Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

Sub-Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Rhonda Jeffries

Abstract

The study explores the experiences of four first-year Jamaican immigrant teachers in rural southern South Carolina regarding their descriptions of the experiences and the researcher’s observations. The main research question was concerned with first-year Jamaican immigrant elementary school teachers’ experiences as they navigate the curriculum landscape in South Carolina. The inquiry engages a qualitative research design.

Interviews, observations, and artifacts were engaged to collect data. These data were analyzed deductively and inductively through a process of content analysis. These data findings in the study covered four dominant themes these included immigrant teachers’ strengths, challenges, changes, and navigation strategies. The data revealed that the teaching experiences of the participants manifested both strengths and challenges in their current assignment as immigrant teachers. Challenges included personal and professional conundrums which ranged from financial to dealing with stereotypes from a rural southern American community. Teaching strategies engaged by selected participants and their ability to use their home culture to enhance instruction as well as broaden the world-view of their students were dominant strengths. Curriculum practices, as well as the formation of new alliances with members of the host country, provided noteworthy examples of changes.

The study explored and identified parallels with various theoretical perspectives including the critical race theory, theory of culturally relevant pedagogy, acculturation theory and fictive kin network. The study also includes Implications for policymakers, school districts, and immigrant teachers.

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