviews with these teachers. Due to the exploratory nature of the study, a mixed method model was used. The specific model used was a sequential e xploratory model, in which quantitative survey data were analyzed first (Tashakkor i & Teddlie, 2003, p. 28) and interview data were analyzed last. From the group of respondent s to the survey (n = 123), eight teachers were chosen who were asked to allow the re searcher to conduct interviews with them regarding their attitudes towa rd teaching ELLs in their soci al studies classrooms. The eight teachers were chosen based on their willingness to be interviewed and no two interview participants were chosen from the same school. Initially, I had planned to interview four social studies teachers with three or less ELL students and four who had
50 more than four ELL students in their classr oom. However, since there was no way for me to know how many ELL students each respec tive teacher had in his/her classroom, I interviewed the first eight teac hers who would agree to the interview. It should be noted that all eight interview participants were fr om different schools and represented a broad range of teaching experience (from on e-half year to 30 plus years). Qualitative Instrument For the quantitative inquiry that took place during this study, the same interview guide (with the addition of three questions ) was used that Reeves (2002) relied upon when conducting her interviews. This type of interview is considered "structured" because the researcher asked specific questi ons that were predetermined before the interview took place (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). The first series of questions on the interview guide gathered dem ographic data from the partic ipant. These questions asked for information such as years of experience, number of ELL students currently in the respective social studies classroom, and nature of training for working with ELL students. The second and third questions are simila r to the Section C items on the survey instrument and were used to explore the atti tudes of the social st udies teachers towards ELL inclusion. The fourth question asked the part icipants what types of training he or she had to teach ELL students in the classroom Finally, the last questions asked the participants to describe successful technique s and strategies used with ELL students in the mainstreamed classroom. The content-rela ted validity of the instrument was assessed after the interviews were conducted by analyzi ng the types of data th at were collected. Since Reeves (2002) successfully used the sa me interview schedule to receive relevant
51 data to answer her interview questions, I hoped that the same interview questions (related specifically to social studies classes) woul d suffice. The data gathered by the survey instrument were used to describe the attit udes of the high school social studies teachers with ELL students mainstreamed in their content-area classrooms. Qualitative Procedure The qualitative procedures that were utili zed for this study involved the researcher conducting interviews with eight teachers from eight different schools. The only criteria I considered was whether or not the teachers had ELL students at the time of the study and whether or not they would agree to be interv iewed. Each of the eight teachers who were selected were interviewed once and then I emailed the transcribed responses to the teachers so they could add or delete any comments. The purpose of the email was to allow the respondents to clarify any of their responses or to add to the responses, if the participant felt it is was necessary. With the ex ception of one participant, all participants had no changes in the initial tr anscription of the interview. Each interview lasted between 30 and 60 minutes. Each interview was conduc ted by me and each interview was audiotaped to ensure accuracy of data collecti on. One interview was not audio-taped, as my recording device malfunctioned. For that particular interview, I took field notes and immediately transcribed the notes upon return ing home. All participants felt comfortable allowing me to record the interviews. After the interviews were transcribed, I shared selected components of the data with certain committee members to get their thoughts on the emerging themes. There were no codes pr e-assigned to the data before collection, rather they were created as the data were analyzed.
52 Qualitative Analysis After I conducted interviews, the audio-ta ped transcripts were transcribed into a word processing document. The transcripts of the interviews were imported into the qualitative software program NUD*IST (Richards, 2002) to he lp the researcher create codes for the data. Changing qualitative data into numeric data is a term Tashakkori and Teddlie call quantitizing data (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2003, p. 9). The coding of data took place as the researcher entered the data into the qualitative software and I allowed for more codes to be created as the data requi red it. The codes corresponded with the themes that were identified by the research of Verplaetse ( 1998), Youngs (1999), and Youngs and Youngs (2001) and were subsequently us ed to create the survey and interview instruments. I analyzed the interview data for patterns in attitudes, and then I compared this data to the information collected on the surveys. Also, I examined the interview responses to identify any emerging themes th at resulted from the unique experience of teaching ELLs who are mainstreamed in soci al studies classrooms. Comparing survey data with interview data was a method of tr iangulating the data. Tr iangulation refers to using multiple sources of evidence...to s upport a conclusion (Eisner, 1991, p. 26). Both the quantitative and qualitative data were examined to answer the question, What are high school social studies teachers attit udes of ELL inclusion in their classrooms? Neither design (qualitative nor qualitative) wa s given preference, ra ther, the researcher used the qualitative data to help further e xplain the data gathered by the quantitative survey instrument. The researcher used a se quential mixed analysis to explore the data collected. Tashakkori and Te ddlie (2003, p. 10) use the term qualitative follow-up
53 interaction analysis to describe similar stud ies as this one. It was hoped that the survey and interview data could be used to elucidat e the themes that the previous research has discovered as well as offering new insights into how social studies teachers feel about the inclusion of ELL students in thei r social studies classrooms. Quantitative Instrument Because one of the primar y goals of replicating a st udy is to see how data are alike or different across setti ngs, I used the survey instrume nt created by Reeves (2002), with only minor alterations. The instrument was designed by Reeves (2002) using the major qualitative themes mentioned in the fe w earlier studies (Ver plaetse, 1998; Youngs, 1999; Youngs & Youngs, 2001) that measured te achers' attitudes and perceptions of mainstreamed ELL students. The first them e explored two categories of language attitudes and perceptions: attitudes towards second language acquisition processes and the role each language should play in the cl assroom. An important component of this theme is to explore how teacher s feel about allowing ELLs to use their native language in the mainstreamed classroom. The second theme explored attitudes and perceptions regarding modification of coursework for ELLs in the content area classroom. The third theme represented attitudes and perceptions towards the time require d of social studies teachers with ELLs mainstreamed in their cl assrooms. The fourth theme explored the different types of training teachers received that enabled them to work effectively with ELLs and the perceptions of the adequacy of support the teachers received from the school administration and the ELL program. The fifth theme explored the changes in the environment as a result of the inclusion of ELLs in the social studies classroom. The last
54 theme rated the general level of enthusiasm by teachers for the policy of mainstreaming ELLs into content area classrooms. The survey consisted of 38 items: 16 items represent a 5-point Likert-format, 11 items represent a rating scale format using a frequency table (e.g., How often or How much do you do something?), 4 items were ope n-ended, and 8 items were included that elicited demographic data on the participants (e.g., gender, age, number of years teaching ELL in inclusion settings, etc.) (Appendix B). The researcher gave all the department chairs the exact instructions to read when ad ministering the survey for all the participants in the study. In Section A of the survey, th e 5-point Likert-format scale containing 16 questions was utilized (see Appendix B). The participants were asked to choose which statement most accurately describes their attit udes and perceptions: strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly di sagree, and they were also allo wed to choose no opinion as a response. These items were used to by Reev es (2002) to answer the research questions that pertained to the attitudes of these t eachers as well as the effect of having an ELL student in their classroom. These same items and scale were used in the current study to address the quantitative research question. No formal reliability test was run using the survey data collected. Score reliability refers to the how consistent ly the instrument (in this case, the survey) will accurately meas ure the phenomenon that is attempting to measure. A simple way to ensure reliability is to ask more than one question regarding the same topic to see if there is consistenc y in the types of answ ers collected using the instrument. In Section B, using an 11-point rating scale, participants were asked to read a statement and then check the box next to th e most appropriate frequency with which it
55 occurs: most of the time, some of the time, seldom, or never. Section C consisted of two open-ended items: a) Please list what you consid er to be the greatest benefit of including ELL students in your high school social studies classroom, and b) Pl ease list what you consider to be the greatest ch allenges of including ELL students in social studies classes. Finally, the survey included eight items that allowed me to describe the sample. Although Reeves (2002) developed the survey ques tions and conducted a p ilot study to test construct-related validity, no score reliability was contained in the description of her instrument. To avoid ambiguity upon its admi nistration, the survey operationally defined the term ELL student I also asked the department chairs to read the survey to make sure they had no questions or concer ns about its administration an d I offered clarification if necessary. Upon completion of the surveys, the pa rticipants were asked to place them in a sealed envelope or to return the surveys to me in the self-addressed, stamped envelopes that I provided for all the teachers. In this way, I tried to ensure that the department chairperson did not have access to the respondent s answers to the survey, if he or she chose to look at it. Quantitative Procedure The quantitative procedures in this st udy were used for descriptive purposes. Descriptive statistics, rather than examin ing causation, simply attempt to use numeric data to describe variables. In this study, th e high school social studi es teachers attitudes were the variables described. After receiving IRB approval, as well as the approval of the school district in which the study was conducted, the researcher met with the high school social studies supervisor for the school di strict. The surveys were distributed to the
56 department chairs of every social studies depa rtment in the school dist rict at their end of year meeting. The department chairs were as ked to distribute th e surveys and collect them at weekly department meetings at th eir respective schools. A blank envelope was provided for each of the surveys and the teacher s were asked to seal their envelopes so that the department chairs could not read th e survey results. To standardize the data collection, all surveys contained the exact same wordi ng and the exact same operational definitions of the problematic term mentioned earlier (i.e., ELL student ). The teachers were be asked to complete their surveys and re turn them to their department chairs in a sealed envelope or directly to me in th e self-addressed, stamped envelope which I provided. After the surveys were collected by the department chairs of each school, they mailed them to my campus address. Quantitative Analysis The survey data were analyzed using de scriptive statistics. Univariate analyses were employed to determine frequency dist ributions, percentages, and measures of central tendency. Each response to the survey data was coded using a numeric value. In the first section, the coding was as follows : strongly disagree = 1, disagree = 2, no opinion= 3, agree = 4, and strongl y agree = 5. For the second section of the survey, the following coding scheme was used: seldom or none = 1, some of the time = 2, and most or all of the time = 3. Each participants set of responses for these two sections was entered into the statistical program Statistical Program fo r the Social Sciences (SPSS, 2003) using the values described above, in order to conduct all statistical analyses. Yes/no responses to items on the surv ey were coded as yes = 1 and no = 2. Responses for gender were coded as male = 1 and female = 2. For the question that asked
57 the participants to rate thei r second language abilities, res ponses were coded as beginner =1, intermediate = 2, and advanced = 3. Freque ncies and percentages were calculated for these questions. The final category that requir ed coding was the description of training methods used to prepare the teachers for instruction. For this section, the following coding scheme was utilized: university coursework = 1, in-service training = 2, both university coursework and in-service training = 3. The last three items of the survey allowed participants to write extended answers to the questions. All responses to these questions were transc ribed to a word processing document. The responses were read several times and patterns in the participants responses were examined. Any response that consistently appeared in the responses by the teachers were given a code by the resear cher. Codes are labels assigning units of meaning to the descriptive or inferential information compiled during a study (Miles & Huberman, 1994, p. 56).
58 Chapter Four Results Introduction The research questions which guided this inquiry are as follows: What are high school social studies t eachers attitudes towards ELL students using their native language to learn in thei r mainstream social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies t eachers attitudes towards modifying coursework for ELL students in their ma instream social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies teacher s attitudes towards the amount of time required to teach ELL students in their ma instream social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies t eachers attitudes towards training and support they receive to teach ELL students in their mainstream social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies teacher s attitudes towards the effect on the education environment when ELL students are mainstreamed in their social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies teach ers attitudes in general, towards mainstreaming ELL students in thei r social studies classrooms? To answer these questions, 344 questionna ires (one for each high school social studies teacher in the district ) were distributed to every de partment chairperson in the county in which the study took place. Since I had no way of knowi ng which teachers at which schools had ELL students mainstreamed in their classroom at the time of the study,
59 each teacher in the school district was supplie d with a survey. Within one week, surveys began being returned to me at the univers ity. One department ch airperson placed the completed surveys in my university mailbox, but a majority of the participants mailed the completed surveys back to me at the uni versity's address usin g the self-addressed stamped envelopes I provided. To gather qualitative data, in the fall of the 2006-2007 school year eight teachers who all taught at different schools and w ho agreed to be interviewed were asked questions regarding their attitudes towards the inclusion of mainstreaming ELL students in the high school social studi es classroom. The interviews were conducted either at my office at the university or at the participants' respective sc hools. Interviews took between 30 to 60 minutes to conduct and were completed by November, 2006. Return Rates Only teachers who had ELL students enrolled in their social studies classes at the time of the study were asked to complete th e surveys. Of the 344 surveys which were distributed, 123 (35.7%) were returned. Th e county supervisor estimated that approximately 70% (n=240) of the social studi es teachers in the county had at least one ELL student mainstreamed in their classr oom. Using these figures, the 123 surveys indicated that slightly more than 50 % of the teachers who had ELL students mainstreamed in their classroom at the time of the study responded to the survey. Since the surveys were collected a nonymously, it is impossible to k now if any systematic bias occurred in the distribution at the respec tive schools. For exam ple, although all the department chairs took the surveys back to their schools, I do not know definitively
60 whether they did or did not distribute them to the teachers in their respective departments. Also, since demographic data was not availabl e for me regarding all high school social studies teachers, it is not po ssible to know whether or not my sample of 123 participants differed significantly based on ethnicity, training, years of teaching experience, or second language proficiency. Demographics of Survey Participants Of the 123 respondents, 47.2% (n=58) repor ted their gender as male. Another 42.3% (n=52) reported their gend er as female. Thirteen resp ondents did not indicate their gender on the questionnaire. Data reported by re spondents in regards to their ethnicity are listed in Table 1. Table 1 Ethnicity of Survey Participants _______________________________________________________________________ Ethnicity Number Percentage of total White 87 70.7% Hispanic 6 4.9% African-American 10 8.1% Other 6 4.9% Missing 14 11.4% ________________________________________________________________________ When queried about their native language, 88.6% (n=109) of the participants indicated that English was their native language and only 2.4% (n=3) reported that
61 English was not their native language. Sixtyone respondents (49.6%) indicated that they spoke a language other than English but only 21 of these respondents indicated that they spoke the second language at either the "inter mediate" or "advanced" level. Due to the large number of Spanish-speaking students in the county in which the study took place, it may be that many people who indicated that they do speak another language probably speak conversational Spanish that they've learned through interac tions with students or in their personal lives. Years of experience by partic ipants ranged from one year to forty-one years. The mode of the data was four years of teach ing experience, as 11.4% (n=14) of the participants listed this as the number of y ears they had been teaching. This number was more than twice as high as any other numb er of years reported for experience. A vast majority of respondents (82.9%, n=102) indicat ed that they had received training in teaching ELL students, while only 6.5% (n=8 ) indicated that they had no training whatsoever in teaching ELL students. Of the survey participants, 59.3% (n=73) reported having received inservice training from the sc hool district and a nother 20.3% (n=25) reported having received training to teach ELL students in college courses. Twenty-six participants (21.1%) did not indicate the t ype of training which they had received. Demographics of Interview Participants There were eight participants who agreed to be interviewed. The original study design called for me to identify four teacher s whose classrooms contained one to three ELL students and four teachers whose classroom s contained four or more ELL students. However, because specific information as to the number of ELL students in each
62 classroom was unavailable to me, I instead interviewed the first eight teachers who agreed to participate in the study. It should be noted that a ll teachers were from different schools within the district. Five of the interviewees were male, a nd their experience ranged from two and a half years of teaching to 37 years of teach ing experience. The three female teachers' experience ranged from seventeen weeks to ni neteen years. In order to conceal the identity of the eight interview participants, pseudonyms were created for identification. Below are demographic data for each of the participants: Stacy is a department chair at her high school. Sh e taught social studies (in English) for several years at a school in Europe. At th e time of the study she had approximately fifteen ELL students mainstreamed in her social studies classroom. Ov erall, less than ten percent of the students at her school are cla ssified as "Limited English Proficient." She teaches in a racially diverse school and he r ELL students spoke three different languages at the time of the study. When asked what her go al was for her social studies students she said, "To equip them so they are prepared to actively participate in becoming a citizen." Stephanie has been teaching at an inner-city magnet high school for five years. Her school is ethnically diverse and less than five percent of th e school population is listed as "Limited English Proficient." At the time of the study, sh e had six ELL students in her social studies classroom. She indicated that she has "many friends from many different countries" and that she's expe rienced "many language learners from many cultures." Her goal is to "connect teaching to the real worl d and to experiences outside the classroom," because in her opinion, "students can 't learn until you've done that." Rachel is a first year teacher teaching at a schoo l in an urban setting. She was born in the
63 Caribbean, but does not speak any other la nguages besides Eng lish. Less than five percent of her school is listed as "Limited English Proficie nt" and at the time of the interview she had six ELL students mainstr eamed in her social studies classroom. According to her, the major goal of her instru ction is to "make students more responsible and better citizens." Ralph is in his third year teaching at a school that would be characte rized as being in a "rural" setting in which more than half of th e students are classified as "white." At his school, "Limited English Proficient" students ma ke up approximately five percent of the total population. At the time of the interview, he indicated that he had approximately 16 ELL students in his mainstream social st udies classroom. He grew up in a very homogeneous town in the Midwest and had ve ry little experience with English Language Learners until he moved to Florida. His ma in goal is "to get students to make good decisions (in regards to economics) so they can go out into the real world and be successful." Peter was in his fifth year of teaching at the time of the interview at an urban magnet high school. He also grew up in a homogenous town in which there were virtually no English Language Learners. He has traveled ex tensively in Europe a nd to Africa as an adult. More than ten percent of the students at his high school are classified as "Limited English Proficient" and almost half of the students at his school are classified as "Hispanic." At the time of the study, he had approximate ly 40 ELL students enrolled in his social studies classes. When asked what his goal is for students when they leave his class, he responded, "I want st udents to be good, civically-minded students. I also want to stretch kids' minds, I want them to think outside the box."
64 Roger has been teaching social studies for more than 30 years. His school is one of the larger schools in the county in which the study took place. He has never traveled to a non-English speaking country. His school is in a "suburban" setting and less than five percent are classified as "Limited English Proficient" on the school 's webpage. At the time of the interview, he responded that he had five ELL students in his social studies classes. When asked about his goals of instruction, he respon ded, "I want the students to go out in the world and understa nd their rights an d protections." Gary is a 30-year veteran of the U.S. military and has lived in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. He had eleven years of teachi ng experience and at the time of the study had thirteen ELL students mainstreamed in his classroom. Less than three percent of the students at his school ar e classified as "Limited English Proficient" and almost 70% of the students at his school are cl assified as "white." His goal is "to get students to connect yesterday to today." He belie ves that "if math and scienc e are the building blocks of education, then social studies is the mortar that holds it all together." Steve was in his fifth year at the time the interview data were collected. He spent almost a decade outside the United States teaching c onversational English in Japan. His school is in an urban setting and almost one forth of its students are classified as "Limited English Proficient." At the time of the study, he es timated that approximately one third of his students were English Language Learners. He st ated that over the course of his teaching career, his goal moved from being content-cen tered to "I just want them to think."
65 Research Question OneSurvey Data The research questions will be addressed in the order in which they have been previously listed. Appendix F lists each re search question with its corresponding survey questions. The first research question is "W hat are high school social studies teachers attitudes towards ELL students us ing their native language to learn in their mainstream social studies classrooms?" Survey respondents were provided with a five-point Likert Scale and asked to respond to the prompt, "ELL students should avoid using their native language while in my classroom." Table 2 repr esents responses collected to this question. Table 2 Students should avoid using their native language while in my classroom ________________________________________________________________________ Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree n=14 n=44 n=17 n=35 n=12 (11.4%) (35.8%) (13.8%) (28.5%) (9.8%) ________________________________________________________________________ According to these data, 47.2% of the teachers who responded strongly disagreed or disagreed that students should avoid us ing their native language while in the mainstream social studies cl assroom. Slightly less (38.3%) of social studies teachers either agree or strongly agr ee that the student's native langua ge should be avoided in the mainstream classroom. Two questions from Section B of the questionnaire focused on the same topic but were asked from a different perspective. Sp ecifically, these questions asked teachers how often they allowed ELL students to use th eir native language in the mainstream
66 classroom and how often the teacher provided materials for ELL students in their native language. The results are indicated in Table 3 below. Table 3Results for native language use I allow an ELL student to use his or her native language in my class. ________________________________________________________________________ Seldom or never Some of the time Most or all of the time No response n=27 n=54 n=36 n=6 (22%) (43.9%) (29.3%) (4.9%) ________________________________________________________________________ I provide materials for ELL st udents in their native language. Seldom or never Some of the time Most or all of the time No response n=67 n=43 n=6 n=7 (54.5%) (35%) (4.9%) (5.7%) ________________________________________________________________________ These data indicate that approximately thr ee out of four teachers allow students to use their native language at some point in their classrooms. The survey instrument included a section which asked th e respondents to list the greate st challenges of including ELL students in their mainstream classroom. Below are several anonymous responses that are pertinent to the research question: "It's difficult when I take away their crutch (others interpreting for them)." "It's hard keeping them on task when th ey're fraternizing in their own language (with other students)." "I've suspected some students of cheati ng in their own language and I don't know
67 what they're saying." "I find them wanting to speak English le ss and less if they ha ve friends in the classroom who speak their language." "My biggest problem is lack of materials for me in their native language; lack of quizzes and worksheets, for example." One teacher was an obvious proponent of allowing students to use their native language, especially in a cooperativ e capacity. This teacher wrote: "When I have no other student who speak s the student's native language it's difficult, but I've had great success w ith students helping other students." Research Question OneInterview Data Of the eight interview participants, four mentioned having positive experiences "pairing" less-proficient ELL students with ot her students who were more proficient in English. Stephanie said, "I think one of the best things that wo rk for kids that are learning English is to pair them with somebody else w ho is very proficient at English who can be their like study-buddy or can be their assistan t to help them do the work." Rachel was opposed to students using their native langua ge in her social st udies classroom on a regular basis. She commented: If they're speaking their native language th en they're not getting practice speaking English and of course, we're in a class where we speak English. They're speaking their native language at home so the only practice they get sp eaking English is at school which is barely any because they don't talk a lot in class. Steve had this to say about the use of language "pairs" in his social studies classroom:
68 Pairing them together di d not work for me. Um, this is a classic...if you ask a teacher 'are you using ESOL strategies?' They respond, 'Well, I pair them up,' that's all they do. Pairing did not work for me because what I found out was the kid was copying off his friend for the enti re semester. And when I finally figured it out and broke them apart his grade ju st went 'phhffft.' He spent the whole semester just copying off his friend. Gary also had a negative experience using a cooperative learning group which consisted of only ELL students. He commented: I've had some trouble with group wor k. One time I put five or six Spanish speakers in a group and they weren't ge tting anything done, it was just social hour. So it took me about ten minutes to break up that group. Research Question TwoSurvey Data The second research question which guide d this study was, "What are high school social studies teachers attitudes towards m odifying coursework for ELL students in their mainstream social studies classrooms?" Th e survey instrument contained ten items specifically linked to this research question. The first seven questi ons employed the fivepoint Likert scale ranging fr om "Strongly Disagree" to "Str ongly Agree." The data for these questions are listed in Table 4.
69 Table 4Results for coursework modification It is a good idea to simplify coursework for ELL students Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree n=9 n=56 n=12 n=40 n=6 (7.3%) (45.5%) (9.8%) (32.5) (4.9%) ________________________________________________________________________ It is a good idea to assign less coursework to ELL students Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree n=17 n=85 n=4 n=13 n=3 (13.8%) (69.1%) (3.3%) (10.6%) (2.4%) ________________________________________________________________________ It is a good idea to allow ELL student s more time to complete coursework Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree n=3 n=8 n=7 n=86 n=18 (2.4%) (6.5%) (5.7%) (69.9%) (14.6%) ________________________________________________________________________ Teachers should not give ELL students a fai ling grade if the student displays effort. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree n=15 n=51 n=12 n=41 n=3 (12.2%) (41.5%) (9.8%) (33.3%) (2.4%) ________________________________________________________________________
70 Teachers should not modify assignments for ELL students enrolled in social studies classrooms. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree n=15 n=67 n=6 n=23 n=10 (12.2%) (54.5%) (4.9%) (18.7%) (8.1%) ________________________________________________________________________ The modification of coursework for ELL student s would be difficult to justify to Englishspeaking students. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree n=17 n=51 n=10 n=36 n=6 (13.8%) (41.5%) (8.1%) (29.3%) (4.9%) ________________________________________________________________________ Until students have learned to speak English, I shouldn't expect too much from them in my class. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree n=24 n=71 n=8 n=12 n=5 (19.5%) (57.7%) (6.5%) (9.8%) (4.1%) ________________________________________________________________________ These data indicate that overall, a slight majority of teachers (52.8%) believe that it is a good idea to simplify coursework fo r ELL students. A significant amount (26.8%), however, indicated that teachers should not modify assignments for ELL students. A larger percentage (66.7%) either agreed or st rongly agreed that coursework should simply be modified for the ELL student. However, a larger majority (72.9%) of teachers
71 surveyed did not believe in assigning the ELL student less coursework. A vast majority (84.5%) of the teachers either agreed or st rongly agreed that ELL students should be given more time to complete coursework in the mainstream classroom. Also, slightly more than half of the teachers (55.3%) disa greed that it would be difficult to justify course modifications for ELL students to th e English-speaking students in the same classroom. In Section B of the survey instru ment, respondents were asked to describe the practices which occur in their social studies classrooms using "sel dom or never," "some of the time," or "most or all of the time." These data are indicated in Table 5 below: Table 5Reported behaviors fo r coursework modification I allow ELL students more time to complete their coursework Seldom or never Some of the time Most or all of the time No response n=9 n=42 n=67 n=5 (7.3%) (34.1%) (54.5%) (4.1%) ________________________________________________________________________ I give ELL students less cou rsework than other students Seldom or never Some of the time Most or all of the time No response n=89 n=24 n=5 n=0 (72.4%) (19.5%) (4.1%) (0%) ________________________________________________________________________ Effort is more important than achi evement when I grade ELL students. Seldom or never Some of the time Most or all of the time No response n=28 n=63 n=26 6 (22.8%) (51.2%) (21.1%) (4.9%)
72 These data indicate that almost threefourths (72.4%) of teachers who responded do not feel like ELL students can do less work than their English-speaking counterparts. These data also indicates th at a vast majority (84.6%) of the respondents allow ELL students more time to complete assigned c oursework in their soci al studies classroom. The survey instrument provided a space wh ich stated, "Please write any additional comments you have regarding the inclusion of ELL students in your classroom." Several responses from this portion of the survey pert ained to the second re search question. Some comments are listed below: "It's difficult to cover the content with students who don't speak English the same way as those who do." "Modifying lessons is difficult, especi ally those related to the FCAT." "My inability to modify th e lesson or to explain it, makes it difficult for me to teach." "Having to modify the inform ation all the time is difficult." This was one of the most common comments in regards to th e greatest challenge in regards to teaching ELL students in the mainst ream social studies classroom. "By modifying the lesson for ELL kids, the standards expected of the class and grade level are impossible (underline his) to stick to." "Current ESOL practices dumb down th e curriculum. ELLs are not dumb, they just don't speak English." "(ELL) students are put in the classroom t oo soon and far too little is expected of them. I have had various students that st arted learning the language less than two
73 years who have learned more than 90% of my (other students). Don't baby them, sink or swim, they will learn how to swim." "The ELL students are given way too much preferential treatmen t. If I was in another country, I would be required to ta ke their classes in their language. If I failed to make a passing score, I would have to retake the class." "If ELL students want to r eceive the same high school diploma as others, then they should have to do the same work. If they get less work, then they should get a diploma of attendance." Research Question TwoInterview Data The eight interview participants were as ked to describe specific modifications they incorporated into thei r instruction when teaching E nglish Language Learners. Four of the interviewees mentioned that they incorporated more visuals when ELL students are mainstreamed in their classroom. Stephanie said, "I think that's helpful, you know visuals, I use a lot of graphic organizers to organize information." Peter teaches Law Studies and uses an extensive set of PowerPoi nt images to convey his content. He stated: I have to find pictures of somebody who has rage in their face. So I find these pictures and I piece them together and I go 'these are the elements of first degree murder' and I show the different pictures, and I go 'these are the elements of second degree murder' and I show them th e pictures. Um, for instance, maybe a more clear picture. There's a picture of a house on fire, arson. There's a picture of a man punching another man with his fist, that's simple battery. Someone hitting someone with a stick, it's aggravated batte ry, because they're using a weapon. So I
74 find these pictures on the Internet and then I put them in PowerPoint and then I kind of run them through a visual test first. So I do the test a couple of times and I do the slides right before the te st and they all get a 100 on it. Both Stacy and Ralph allow ELL students to take work home with them, especially translating vocabulary. Stacy said: So I'll say ahead of time, 'now we're going to work on this set of vocabulary for fifteen minutes, you do that at home.' Oka y, so that they're not spending the whole time looking up the words and missing the in teraction in clas s. So now I know that there are certain things that they'll do at home or to the side or after so that they don't miss out on a learning activity. Gary was the only interview ee who made reference to non-ELL students' reactions to modifying coursework. He stated: I try to include more visual activities such as map activities and I constantly use overheads. But I have to make sure I maintain a level playing field for all students. If regular stude nts perceive that I'm doing too much for the ELL students, then they feel like, 'Why not me ?' or 'Why can't I have that special treatment?' Some vocalize th ese concerns, but it's rare. However, I know that it's one of the native-speakers' main concerns.
75 Research Question ThreeSurvey Data The third research question which guided this inquiry was "What are high school social studies teachers attitudes toward s the amount of time required to teach ELL students in their mainstream social studies classrooms?" Question number six asked the participants to respond to the prompt "Soc ial studies teachers do not have enough time to deal with the needs of ELL st udents." Table 6 below shows th e data collected regarding this question. Table 6Results regarding time requirements Social studies teachers do not have enough time to deal with the needs of ELL students. _______________________________________________________________________ Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree n=6 n=40 n=18 n=44 n=15 (4.9%) (32.5%) (14.6%) (35.8%) (12.2%) ________________________________________________________________________ These data indicate that slightly less than half of the teachers ( 48%) feel like they do not have adequate time to deal with th e extra responsibilities that accompany ELL students in the mainstream classroom. In Secti on B of the survey inst rument, participants were asked to respond to two prompts regard ing the "Impact of Inclusion" regarding ELL students in the mainstream classroom. Table 7 indicates the data gathered for these two prompts.
76 Table 7Reported attitudes toward time The inclusion of ELL students in my classes increases my workload ________________________________________________________________________ Seldom or never Some of the time Most or all of the time No response n=18 n=49 n=50 n=6 (14.6%) (39.8%) (40.7%) (4.9%) ________________________________________________________________________ ELL students require more of my time than other students Seldom or never Some of the time Most or all of the time No response n=14 n=57 n=46 n=6 (11.4%) (46.3%) (37.4% ) (4.9%) ________________________________________________________________________ Both questions indicate that more than 80% of teachers believe that having ELL students in their social studies classrooms either takes up mo re time or increases their workload. This number is significantly higher than the percentage of teachers who indicated they did not feel they had enough time to effectively teach these students. Chapter five will discuss the implications of the discrepancy between these two sets of numbers. However, these data seem to i ndicate that their is a perception that ELL students, like any other "exceptional" populati on (e.g., students with le arning disabilities or students who are "gifted") require mo re time than do "ordinary" students. In the section of the survey which asked teachers what their greatest challenges were in regards to teaching ELL student in the mainstream classroom, "time" was listed by several participants. Below are comments fr om the survey participants that pertain
77 directly to this theme. "(The inclusion) increases teacher workload often with no discernable results/benefits to studentsit interferes with class momentum." "Increased paperwork and lack of time." "Finding the time to modify material and lessons, especially to learn abstract concepts." "Taking time away from the 'flow' of cl ass to explain further (to ELL students)." "They (ELL students) often require a lot of time and special assistance." "Not enough time. Making accommodations in lesson plans typically means more time grading." "It requires more time and work." "Extra work and lesson plans that we just don't have time for." "Harder to prepare bilingual less ons, there's just not enough time." Research Question ThreeInterview Data Six of the eight interviewees specifica lly mentioned time as a major obstacle faced by social studies teachers with mainstr eam ELL students. It should be noted that even teachers with positive attitudes to wards mainstreaming ELL students mentioned time constraints when asked. Ralph (who ha d indicated a negative attitude towards mainstreaming) said: I assign them something to read out of the textbook and they just don't get it. It's very frustrating. I want to te ach a certain way and you just can't. It takes time to
78 try to think of a way to get a student to understa nd something and it gets frustrating. When asked about the biggest obstacle in teaching ELL students, Roger said, "Time...Time with the curriculum. It's not the nature of the students. Typically, they're of at least average intelligence but it's simply a time consideration." Stacy mentioned that time constraints cause her to present a less -challenging curriculum to the ELL students. She said: The biggest challenge is time. And to in clude them at the same level is the biggest thing. You can always have them do assignments that are lesschallenging, intellectually, that are easier. In order to modify the curriculum so they at least get the same intellectual delivery of th e lesson, that's more timeconsuming and requires individual help. And many of the students just need a lot more time which means you need to be a lot more flexible to accept things turned in later. Rachel mentioned the difficulties of havi ng ELL students and ESE students in the same classroom and how that affect s her instruction. She said: Because some of my other kids are ES E (i.e., students who are considered "exceptional" and may have any of a vari ety of learning challenges) and they're demanding attention from me, I can't give them the kind to time and attention that they need if I'm in a class with 35 ot her students you know, three are ESE, four are ESOL, while the rest...It's hard, I can't give them the kind of attention that I know they need. Stephanie made reference to how large cl ass sizes affect her instruction when ELL
79 students are present. She said: I'd say one of the biggest challenges right now is just the class sizes. They're so big anyway. And many of the classes range between 30 and 40 students and so if you have a large percentage of English Language Learners in the class, it's hard to just take the time to just give them the accommodations they need and to you know, give them the additional help. Especia lly if it's a class where behavior is an issue. If you even stop your momentum for a moment, things might get out of control on the other side of the room. Peter explained how the county-mandated exam at the end of the semester can make it difficult when ELL students are mainstreamed in his classroom. He said: The speed of getting the curriculum across to the students. The social studies curriculum is so broad and sometimes you ha ve to go into incredible depth with each item, and you've got a short time span to get it across to these students. When you've got students who really aren 't great with the la nguage you have to take your time and go slow. And that can trip you up when there's a county exam at the end and the county exam written by the county you have to cover these things, that's on the county tests, so um, there's just certain things where you just have to race through things. Research Question FourSurvey Data The fourth research question that guide d this study was "What are high school social studies teachers' attitudes towards tr aining and support they receive to teach ELL students in their mainstream social studies cl assrooms?" The survey instrument contained
80 five items that were directly related to this research question. The data from the first two questions from Section A of the survey are listed in Table 8. Table 8Attitudes towards training I had adequate training in college course s to teach ELL stude nts effectively. ________________________________________________________________________ Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree n=23 n=40 n=16 n=36 n=6 (18.7%) (32.5%) (13%) (29.3%) (4.9%) ________________________________________________________________________ My district offers training that would help me teach E LL students more effectively Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree n=10 n=24 n=18 n=58 n=11 (8.1%) (19.5%) (14.6%) (47.2%) (8.9%) ________________________________________________________________________ Slightly more than half of the respon dents (51.2%) felt that they did not have adequate training in their college course work to effectively teach ELL students. However, slightly more than half of the teachers (51.5%) have been teaching eight years or more and the current college requirement s for coursework in training ELL students was not implemented before the Fall of 2000 (Sm ith, 2007). It is possible that most or all of these teachers never received any training in college to teach ELL students, as the number of ELL students they encountered were drastically lower than the numbers encountered currently. A slight majority of teachers (56.1%) either agreed or strongly agreed that their school dist rict does offer training that would help them teach ELL
81 students more effectively. Section B of the survey instrument c ontained a section titled "Teacher Support" and asked the participants to respond to three questions regard ing this research question. The first three asked for freque ncies ranging from "seldom or never" to "most or all of the time." The data for these three questions is indicated in Table 9. Table 9Attitudes toward support received by teachers _______________________________________________________________________ I receive adequate support from my administration when ELL students are in my class. Seldom or never Some of the time Most or all of the time No response n=52 n=42 n=22 n=7 (42.3%) (34.1%) (17.9%) (5.7%) ________________________________________________________________________ I receive adequate support from ELL staff when ELL students are enrolled in my class. Seldom or never Some of the time Most or all of the time No response n=40 n=46 n=30 n=7 (32.5%) (37.4%) (24.4%) (5.7%) ________________________________________________________________________ I conference with the ELL teacher. Seldom or never Some of the time Most or all of the time No response n=43 n=50 n=23 n=7 (35%) (40.7%) (18.7%) (5.7%) ________________________________________________________________________ These data indicate that more than th ree fourths (76.4%) of respondents felt that
82 their administration was not providing adequate support most or all of the time. Roughly one-third of the respondents (32.5%) also repl ied that they seldom or never received adequate support from the ELL staff. In re gards to conferencing with the ELL teacher, 35% of the participants stated that they "sel dom or never" had confer ences. It is possible that some of these teachers did not need to conference with the ELL teachers, but it is also possible that some would have liked conferences but were unable to do so. The survey also included a question which as ked, "How often do you meet with the ELL teacher?" Participants offered a wide variet y of responses for this question. The most common response was "when needed" or "when necessary" (n=14). Many respondents listed specific numbers such as "one time per month" or "two times per semester." The last question of the survey asked the participants to add any additional comments they had in regards to mainstreami ng English Language Learners in the social studies classroom. Several chose the quality of their training as topics upon which to write. It should be noted that while several pa rticipants chose to criticize the poor quality of their teacher training to work with ELL students (especially the training supplied by the school district), no particip ant mentioned that this traini ng was particularly effective. This seems to contradict the findings that more than half the teachers who responded believed that their school district did offer effective training in regards to teaching ELL students. The following are commen ts listed by the survey partic ipants in regards to their training. "Training programs for ELL students are poorly funded and notoriously ineffective, especially the training supplied by the District." "No training for me is going to help th em (ELL students) understand better. Our
83 current system is broken and it's failing these kids." "I had 60 hours of inservice training pr ovided by the District. It didn't help." "Submersion isn't working. Training teachers inadequately is not a substitute for supplying ELL students with a comprehensible education." "The ESOL training is a waste of tim e and a joke. The county could do much better at this." Research Question FourInterview Data Administrative Support The interview participants supplied a wealth of data regarding the issues of support and training they received for teachi ng English language learners in the social studies classroom. The interviewees we re asked the question, "What can your administration do to better support you when you have an ELL student in your classroom? Three of the interview participants felt that adequate suppor t (or lack thereof) was purely of a financial nature. Rachel said, "They could give us more aides to help us out." Peter said, "It's a money thing So I don't know how much more they can do because they only have so much money but there's bilingual aides that schools are assigned and I don't know how many we have." Roger offered the longest response to this question when he said: I'm not sure what more my admini stration could do because, basically, everything is funding, that's my assumpti on. So instead of five aides, again you can do anything you want to improve the system okay, bring in ten bilingual aides. Again, the budget being the factor. So more ESOL teachers I think, if there
84 would be more available then they would be used more because many times I may request a teacher and so would the teacher across the hall, pretty soon you have fifteen teachers requesting me, the ESOL teach er to be in four places at once, and I can't. So if the, then I'm going to star t saying, 'Well they're not going to help me anyway,' I stop requesting. So if it was know n that there's availability of ESOL teachers for teachers in general, and a location, either in your classroom at a location in their department, I think it's more realistic and the teachers would use it. I'm very fortunate here, I don't think there's ever been an occasion when I've asked for assistance and I was told, 'No, you can't, not today.' It's been a very good experience for me and I may be in the minority on that. But I've not had any problem. Stephanie lamented her class size when sh e responded, "They could give me smaller classes. Have ESOL people who are organize d and structured and who communicate with the teacher on a regular basis would be a bi g help." Stacy was the only person to mention scheduling as a way for her administra tion to better support her. She said: Yes, they need to pay attention to sche duling students appropriately. And what I mean by that is that a lot of times, limited English students will get scheduled in regular classes and they're not stupid, they should be in an honors class, just to give you an example. So appropriately sche duling, the administration is in charge of scheduling students and the teacher doesn't have control over that but I think if as a teacher, you identify students you could properly schedule them, the other thing is scheduling too many in one partic ular class is another problem. When you have ten in a class of, you know, thirty, th at's a third of your class, and if they
85 happen to all speak the same language, that's great, you have the ESOL aide who speaks Spanish but if you have three w ho speak Portuguese, whatever, it becomes horrible. So they really have to pay atte ntion to appropriately scheduling students. Ralph responded that he did not know what his administration could do to help him and Gary was the only person who stated that his administration could do nothing more to help because he was getting "a lot of he lp from my administration and ESOL support personnel" at his school. ELL support The interview participants were asked to respond to the prompt, "Describe the support you receive from the ELL teacher at your school." For most of the teachers, support constitutes bilingual aides assisting wi th tests or specific tasks that can be translated into the student's native language A broad range of support was reported from the participants. The following are comments given in response to the prompt above. Larry reported, "Almost every time I've request ed help I've gotten it. I do remember an occasion or two when I've requested an ESOL teacher but the teacher was not present at school that day. The teacher was out. But I've not had any real problems." Rachel also had positive comments in regards to the suppor t she received. She stated, "(The support) is good. Every time I have a test, all I need to do is tell the ESOL teacher that I have a test scheduled on this day and I need you to take this student out and do th eir test with them." Stacy mentioned the fact that due to funding, s upport varies from year to year. She said: Right now we have three aides. Two a ll the time, that circulate to all the classrooms, and one who does an 'in classr oom' kind of testing and assistance. But two travel around the school and they're gi ven a caseload of students and they'll
86 actually come and sit ten minut es in the classroom and they 'll sit to make sure and I really appreciate that, but some years you get none. Based on their experiences, Ralph and Steve have considerably less positive attitudes towards the support they receive. Ralph said: I've seen the aide once or twice this y ear. She'll come around a sit in class for about five minutes and then she's off to a nother teacher's class. I asked to have her help me with giving tests, you know, and once no one was available and another time no one was on campus. So I've stopped asking. Steve's reply was the most negative of the eight interview participants. He said: Do you really want me to say? (Laughs) There's a woman who has been assigned to our school who is in char ge of ESOL issues. I frankly don't know what she does. Um, I've never had an aide in my class, even wh en I taught regular students and 1/3 of them were learning E nglish. Most of my e xperience with them is that they're busy doing paperwork to ma ke sure that students are exited at the right time, and you know. All they do is pa perwork, there's no instructional help at all. When I have to make phone calls to parents of ELL st udents I don't get any help either. Not from an ESOL teacher. No t from an aide. I have to have one of my students actually talk to the parents. Teacher Training Six of the interview participants took part in the 60-hour inservice training mandated under the Florida Consent Decree. Three of these part icipants cited its ineffective nature when asked about their att itudes towards teacher tr aining. In regards to improvements that could be made to di strict-mandated training, Ralph stated:
87 No district training is going to help me learn the English language better. The students need to be separated from the English speaking students and get intensive language instruction until they're ready to join their classmates. Stacy said: I had a mandated District training of 60 hours, of which we watched videotapes and answered some questi ons. On the job, would be bulk of my training. If they want to really trai n teachers effectively? How about, they (preservice teachers) do obser vation hours in preparation to be a teacher. And I know in social studies anyway, they do mi croteaching. Let's do a microteach to an ESOL class. Let's modify your instru ction to people who don't understand English. How would you teach about whatever topic?Steve did not feel adequately trained after the 60 hours of inservice training also. He commented: I would focus less on the cro ss-cultural awareness issues that they're really big on. They're really big on 'Don't pat the head of a Mexican kid' and 'Don't stare at Asian kids because they're not used to bei ng stared at.' And we need more of hard, strategic linguistic technique s that we can use in our classroom. And then the training, literature shows, studies I've read say that 'one shot' workshops don't work. They need to continue the training over periods of time and then they need to follow up on that and see if they're actually doing it. Based on his experience overseas, Peter ha d very specific recommendations for the school district to better tr ain teachers. He stated: There are programs that when American teac hers want to teach English, in Japan,
88 there are language instit utes that specialize in training you so you can teach English in Japan. Those language institu tes are proven, they're successful, I don't know what they do, but there's obviously some methodology there that they're using. We should probably, instead of reinventing the wheel, grab their curriculum, or hire some of their inst ructors to teach ESOL. Because obviously they know what they're doing, they do a good job it's successful, they pay them thousands of dollars to do it. The State Department uses them, the CIA uses them. I don't know why we can't hire one of those language institutes. Although she had been teaching for five ye ars in the school district, Stephanie had the distinction of being the only interviewee who did not have any training to teach ELL students. She explained that because she was working on a post-graduate degree in multicultural issues, her college transcripts al lowed her to be exempt from the districtmandated training. Her attitude, however, towa rds teacher training was not positive. She commented: I think teachers are way over-train ed (laughs). I don't think we need more training in much of anything. I think that it's very top-down, teachers know what they need and working together with people who can really help them with a plan that's really going to work is the way to go. I think that the training model is a model that need s to fall by the wayside. Gary became a teacher through an alternate-cer tification program and mentioned that he would have liked to receive training in co llege before he entered the classroom and participated in the District training. Rachel had the distinct ion of being th e only interview participant who had forgotten that she received training to teach ELL students because it
89 was in her sophomore year of college. Research Question FiveSurvey Data The fifth research question which guide d this study was "What are high school social studies teachers' attitudes towards the effect on the educational environment when ELL students are mainstreamed in their social studies classrooms?" Two questions from Section A and one question from Section B of the survey addressed this research. Data from Section A are listed in Table 10. Table 10Effects of ELL inclusion The inclusion of ELL students in my class creates a positive educ ational atmosphere. ________________________________________________________________________ Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree n=9 n=34 n=24 n=47 n=9 (7.3%) (27.6%) (19.5%) (38.2%) (7.3%) ________________________________________________________________________ The inclusion of ELL students in a so cial studies classroom benefits all students. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree n=12 n=40 n=17 n=41 n=13 (9.8%) (32.5%) (13.8%) (33.3%) (10.6%) ________________________________________________________________________ Less than half of the resp ondents (45.5%) either agreed or strongly agreed that including ELL students in the mainstream so cial studies classroom creates a positive educational atmosphere in the class. An unusually high percentage of respondents
90 (19.5%) reported not having an opinion on this question. When asked if the inclusion of ELL students benefits all students, the responses were almost even. The difference between those who did believe it benefited al l (43.9%) and those who believed it did not benefit all (42.3%) translates to only two total participants. Section B of the survey instrument contained one prompt which read "The inclusion of ELL students in my class slows the progress of the entire class." I have chosen to report the data in this section, rather than in the section regarding teachers' attitudes towards time necessary to teach ELL students because it is my belief that this data has more to do with educational envi ronment than teacher attitudes towards time necessary to teach social studies content. Tabl e 11 contains the responses to this prompt. Table 11Effect of ELL st udents on class progress The inclusion of ELL students in my cla ss slows the progress of the entire class. ________________________________________________________________________ Seldom or never Some of the time Most or all of the time No response n=52 n=39 n=26 n=6 (42.3%) (31.7%) (21.1%) (4.9%) _______________________________________________________________________ These data indicate that slightly more than ha lf of the participants (52.8%) perceived that the inclusion of ELL students slowed the progr ess of the entire class to some degree. The survey instrument included a place for teachers to explain what they perceived to be the greatest benefits of including ELL student s in the mainstream social studies classrooms. Sixty participants menti oned "diversity" or some aspect of "crosscultural awareness" as a positive effect of including ELL students in the social studies
91 classrooms. The following quotes are commen ts taken from the survey instrument. "ELL students bring another perspective to the class that GREATLY benefits my English-speaking students" "ELL students can be an invaluable teachi ng tool. Some have experienced things like poor labor conditions and immigr ation. They are living history." "ALL students benefit from the inclusion of these (ELL) kids in my class." However, not all teachers who responded we re in agreement. The following quotes are comments taken directly from the survey instrument. "They (ELL students) are bored in my class b/c they don't understand what is being taught. Invariably they are a di sruption because they don't know what's going on and they start talk ing to their friends." "Including ELL students slows the progre ss of the entire class and English speaking students don't like th e special treatment of ELLs." "There are NO [original caps] benefits to including these students. Oftentimes they'll talk to other ELL students who ar e trying to help and disrupt the whole class." "Including ELL students lowers the leve l of the classroom (instruction) and creates a tremendous amount of unnecessary work for teachers." Research Question FiveInterview Data Interview participants were asked how having an ELL student in their classroom can benefit the educational atmosphere in th e classroom. Rachel stated that she did not
92 see any benefits from including ELL student s in classrooms with English-speaking counterparts. Seven of the eight interview part icipants echoed the statements of the sixty survey participants by mentioning the positive effects of the diverse perspectives that ELL students brought with them into the social studies classroom. Stacy and Gary mentioned a new theme that was not present in the literature review and one that I had not considered until the interviews were conducted. Stacy stated, "ELL students have forced me to reflect upon what I'm doing as a teacher, constantly my practice, you know I have to rethink how I'm presenting the material when I have a lot of them...it's defi nitely, good for me." Gary echoe d these sentiments when he said, "It's challenging for me as a teacher so it keeps me on my toes." Research Question SixSurvey Data The final research question which guide d this study was "What are high school social studies teachers attitudes, in genera l, towards mainstreaming ELL students in their social studies classrooms?" The survey inst rument contained two questions which were directly related to this res earch question. The survey also contained two questions that were intended to yield data regarding teachers' attitudes towards making English the official language of the U.S. and about the perceived time necessary for students to learn English and thus successfully assimilate into the American classroom. Table 12 contains the data regarding these four questions.
93 Table 12General attitudes toward ELL inclusion ELL students should not be included in social studies classrooms until they have attained a minimum level of English proficiency. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree n=4 n=20 n=3 n=58 n=36 (3.3%) (16.3%) (2.4%) (47.2%) (29.3%) ________________________________________________________________________ I would welcome the inclusion of ELL st udents in my social studies classroom. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree n=3 n=26 n=21 n=57 n=14 (2.4%) (21.1%) (17.1%) (46.3%) (11.4%) ________________________________________________________________________ ELL students should be able to acquire English within two years of enrolling in school. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree n=1 n=15 n=32 n=51 n=23 (.8%) (12.2%) (26%) (41.5%) (18.7%) ________________________________________________________________________ I would support legislation making Eng lish the official l anguage of the U.S. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree n=9 n=16 n=14 n=43 n=39 (7.3%) (13%) (11.4%) (35%) (31.7%) ________________________________________________________________________ More than half (57.7%) of the respondent s who indicated that they had an opinion
94 stated they would welcome the inclusion of ELL students in their mainstream social studies classroom. This number is lower than the percentage of teachers in Reeves' study (72.4%) who responded to the same question. A larger than normal percentage (17.1%; n=21) of teachers indicated th at they did not have an opini on on this topic. Also, while a slight majority indicated that they would welcome the inclusion of ELL students, more than three fourths (76.5%) of teachers i ndicated that ELL students should have a minimum level of English proficiency before they are included in social studies classrooms. These data are very similar to Reeves' findings, in that 74.9% of the participants in her study felt the same way. These data seem to indicate that social studies teachers want the ELL students in their clas sroom, but only after they have learned enough English to function on par with their English-speaking peers. In an effort to determine how well teachers in the study understand the time necessary for an ELL student to learn English, survey respondents were asked whether or not they believed that ELL students should be ab le to acquire English within two years of entering U.S. schools. More than half of th e respondents (60.2%) re sponded that they did think ELL students should be able to acquire English within two years. The significance of this number will be discussed in chapte r five. In regards to supporting legislation making English the official la nguage of the U.S., 66.7% of th e participants stated that they would support such legislation. After reviewing teacher comments from the survey instrument, it became apparent that many felt very strongly for or against the mainstreami ng practices as they are implemented currently. Below are comments taken directly from the survey instrument.
95 Negative comments: "Instead of being thrown to the wolves ELL students should be placed in a 15-1 ratio class where they can learn English." "Separating kids into separate class ma y hurt their feelings but it hurts their academic progress more when they can't understand the teacher." "It is a disservice to all st udents to group students in cla sses with widely divergent language abilitiesand the amount of gr oupthink within education academia (which thinks otherwise) remains troubling to me." "It is my belief that students who speak little or no English do not benefit from sitting in a classroom and not comp rehending anything the teacher says." "I do not want it (mainstreaming). Their(sic) should be a separate social studies class for these students." "Current ELL practices prolong the di fficulties and create resentments, frustrations, and added workloads that result in more teachers leaving." Positive comments: "It's challenging, but it feels good when ELL students are able to learn new things and express understanding of lessons." "It broadens my horizon! I love to see th e smiles on their faces when they realize they can do it." "Some of my most pleasant teaching experiences have occurred with ELL students. Many of my ELL stude nts are my best students." "I thoroughly enjoy their positive attit ude towards work, the dedication and
96 interest, and their appreciat ion of the help I give." Research Question SixInterview Data The eight interview participants were as ked to characterize their attitudes towards current mainstreaming practices using the term s "Positive," or "Neutral," or "Negative." Rachel indicated that her attitude was "neutr al, neither positive nor negative." Stephanie stated, "I have no negative feelings towards ma instreaming these (ELL) students. It's just a part of life. It's the changing demographi cs of the area, it's a reality. It's what's happening." Four of the participan ts indicated that their attitude towards current mainstreaming practices was positive. Peter stated: Absolutely it's positive, I think tracking hurts kids. And if you put all these ELL kids in the same basket, they're going to struggle together. I think the help they get from a heterogeneous setting is invaluable. Two of the participants stated emphatic ally that their attitude towards including ELL students in the mainstream classroom wa s negative. Steve said, "Very negative because of the things I've told you already. It's unfair to them and it's unfair to me." Ralph echoed these sentiments when he stated, "D efinitely, the way it is now, negative. It's really not fair to the ELL kids and it's definitely not fair to teachers." In summary, the majority of teachers' responsesboth on the written survey instrument and via the interviewsindicate that social studies teachers face a myriad of issues when including ELL students in th e mainstream classroom. Obviously, the inability to speak English was the main concer n of teachers in regards to these students.
97 However, time, training, and support were also important considerations. While a significant amount of teachers seem to appr eciate the cultural diversity these ELL students bring with them, many of the teacher s would like to see current mainstreaming practices changed. Chapter five will c ontain my analysis, conclusions, and recommendations.
98 Chapter Five Conclusions and Recommendations This final chapter summarizes the purpos e of the study, as well as the methods and procedures used. Conclusions and interpretations based on the data will be discussed. Finally, my recommendations for future rese arch and future policy will be addressed. Purpose of the Study This research study investigated the at titudes of high school social studies teachers who have English language learners mainstreamed in their classrooms. Social Constructivism was employed as the theoretical framework to interpret teacher attitudes with the assumption that a majority of teacher attitudes were formed by interaction with English language learners in the mainstr eam social studies classroom. While other researchers (Fu, 1995; Harklau, 1994; Olsen, 1996; Schmidt, 2000; Reeves, 2002) have examined teacher attitudes towards including ELL students in the mainstream classroom, no other study to date has focused solely on hi gh school social studies teachers' attitudes. Since social studies teachers share the importa nt goal of training stude nts to be effective citizens, this study has attempted to addre ss the dearth of knowl edge regarding the ramifications of mainstreaming ELL students in this setting.
99 Research Questions The research questions which guided this inquiry were as follows: What are high school social studies t eachers attitudes towards ELL students using their native language to learn in thei r mainstream social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies t eachers attitudes towards modifying coursework for ELL students in their ma instream social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies teacher s attitudes towards the amount of time required to teach ELL students in their ma instream social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies t eachers attitudes towards training and support they receive to teach ELL students in their mainstream social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies teacher s attitudes towards the effect on the education environment when ELL students are mainstreamed in their social studies classrooms? What are high school social studies teach ers attitudes in general, towards mainstreaming ELL students in thei r social studies classrooms? Methods and Procedures A mixed methods procedure was employed to answer the six research questions. All high school social studies supervisors in the county we re given questionnaires to distribute to all social studies teachers in the district and only those who had ELL students mainstreamed in their classrooms at the time of the study were asked to respond. I received 123 surveys which contained demogr aphic data, answers to specific questions
100 using a five-point Likert scal e format, and a three-point Li kert scale as well as openended questions which allowed teachers to wr ite comments pertaining to their attitudes towards the inclusion of ELL students in the ma instream classrooms. Also, eight teachers were interviewed to further uncover attit udes towards including ELL students in their social studies classrooms. My discussion of th e findings will be listed below in the same order in which the research questions have been presented. Discussion of Findings: Research Question One Attitudes Towards Use of Students' Native Language Almost three-fourths of the teachers who responded to the survey reported allowing students to use their native language at some point in the mainstream classroom. According to Lessow-Hurley (2003), allowi ng students to use their native language provides benefits to ELL students. Among these benefits are that concepts learned in the native language transfer to English, also that native language development can help students develop their overall language and li teracy skills, and finally, supporting native language bolsters students' se lf-esteem. Kenner (2007) also conducted research in this area and found that allowing elementary-aged students to complete schoolwork in both their native language and English deepened th eir understanding of the concepts and also raised scores on national curriculum tests. However, it seems that in this study, a majority of the "sanctioned" native language use is done by pairing students who are not proficient in English with other students who are more fluent (which have yi elded varying degrees of success based on the data collected from respondents). While a majority of teachers reported allowing ELL
101 students to use their native language in th e mainstream classroom, this was not a universally accepted practice. One interview participant (Rachel) did not allow native language use in her classroom and remarked th at if students were allowed to use their native language in the classroom they were losing one of the few opportunities to speak English over the course of the day. It seems that many of the survey and in terview participants have tried pairing students who are not proficient in English with other students who are more fluent (which have yielded varying degrees of success base d on the data collected from respondents). An important question remains, however. If teachers spend 60 hours attending Districtmandated training, or complete college course work learning specifically how to teach ELL students, why do so many of them feel the need to allow other students to help them teach the content? Are there important ra mifications for allowing other students to become de facto teacher aides? Another important f actor is that only 2.4% of teachers who responded to the survey reported that English was not their native language and only 17.1% reported speaking another language at mo re than a "beginner's level." The data indicate that a majority of the participan ts are most likely unfamiliar with the language learning process which their ELL students were undergoing in their content-area classrooms. It is unrealistic to expect social studies teachers to be bilingual as a condition of employment, but how does the school district foster an understa nding of the language acquisition process? One possible way is to focus components of the teacher-training process on this area. Steve commented that the portion of his training which included cultural and language acquisition awareness was largely unhelpful and he would have liked to see more specific pedagogic strategi es that helped him teach content to ELL
102 students. Lastly, teacher attitudes that Englis h proficiency was the most important determining factor for student success we re evident among many of the participants. Many teachers cited the "lack of understanding" or the "language barrier" as the single greatest challenge that faced them when t eaching ELL students. However, there was no clear consensus based on the data as to how teachers thought this language barrier could be resolved. Some advocated placing the ELL st udents in ESOL classes until they reach a certain level of language proficiency and ot hers believe that the "full immersion" program is the most effective. This is cl early indicated by the survey participant who stated, "(ELL) students are put in the classroom too soon and fa r too little is expected of them. Don't baby them, sink or swim, they will learn how to swim." However, the research of Krashen (1985) and others have challenged this notion and maintain that not only do students need to be in a language-rich environment, but that teachers need to ensure that the input is comp rehensible to the ELL student. Discussion of Findings: Research Question Two Attitudes Toward Modifying Coursework for ELL students As stated in chapter four, more than 70% of teachers who responded believed that ELL students should not receive less coursework than their English-speaking classmates. This seems to indicate a belief by social st udies teachers that ELL st udents are capable of doing the same amount of work as their E nglish-speaking classmates. Conversely, 84.5% of teachers also believed that ELL students should be given more time to complete coursework. This indicates that a majority of teachers may realize that extra effort was
103 necessary for ELL students to complete the sa me coursework and therefore could justify allowing more time to complete the assignmen ts. It could be reasonably concluded that teachers, through their observations of ELL stude nts, noticed the increase in effort (e.g., using translation dictio naries) it requires to do tasks that English-speaking students can complete almost without effort. Along this same line of inquiry, 55.3% of respondents stated that it would not be difficult to justify course modifications to English-speaking members of their social studies classrooms. Reeves ( 2002) found that 60% of the te achers in her study felt the same way. However, Gary stated that "maint aining a level playing field" was important in his mainstream classroom. He stated: If regular students perceive that I'm doing too much for the ELL students, then they feel like, 'Why not me?' or 'Why can 't I have that special treatment?' Some vocalize these concerns, but it's rare. Howe ver, I know that it's one of the nativespeakers' main concerns. This is a possible limitation of utilizing the soci al constructivist paradigm in that, if the students, in a majority of cases, do not voice th eir concerns about equity in the classroom, the teacher may be unaware of this undercurrent in the classroom. Furthermore, if this negative undercurrent by E nglish-speaking students exists it may have an impact on overall attitudes (both by teachers and student s) towards mainstream inclusion. However, without direct observation of the mainstr eam social studies classroom, it may be impossible for a researcher to accura tely gather or assess this data. In regards to assigning failing grades to ELL students, the data collected in my study closely replicated the da ta collected by Reeves (2002). Her study found that 60% of
104 teachers surveyed would assign a failing grad e to an ELL student even if he/she was displaying effort to master content. The data collected in this st udy indicates that 53.7% feel the same way. An important discovery was that 26.8% of teachers who responded stated that social studies teachers should not modify coursework in any way for ELL students. It is signifi cant that one in four teachers do not think that ELL students should receive curricular modifications, since the express purpose of the Florida Consent Decree is to ensure that students who do not speak English are able to receive meaningful, comprehensible instruction. What is not clear is whether teachers f eel this way because they are unwilling to modify coursework or if their training has made them unable to do so. These findings could be interpreted as a contradiction to earlie r research findings by Hatch (1992) who coined the phrase "b enevolent conspiracy" to explain the phenomenon of teachers reducing expectations fo r ELL students. In an effort to see what percentage of the social studies teachers had lowered expectations for ELL students, I added the survey question which stated "Un til they have acquired English, I should not expect too much from ELL students." More than three-fourths (77.2%) of the teachers who responded disagreed with this statement. Th is seems to indicate a general belief that expectations should not be lo wered significantly for ELL student s. In my interviews with participants who had positive attitudes towards mainstream inclusion, several specific strategies were mentioned that the teacher s used (including using visuals and creating more context for the information being learned) which leads me to believe that the amount of curricular modification varies gr eatly among teachers and is based on their ability to "connect" the material to the stude nts' frame of reference and whether or not
105 they have had perceived success at doing so. However, a comment made by one of the interview participants struck me as poignant and relevant to this research question. When queried about specific modifications to curriculum, Roger stated: In the past I've allowed a Chinese student to take a test home. Take it home it's a homework assignment. And at home you know, you can use your parents, you can use any dictionaries. Then I would not we ight it on an equal value, I'd simply equate it as a homework assignment. And at the same time, I'm not going to hold that Chinese speaking student to the sa me standards as I'm going to hold an English-speaking student. So I'll mo dify the grading in my class. Based on that data, I asked Roger specificall y, then, how he administered tests to ELL students. He responded that he had a positive experience with using bilingual aides to administer tests to students who speak Spanis h, but with the variet y of languages spoken in American classrooms, it w ould be virtually impossible to guarantee help in all languages which are present. An important que stion to be addressed by future research could be how the grading and assessment is different for students who do not speak a language in which a bilingual cla ssroom aide is fluent and the effects of these practices. Short (1998) concluded that the use of hands -on and performance-based activities which are less language-dependent allow ELL st udents to demonstrate and apply their knowledge without the constraints of language difficulties, however, none of the survey or interview participants mentioned such assessment modifications.
106 Discussion of Findings: Research Question Three Attitudes Towards Amount of Time Required to Teach ELLs Less than half of the teachers who res ponded (48%) stated that they did not have enough time to deal with the needs of ELL students. These results were significantly lower than the results reported in Reeves's study (70%) and may be partially explained by training methods required by the teachers in my study. In Reeves's study, only 18.7% of the participants had training to teach ELL stude nts, whereas all teachers currently in my study are required to have colleg e coursework or district-mandated training to work with ELL students. However, 14.6% of the participan ts in my study chose "no opinion" as an answer to this question. This number represented the second -highest percentage reported for any one question on the survey. This is al so contrary to many of the comments listed by teachers under the category, "Greatest Challenges of In cluding ELL students in the Mainstream Classroom." Time constraints, wh ether for grading or modifying lessons or spending time one-on-one with students was a major theme in the data. Furthermore, six of the eight interview participants mentione d some aspect of time as a major obstacle they faced. Peter faced the a dditional obstacle of a county-mandated exam at the end of the semester and commented on the frustrati on of having the delivery of the curriculum slowed by virtue of having ELL students in hi s classroom. It should be noted that he did not feel it was the ELL students' fault, ra ther it was an inevitable consequence of mainstream inclusion. While less than half of the participants felt they didn't have enough time, more than 80% of teachers responded that havi ng ELL students in the mainstream social studies classroom increases the teacher 's workload and 80.5% responded that ELL
107 students required more time than their E nglish-speaking classmates. The distinction between enough time and more time is important. It is possible that teachers see lack of time as an unavoidable component of the pr ofession and simply spend more of their personal time planning and grading assignments when ELL students are mainstreamed in their classrooms. Beginning in the fall of 2007, the school board and superintendent of the county in which this study took place has voted to increase the instructional time teachers are required to spend with stude nts (Stein, 2007). This increase (from 250 minutes per day previously to 300 minutes per day in the fall) repres ents an extra class taught each day with no extra pay or planning period. This in crease can only serve to exacerbate the feelings by teachers that they do not have enough time to work with both ELL students and their Eng lish-speaking classmates. Discussion of Findings: Research Question Four Attitudes Towards Training and Support Fifty-six percent of the teachers in the st udy either agreed or strongly agreed that their school district offers training that would help them teach ELL students more effectively. However, this contradicts comments written by many of the survey participants. As reported in chapter four, seve ral teachers cited the "w aste of time" or the "ineffective nature" of the training offered by the school district. As st ated earlier, a common strategy used by teachers was the pairing of non-native speakers with other students who are bilingual. This seems to repres ents an attempt to modify coursework in a way that requires the least amount of training or effort by the teachers. If a teacher feels that he or she is inadequately trained to effectively deliver cont ent to the ELL student,
108 other students can be used as de facto teacher aides. In retrospect, it would have strengthened the survey instrument had I in cluded a question asking te achers to rate their attitudes towards the district training which they were provided. This may have offered a clearer picture as to the teachers' attitudes towards this training. However, the responses of the interview pa rticipants painted a clearer picture of teacher attitudes towards this training. Re sponses such as "We watched videos and answered questions" or "Don't pat the head of the Mexican kid," or "That training model needs to fall by the wayside," indicated that interview participants did not seem to find the training to be particularly effective. Rachel, who had only been on the job for four months, was an example of how traini ng was failing both the teachers and the ELL students. When queried as to the nature of her training, she responded, "I haven't been formally trained yet (to teach ELL students) ." When I asked from which college or university she had graduated, she mentioned that she had graduated the previous May from the University of South Florida. Know ing that the program now requires students to take the course "ESOL Competencies and Strate gies," I asked if she had taken the course. She responded, "Yeah, I took ESOL I or so mething like that. Does that constitute training? It was my sophomore year, so that's why I don't really remember too much from it." The fact that Rachel "didn't remember too much" from her training was also evident when I asked her what specific stra tegies she had used to effectively teach ELL students in her classroom. Her response was, "I know that you have to write the directions on the board. That has really helped them understand." If a student is unable to speak English, and therefore unable to read and write English, writing directions on the
109 board does not seem like it is a particularly effective met hod of course modification, to say the least. Why is the district training perceived as being so ineffective? When one looks at the context of the training as one that is mandated by law and that the school district must provide in order to be in compliance, rather th an one that is seen as an integral part of preparing teachers, it is easier to understand these attitudes. While a variety of attitudes were expressed as to how teachers could be more effectively trained, such as Peter's suggestion that consultants from language ins titutes be hired, or that students should receive intensive language instruction before being place in mainstream classrooms, it is not likely that the district would be willing (o r able) to fund these programs. Furthermore, since more than three-fourth s of the teachers who responde d indicated that ELL students should not be in their classroom until they are proficient in English, it is not likely than any "grass roots" campaign ini tiated by teachers is forthcoming. One final and important point needs to be made in regards to the effects of training on teacher attitudes when ELL student s are mainstreamed in social studies classrooms. As a result of her findings, a major recommendation by Reeves (2002) was that in order to ameliorate the negative at titudes towards ELL inclus ion, teachers needed more training. The data from this study seem to contradict this hypothesis and it appears that even with specific traini ng to work with ELL students, thr ee out of four teachers still would rather the students not enter their clas sroom until they are proficient in English.
110 Support More than three fourths (76.4%) of teachers felt that their administration was not providing adequate support most or all of the time. Whether it was scheduling issues, for example class sizes which were too large, or placing ELL students in classes that were not indicative of their educational ability, or the inability to provide enough ESOL support personnel, several of th e interview participants felt that a major constraint on their respective administration was determ ined by funding levels. Most interview participants had a very pragmatic attitude towa rds this and felt that their administrators were powerless to change this. There was a broad spectrum of percei ved support from ELL personnel from the participants. One in three survey respondents st ated that they seldom or never received adequate support, which closely matched the pe rcentage (35%) of part icipants who stated that they never met with the ELL personnel at their schools. The data seem to indicate that the amount of assistance that teachers receive depends greatly on the school at which they taught. Roger and Gary reported few, if any, problems when requesting help from ELL personnel. This differed greatly from Ralph and Steve's responses. A possible explanation for the disparity could be the socioeconomic makeup of the student bodies among the different schools. Both Ralph and Steve's schools containe d a large percentage of students who were eligible for free or re duced lunch (an indicat or commonly used to determine SES levels of the students). Ral ph stopped asking for support after repeatedly being told no one was available, and Steve stated that even when one-third of the students in his class were considered English language learners, he received no help from the ELL personnel. Recommendations for policy ch anges in regards to ELL support will be
111 discussed later in the chapter. Discussion of Findings: Re search Question Five Attitudes Towards the Effect on Educational Environment In regards to the effect of including ELL students in the mainstream classroom, the data indicate that many social studie s teachers appreciate the cross-cultural viewpoints and experiences thes e students bring with them to the mainstream social studies classroom. As mentioned in chapter four, sixty-seven participants mentioned some aspect of "diversity" as a positive effect of including these students in the mainstream classroom. This was by far the most obvious theme generated when asked about the benefits of ELL inclusion. In R eeves (2002) study, more than 70% of the teachers felt the same way. One explanation of this widespread belief could be the impact of multicultural education training which is commonly taught to preservice teachers. Because the population of the United States is becoming more culturally diverse with each passing year, many teachers have adopted a multicultural appr oach when teaching social studies content. Multicultural educa tion is an approach that values cultural differences and stresses multiple perspectives (B ennett, 2003). It seems that social studies teachers (who often teach about other cultures or ethnic groups) realize that ELL students can be a valuable resource because of their life experiences and by virtue of the fact that they have experienced phenomenon that Amer ican students have only studied in books. The role of multiculturalism will be further di scussed in the final section of the results under research question six, which focuses on overall attitudes towards mainstream inclusion.
112 It should be noted that only 43.9% of the su rvey participants st ated that inclusion benefits ALL students and only 45.5% of partic ipants stated that inclusion creates a positive educational atmosphere. It is of inte rest that these two questions had high rates "no opinion" responses (24 and 17, respectively) It is possible that the teachers were either reluctant to indica te negative attitudes toward s ELL inclusion or that the experience varied so greatly between students that it wa s impossible to choose one descriptor to accurately portray their attitude s. Also, other data seem to indicate that while cultural diversity is seen as a benefit, linguistic diversity is not valued as highly because of the difficulties it contains in regards to teaching the students. When queried about the effect on class progress, 52.8% of re spondents felt that the inclusion of ELL students slowed the progre ss of the entire class some or most of the time. Several factors could contribute this attitude. Teachers such as Peter, whose students must take county-mandated exams at th e end of the semester, mentioned that the pace of the class was slowed when ELL student s were included which forced him to rush through important content at the end of ever y semester. Furthermore, Stacy and Peter mentioned the difficulties of teaching when a large percentage (as many as one-third) of their students were English language lear ners. Also, not getting enough support from ELL personnel could contribute to these attitudes. Discussion of Findings: Research Question Six Attitudes in General Towards Mainstreaming ELL Students It is clear that within the county in whic h the study took place, there exists a broad spectrum of attitudes, whethe r positive or negativ e, towards the inclusion of ELL students
113 in the mainstream social studies classr oom. A clear majority (76.5%) of teachers indicated that ELL students should not be incl uded in the social studies classroom until they have attained a minimum level of English proficiency. This number is almost identical to the findings of Reeves in her 2002 study, which found that 73.4% of the teachers she surveyed felt the same way. It seems that while so cial studies teachers appreciate the diversity that the ELL student s bring to the classroom, the teachers would rather the students be mainstreamed after sp ending time learning English in other classes. This is in direct opposition to studies that have confirmed th at students not only can learn content and language simultaneously, but that the combined practice is more efficient, effective, and enjoyable (C randall, 1995; Short, 1991). On the survey instrument, teachers were asked whether or not they would support legislation making English the official language of the Unite d States. Sixty-six percent (n=82) of the participants e ither agreed or str ongly agreed that English should be the official language by legislative decree. While it would be problematic to interpret this data as causing participants to have negative attitudes towards using language other than English in the social studie s classroom, it may indicate an agreement by many of the teachers that English should be the dominant language used in both the classroom and our society. This negative attitude towards English usage in the classroom, however, can have harmful consequences in the classroom. Short (1998), for ex ample, asserts that encouraging some communication in the home language when students work in pairs or cooperative learning groups not only benefits students cognit ively, but can also support literacy in English. Survey participants were also asked to respond to the prompt, "ELL students
114 should be able to acquire English within two years of enrolling in U.S. schools." A majority (60.2%; n=74) either agreed or st rongly agreed with this statement. This represents an underestimation by the particip ants of the time necessary for ELL students to gain academic language proficiency, and may contribute to nega tive attitudes towards ELL students who are perceived as not being as proficient in English as they could or should be. As stated earlier, Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) may take as long as seven years for English La nguage Learners to ac quire (Cummins, 1979). If a teacher believes that students should know more English than they do, this may explain some of the comments from teach ers who believe that ELL students are using their inability to speak English as a "crutch" to not do as much work. Several participants made reference to th e flaws of mainstreaming practices of the school district and how students should not be allowed into their classrooms until they can read and speak English at the appropriate grade level. But researchers such as Valds (2001) have pointed out that when ELL student s are placed in sepa rate classrooms with other non-native speakers, any opportunity for them to engage in authentic English conversations is eliminated, and thus the students' best interests are not fulfilled. However, placing an ELL student in a clas sroom in which the teacher does not feel prepared or willing to teach can also have far-reaching consequences. Multiculturalism vs. Assimilation: Final Reflections This study has deliberately focused on them es previously established in research studies (e.g., training, support, course modification, and time) to examine and describe the attitudes of teachers towards mainstream inclusion of ELL students in the social
115 studies classroom. Further thought on the i ssue of teachers' appr eciation of cultural diversity versus the perceived lack of appreciation for lingui stic diversity needs to be addressed. Teachers in this study seem to welcome the cultural diversity ELL students bring to the classroom yet at the same time encourage linguistic assimilation as a condition of student success. A ttitudes such as these are re ferred to as "pluralism." According to Kincheloe and Steinberg (1997) pluralism has become the mainstream articulation of multiculturalism and it opera tes on the assumption that emphasis (on multiculturalism) does not disrupt the dominant Western narratives. "Such pluralism tolerates the existence of salsa, it even enjoys Mexican restaurants, bu t it bans Spanish as a medium of instruction in American sc hools (McCarthy, 1995, p. 262). The fact that 66.7% of the teachers in this study support legislation making English the official language of the U.S., could indicate that many teachers may see their role in the classroom as that of an assimilation agent, with the goal of hom ogenizing their student population. Historically, especially in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with the large influx of immigrants into this country, school s were expected to "Americanize" students with little respect for maintaining home cu lture or language. It seems that many teachers in the current study feel the same way. Also, the underlying question of "Who is responsible for teaching ELL students English?" seems important. If social studies teachers consid er themselves to be more "content-centered" than "student-centered, then they may feel that the task of teaching students English is beyond the scope of what th ey are trained to do and feel efficacious at doing. Several researchers (Applebee, 1993; Barnes, 1990, Cuban, 1993) have found that many secondary classroom teachers focus mo re on content than on actively engaging
116 students in the learning process. Situations such as these may exclude ELL learners from meaningful instruction becau se too little thought is give n to the pedagogic methods necessary to meaningfully tr ansmit the content. This be lief, along with ineffective training could be one possible explanation why so many teachers simply use bilingual students in their classes to act as teacher-aides to help teach the cu rriculum and help ELL students complete their work. Recommendations for Future Research The following is a list of recommendations for future research into the schooling experience of both mainstream teachers a nd ELL students at the high school level. First, the current data se t contains the responses of 123 participants within the district of study. Due to the methods used, it is impossible for me to know which teachers did not respond to the survey. It is possible that some department chairpersons never shared the survey with their respective teacher s. If this is the case, then valuable data which may change the results of the study are missing. Therefore, obtaining aggregate demographic data from the school district in regards to the tota l population of social studies teachers would allow me to see the wa ys in which the respondents differ from the total population of high school so cial studies teacher s. Characteristics such as years of teaching, gender, native language proficienc y, ethnicity, and type of ELL training can possibly all have a significant effect on attitudes towards ma instream inclusion of these students. Also, a change in the design of the study which allows the researcher to distribute the surveys to the te achers in person could guarantee that all teachers have the opportunity to complete and re turn the survey instrument.
117 Also, this study is entirely descriptive in nature. While the So cial Constructivist paradigm has been used as a possible explan ation for some teacher attitudes, I have largely avoided making any statements that imply strict causation. Using the existing data, bivariate statistical analyses could be used to identify statistically significant patterns between factors measured on the survey instrument. For example, how does ethnicity or dual language prof iciency correlate to allowing students to use their native language in the social studies classroom? Does type of training (college coursework versus district inservice) determine atti tudes towards ELL inclusion more than say, gender or years teaching? All of these analyses could be computed using the existing data and therefore would not necessitate designing or conducti ng another study. Furthermore, in an effort to understand the attitudes of teachers towards current ELL mainstreaming practices, other researcher s should gather data on the attitudes of teachers from a variety of disciplines, not just social studies. Discipli nes such as science, and math contain complex content and concepts that ELL students are expected to learn in mainstream settings and understanding teac her attitudes towards th ese practices could provide invaluable data to he lp improve pedagogy in the content areas. Possibly the most daunting task faced by teachers with ELL st udents mainstreamed is teaching these students English. While the current school dist rict and college training requirements are more rigorous (300 hours vs. 60 hours in the dist rict) for English teach ers, a study of their attitudes towards their own efficacy might offe r valuable insight as to what the school district or universities who serve these st udents may do to better prepare them for the classroom. Also, the school di strict at which the study wa s conducted is neither the largest, nor even the most li nguistically diverse in Florida. Conducting studies in larger
118 and more linguistically diverse school distri cts such as Miami-Dade County, or Orange County which serves the students of Los Ange les, California, could yield a wealth of information for future researchers. While analyzing survey and interview data it is apparent that teachers attitudes are only marginally related to their training for working with ELL students. An important question future research could address is, "From where do these attitudes come?" The Social Constructivist paradigm can be a usef ul tool to answer th is question. When you contrast the phrases "Includi ng ELL students in my classroo m contains no discernable benefits," with "ELL students are an invaluab le resource in my classroom ," it seems that teachers' attitudes come directly from their daily interactions (i.e ., the "reality" they construct) with these students. Even pe dagogic methodology, to a certain degree is significantly impacted. Take for instance the interview participant who had success using ELL students as mentors and translators and cont rast that with the other participant who stated, "When I paired up ELL kids, one kid was just copying all the other kid's work." It seems that teacher attitudes may come main ly from individual observations/interactions by the teacher with the ELL stude nts. If teachers happen to have a student who has the maturity and is willing to help others, than pairing students can become a viable alternative. When teachers have students who socialize instead of working when they are assigned to group work (a stal wart of the social studies curriculum), then it doesn't become an option to utilize the resource in your classroom. However, this is a judgment that teachers have to make on a case by case basis. Using other data gathering methods may also provide useful. Future researchers may want to conduct qualitative observations in the mainstream classrooms to record the
119 experiences of both teachers and ELL students in this setting. While researchers like myself have to assume that attitudes of t eachers translate directly to behaviors in the classroom, if teachers are observed while te aching ELL students, more information can be gleaned as to how attitudes are translated to pedagogy and treatment of students. It is possible that extended observation of ELL st udents in the mainstream setting has the potential to bring teachers' a nd students' implicit attitudes an d assumptions to the surface. This study focuses on the voices of teachers, and although teachers are an important part of the mainstream process, f eedback from other important members of this community is needed. Administrators, ELL pe rsonnel (including bilingual aides) and the ELL students themselves are a ll very important shareholde rs in the mainstreaming process. By uncovering the perspectives of these populations, it is possible that the ELL students' needs as well as those of everyone involved in the pro cess can be better-met. The descriptive nature of this study asked teachers to discuss or write about their attitudes towards ELL students, in general. A future study might make an effort to differentiate between differen t types of ELL students based on several factors such as culture, level of English spoken, and ethnicity. By paying partic ular attention to different types of ELL students, researchers may gain valuable information that allows future teachers address the variety of needs of diffe rent students. Also, by focusing on specific ELL students during the inquiry process, so me of the no opinion answers may not occur because teachers do not feel comforta ble making blanket statements which apply to a wide variety of students. The issue of funding should also be addressed based on the participants' comments and attitudes. Since the experiences of mainstream social studies teachers
120 varied greatly from school to school, an an alysis of how funding is allocated to each school seems worth undertaking. If some schools are funded at lower le vels than others, creating a more equitable funding policy may alleviate some of the perceived support problems reported by teachers. This study also highlights the need for fu ture research into culturally and linguistically relevant schooling for both ELL students and those English proficient students from other cultures. An integral component of the "democratic classroom" is giving all students a voice. Qualitative rese archers could conduct interviews and make observations to see just how effectively te achers are creating o pportunities for ELL and ethnically diverse students to have their voi ces heard. If systematic deficiencies are identified, then training may be implemente d to address this issue. Since so many teachers mentioned the cultural advantages of linguistically diverse classrooms, pedagogic methods which allow ELL students to contribute and have a voice in the social studies classroom can't help but benefit all learners. Also, pa rticular attention should be paid to the perceived deficien cies of current educational pol icy with regard to specific remedies available to the school district. Lastly, and possibly most important, more research is needed to examine the teacher preparation programs both at the uni versity level and district inservice. A common undercurrent in both the interview data and survey data is the common perception that current traini ng is ineffective. The school district should conduct followup interviews with teachers who have under gone the training to de termine how teachers feel about its effectiveness. A rich source of data is the teachers in the district itself. Focus groups of content-area teachers could be asked to create a list of the most
121 important teacher needs in respect to teaching content to ELL students. Follow-up training at predetermined intervals may also help teachers feel more efficacious, a sentiment stated explicitly by Steve. As mentioned by Peter, the school district may want to investigate ways to utilize language acquisi tion specialists in the training process so that teachers will be equipped with specific strategies to take into the classroom. Unfortunately, ELL students like any other "special population" within the school, receive inadequate funding and inadequate a ttention from both administration and school districts. While it would be na ive to think that research such as mine would be the catalyst for systemic change within such a large bureaucracy, it is hoped that the school district will listen to the voi ces of its teachers, many of whom admit that the current practices are failing ELL students. The next section will discuss recommendations for future policy at both the university leve l and at the school district level. Recommendations for future policy Since the Florida Consent Decree has been in effect, preservice teachers have been required to take college courses to he lp them effectively teach ELL students in the mainstream setting. Smith (2005) conducted research as to preservice teachers' perceptions of knowledge, skills, and attitude s towards working with ELL students. More research is needed as to the efficacy of these college courses, possibly by identifying teachers who have participated in these cour ses and then measuring attitudes after they have been in the classroom teaching ELL st udents. By identifying components of the courses that are perceived as effective or ineffective and tailoring instruction accordingly, college professors can improve the quality of instruction and increase the efficacy of their
122 graduates. Also, the school district s hould conduct research as to the effectiveness of the inservice training that they offer their teache rs to teach ELL students. Since most of the interviewees in the st udy made comments as to the ine ffective nature of this training, it seems worthwhile to examine feedback from teachers who participate in an effort to tailor the training to the need s of the people who are implemen ting it in the classroom. If a common perception of teachers is that this training is not meeting their needs, then other training can be designed to in crease teacher efficacy in this area. Several teachers who participated in th e study commented about scheduling issues in regards to mainst reaming practices. Wh ether it was scheduling too many ELL students in one classroom or placing ELL students in classes that did not match their cognitive ability, the district should make an effort to include teacher recommendations when creating schedules for ELL students. Since teachers are the people responsible for implementing policy, giving them a "voice" in the process can only help both the teachers and ELL students. Since social constructivism was used as the theoretical framework for interpreting the results of this study, it se ems important to discuss the implications of policy on the reality construction of teachers with ELL stude nts in their mainstream classrooms. The teaching profession (i.e., the teacher world) is often fraught with time constraints, large class sizes, lack of resources or support, and a host of ot her issues that may hamper teacher-effectiveness. The Florida class size amendment has the goal of limiting the number of students each teach er is responsible for teaching each day. The assumption is that fewer students will equal higher-quality instruction to those students in Florida
123 classrooms. Another assumption of mine is th at if policy makers were to increase the planning time and decrease the amount of st udents (and grading) for which teachers are responsible, then teacher att itudes would be significantly impacted. However, with the policy changes planned for the 2007-2008 school year (more classes and less planning time for all high school teachers), it is unlik ely that meaningful change in current practices is in the near fu ture of the school district. Finally, a wide disparity was reported as to the availability of ELL personnel to help mainstream teachers who have ELL stude nts mainstreamed in their classroom. The ELL coordinator at the school di strict should strive to ma ke ELL support more equitable between schools and across the entire school di strict. Since all demographic data point to the continued trend of increas ing numbers of ELL students in the school district, these issues need to be addressed in the immediat e future to ameliorate the belief shared by many teachers that current mainstreaming practices are "failing" the students. As I look back five years, and recall the first time Juanita walked into my classroom (and thus planted the "seed" which w ould grow to be this study), I think about how scary and overwhelming it must have been to be sitting in a classroom in which nothing being said could be understood. Her story has had a happy ending (her aunt recently told me that she's in gifted classes at an area magnet high school) but I can not help but imagine how many other ELL stude nts fall through the cracks and never find success at school. Interview data and survey re sponses from teachers in this county lead me to believe that there are many caring and compassionate social studies teachers who do the very best they can to help ELL stude nts reach their full potential. However, the fact that three-fourths of social studies teachers who responded to my survey would
124 prefer that ELL students not be in their cla ssroom until they have learned English tells me that the school district in wh ich this study took place either ca n not or will not make their schools places where ELL students are accepte d in the same manner as their Englishspeaking students. It is my hope that this st udy can be one small part of the solution to some of the problems faced by ELL students no t only in this school district, but in classrooms across the entire U.S.
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145 Appendix A: Survey (Page 1) Section A Please read each statemen t and circle only one response which best describes your attitude. 1. The inclusion of ELL students in my social studi es classroom creates a positive educational atmosphere. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree ______________________________________________________________________________________ 2. The inclusion of ELL students in social studies classrooms be nefits all students. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree ______________________________________________________________________________________ 3. ELL students should not be included in social st udies classrooms until they have attained a minimum level of English proficiency. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree ______________________________________________________________________________________ 4. ELL students should avoid using their native language while in my classroom. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree ______________________________________________________________________________________ 5. ELL students should be able to acquire English within two years of enro lling in U.S. schools. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree ______________________________________________________________________________________ 6. Social studies teachers do not have enough time to deal with the needs of ELL students. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree ______________________________________________________________________________________ 7. It is a good idea to simplify coursework for ELL students. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree ______________________________________________________________________________________ 8. It is a good idea to assign less coursework to ELL students. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree ______________________________________________________________________________________ 9. It is a good idea to allow ELL studen ts more time to complete coursework. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree ______________________________________________________________________________________ (Continued on next page)
146 Appendix A: (Continued) 10. Teachers should not give ELL students a failing grade if the stud ents display effort. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree ______________________________________________________________________________________ 11. Teachers should not modify assignments for ELL students enrolled in social studies classrooms. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree ______________________________________________________________________________________ 12. The modification of coursework for ELL students would be difficult to justify to English-speaking students. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree ______________________________________________________________________________________ 13. I had adequate training in college courses to teach ELL students effectively. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree ______________________________________________________________________________________ 14. My district offers effective training that would help me teach ELL students more effectively. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree ______________________________________________________________________________________ 15. I would welcome the inclusion of ELL students in my social studies class. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree ______________________________________________________________________________________ 16. I would support legislation making English the official language of the U.S. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree ______________________________________________________________________________________ 17. Until students have learned to speak English, I shouldnt expect too much from them in my class. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree ______________________________________________________________________________________
147 Appendix A: Survey (page 2) 1. Have you ever had an ELL student enrolled in your social studies classroom? yes no 2. How many ELL students are enrolled during th is (2005-2006) school year? _________ 3. Approximately how many ELL students have en rolled in your social studies classrooms throughout your teaching career? _________ Section B Which, if any, of the following are descriptive of your classes when ELL students are enrolled? Please indicate the extent to which each of the following apply in your classes. Seldom or Some of Most or never the time all of the Classroom Practices time 1. I allow ELL students more time to complete their coursework. 2. I give ELL students less coursework than other students. 3. I allow an ELL student to use his/her native language in My class 4. I provide materials for ELL students in their native language. 5. Effort is more important to me than achievement when I assign grades to ELL students. Impact of Inclusion 6. The inclusion of ELL students in my classes increases my workload. 7. ELL students require more of my time than other students. 8. The inclusion of ELL students in my clas s slows the progress of the entire class. Teacher support 9. I receive adequate support from school administrators when ELL students are enrolled in my classes. 10. I receive adequate suppor t from the ELL staff when ELL students are enrolled in my classes. 11. I conference with the ESL teacher.
148 Appendix A: Survey (Continued) Section C 1. Please list what you consider to be the greatest benefits of including ELL students in your social studies classes: ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 2. Please list what you consider to be the greatest challenges of including ELL students in your social studies classes. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Section D Please answer the following questions. Your ans wers will assist in the categorization of the responses. 1. How many years have you been a public or private school teach er (including this year)? _____ 2. Please indicate your gender Male Female 3. Is English your native language? Yes No 4. Do you speak a second language? If yes, at what level? beginner intermediate advanced 5. What is your ethnicity? White Hisp anic African American Other ___________ 6. Have you received training in teaching ELL students? Yes No If yes, please indicate the type of training (i.e., inserv ice, college workshop, etc.) ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 6. Please write any additional comments you ma y have concerning the inclusion of ELL students in your soci al studies classes. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________
149 Appendix B: Interview Guide (from Reeves, 2002) 1. Tell me about your history as a teacher: a. How many years of experience teaching? b. Have you taught any other subjec ts besides social studies? c. At how many schools have you taught (i ncluding presently)?What kinds of schools were they (private/public)? d. What is the number of ELL student s you have in your classroom now? How many different languages are spoken by your students? e. How would you characteri ze these students ability to speak English currently? f. What is the nature of your trai ning for working with ELL students? 2. What are the challenges of in cluding ELL students in your classes? a. What would your reaction be to re ceiving more ELL students in your classes? b. How do you think students native culture may impact their performance as a student in your class? c. How do you think ELL students ability to speak their native language affects their performance as a student in your class? d. What is the biggest obstacle faced by social studies teachers to effectively teach ELL students who are mainstreamed into their classroom? 3. What are the benefits of incl uding ELL students in your classes? 4. Tell me about the training you have r eceived in working with ELL students. a. What can your administration do to better support you? b. What training would your recommend for social studies teachers of ELL students? c. Describe the support you receive fr om the ELL teacher at your school. 5. Please describe your feelings the first tim e an ELL student enrolled in one of your classes. a. Have your attitudes towards ELL inclusion changed over time? 6. What techniques or strategies have b een successful in your experience with ELL students who are mainstreamed in your cl assroom? What techniques have been unsuccessful? 7. How would you characterize your attitude towards mainstreaming using the terms positive, neutral, or negative? 8. How would you characterize your philosophy regarding how and what you teach in your social studi es classroom?
150 Appendix C: Letter to Department Chairpersons Dear Social Studies Department Chair: My name is Jason OBrien, and I am a docto ral student at the University of South Florida. I have been given permission to conduct a research study in Hillsborough County to uncover the attitudes of hi gh school social studies teachers regarding the inclusion of English Language Learners (ELL) in so cial studies classroo ms. I would like your participation. I have included in this envelope a survey fo r each of the social st udies teachers in your department. Only social studi es teachers who currently ha ve an ELL student in their classroom should complete the survey. Please give each teacher both a survey and one of the self addressed, stamped envelopes which I have provided. Please explain that you will collect the completed surveys (if participants ar e comfortable with that) or that he or she can mail the surveys directly to me. Pleas e collect all unused, se lf-addressed, stamped envelopes and place them back in the fo lder from which these surveys came. Please return any surveys you collect to Denni s Holt via the schools mail service no later than the last week of classes for this school year. Thank you so much for your help! If you have any questions or comments for me, feel free to contact me at email@example.com or at home at (813) 258-3676. Thank you for your help,
151 Appendix D: Cover letter to teachers Dear Social Studies Teacher: My name is Jason OBrien, and I am a docto ral student at the University of South Florida. I have been given permission to conduct a research study in Hillsborough County to uncover the attitudes of hi gh school social studies teachers regarding the inclusion of English Language Learners (ELL) in so cial studies classroo ms. I would like your participation. The following pages contain a survey that will help me to gather data about attitudes of teachers towards mainstreaming ELLs in content area classrooms. This survey is completely voluntary and completely anonymous You can return the completed survey to the envelope I have provided to your de partment chairperson, or you may mail it to the University of South Florida where I will co llect it (stamped envelopes are provided). You should only complete this survey if you currently have a student in your social studies classroom who does not speak English as his or her native language or whose inability to speak Englis h interferes with the child's academic progress If you choose to participate, I thank you in advance. Please return the completed survey to your department chairperson, or mail it to me using the envelope I have included. Please return this to me no later than the last day of the school year If you have any questions regarding this su rvey or would like more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at home (813) 258-3676. Thank you for your time, Jason OBrien
152 Appendix E: Informed Consent for research participants Informed Consent Social and Behavioral Sciences University of South Florida Information for People Who Take Part in Research Studies The following information is being presented to help you decide wh ether or not you want to take part in a minimal risk research st udy. Please read this carefully. If you do not understand anything, ask the pers on in charge of the study. Title of Study: High School Social Studies Teachers Attitudes Towards the Inclusion of ELL Students in Mainstream Classrooms Principal Investigator: Jason OBrien Study Location(s): Hillsborough County High Schools You are being asked to participate because I am interested in the attitudes of social studies teachers who have English Language Le arners mainstreamed in their classrooms. General Information about the Research Study The purpose of this research study is to e xplore the affects that English Language Learners have on the attitudes of high school social studies teachers in the mainstream classroom. There is very little research rega rding social studies teachers attitudes in these mainstreamed settings so it is hoped th at this study will help with future policy decisions regarding this population. Plan of Study You are being asked to fill out a questionna ire regarding your attitudes towards having English Language Learners in your social st udies classroom. The survey will also gather demographic data that will help me descri be the teachers from whom the data is collected. The survey should not take more than 30 minutes to complete. Payment for Participation You will not be paid for your participation in this study. Benefits of Being a Part of this Research Study By taking part in this study, you will increase the overall knowledge about the attitudes of social studies teachers who have English Langua ge learners enrolled in their mainstream classrooms.
153 Appendix E: (Continued) Risks of Being a Part of this Research Study Since this survey is completely voluntary and anonymous there are no risks to the participant. Confidentiality of Your Records Your privacy and research records will be kept confidential to the extent of the law. Authorized research personnel, employees of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the USF Institutional Review Boar d and its staff, and any other individuals acting on behalf of USF, ma y inspect the records from this research project. The results of this study may be published. However, the data obtained from you will be combined with data from others in the pub lication. The published re sults will not include your name or any other information that would personally identify you in any way. The data from this study will be controlled so lely by the principal investigator in a secure, locked area so that no one has access to it. At the conclusion of the da ta analysis, the data will be destroyed. Volunteering to Be Part of this Research Study Your decision to participate in th is research study is completely voluntary You are free to participate in this research study or to withdraw at any time. There will be no penalty from anyone in the Hillsborough County school district or from a nyone affiliated with this study for choosing not to participate. Questions and Contacts If you have any questions about this research study, contact me at (813) 258-3676 or email at email@example.com If you have questions about your rights as a pe rson who is taking part in a research study, you may contact the Division of Research Integrity and Compliance of the University of South Florida at (813) 974-5638.
154 Appendix F: Research Questions w ith Corresponding Survey Questions Research Question #1 : What are high school social studi es teachers attitudes towards ELL students using their native language to l earn in their mainstream social studies classrooms? Survey Questions: A-4. ELL students should avoid using their native language while in my classroom. B-3. I allow an ELL student to use hi s/her native language in my class. B-4. I provide materials for ELL students in their own language. ________________________________________________________________________ Research Question #2: What are high school social studi es teachers attitudes towards modifying coursework for ELLs in their mainstream social studies classrooms? Survey Questions: A-7. It is a good idea to simp lify coursework for ELL students. A-8. It is a good idea to assign less coursework to ELL students. A-9. It is a good idea to allow ELL stude nts more time to complete coursework. A-10. Teachers should not give ELL students a failing grade if the student displays effort. A-11. Teachers should not modify assignments for ELL students enrolled in social studies classrooms. A-12. The modification of coursework for ELL students would be difficult to justify to other students. A-17. Until students have learned to speak English, I shouldn't expect to o much from them in my class. B-1. I allow ELL students more time to complete their coursework. B-2. I give ELL students less coursework than other students. B-5. Effort is more important than achievement when I grade ELL students. ______________________________________________________________________________________
155 Appendix F (continued) Research Question #3: What are high school social studi es teachers attitudes towards the amount of time required to teach ELLs in th eir mainstream social studies classrooms? Survey Questions: A-6. Social studies teachers do not have enough time to deal with the needs of ELL students. B-6. The inclusion of ELL of ELL students in my classes increases my workload. B-7. ELL students require more of my time than other students. ________________________________________________________________________ Research Question #4: What are high school social studi es teachers attitudes towards training and support they receive to teach ELLs in their mainstream social studies classrooms? Survey Questions: A-13. I had adequate training in college c ourses to teach ELL students effectively. A-14. My district offers effectiv e training that would help me t each ELL students more effectively. B-9. I receive adequate support from school administrators when ELL students are in my class. B-10. I receive adequate support from ELL staff when ELL students are in my class. B-11. I conference with the ELL teacher. ______________________________________________________________________________________ Research Question #5: What are high school social studi es teachers attitudes towards the effect on the education environment wh en ELLs are mainstreamed in their social studies classrooms? Survey Questions: A-1. The inclusion of ELL students in my classroom creates a positive educational atmosphere.
156 Appendix F (continued) A-2. The inclusion of ELL students in social studies classrooms benefits all students. B-8. The inclusion of ELL students in my cl ass slows the progress of the entire class. Research Question #6: What are high school social studi es teachers attitudes, in general, towards mainstreaming ELLs in their social studies classrooms? Survey Questions: A-3. ELL students should not be includ ed in social studies classrooms unt il they have attained a minimum level of English proficiency. A-15. I would welcome the inclusion of ELL students in my social studies class. A-16. I would support legislation making English the official language of the U.S. ____________________________________________________________________
About the Author Jason O'Brien received both his Bachel or's and Master's Degree in Secondary Social Science Education from the University of South Florida. At the time of the study, he had been teaching undergraduate and gra duate courses at the University of South Florida for eight years. He entered the Ph.D. program in the Fall of 2000. While in the Ph.D. program, Mr. O'Br ien co-authored the book "Passport to Learning: Teaching Social Studies to ESL Stude nts," the first book of its kind in the field of social studies. He has presented at five national conferences and four state conferences. Mr. O'Brien has taught high school social studies at Tampa Catholic High School in Tampa, Florida for the past three y ears and before that was a fifth, fourth, and third grade social studies teacher at S acred Heart Academy in Tampa, Florida.