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Developing teachers’ cultural competence: application of appreciative inquiry in ESL teacher education

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This study described the application of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) in a graduate-level teacher education course to guide teacher candidates’ interactions with culturally and linguistically diverse student populations. Through the process of Discover, Dream, Design, and Delivery, teacher candidates reflected on their own learning experiences, discovered students’ strengths and community assets, envisioned educational possibilities and provided recommendations for other teachers. A parallel mixed-methods design was employed to examine the impact of this experience on 21 teacher candidates who completed this course. Quantitative data were collected using the Cultural Competence Scale in a pre and post manner, and qualitative data were collected from teachers’ weekly blog entries and their reports based on their field experiences working with English learners. The findings of this study demonstrate teachers’ enhanced cultural competencies in working with English learners and illustrate their development as teachers.
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Keywords: ESL; appreciative inquiry; cultural competence; teacher education

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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