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White-American Kindergarten Teachers' Racial Identities and Their Beliefs about the Role of Culture in Social Competence

University of Florida Institutional Repository
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021176/00001

Material Information

Title: White-American Kindergarten Teachers' Racial Identities and Their Beliefs about the Role of Culture in Social Competence
Physical Description: 1 online resource (115 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Han, Heejeong
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: american, beliefs, competence, culture, identity, kindergarten, racial, social, teachers, white
Teaching and Learning -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Curriculum and Instruction (ISC) thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of my study is to examine White-American kindergarten teachers racial identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence, and to examine how they are related. This subject is important because due to the rapid increase of people of color in this country, more students are coming from diverse backgrounds while the majority of teachers are yet homogeneous White-Americans. Additionally, a growing number of teacher education researchers support the importance of examining teachers identities and beliefs because it has been found that teaching represents teachers self identities as well as their beliefs. Previously, however, very little attention has been given to early childhood teachers racial identities and their beliefs about children s social competence. A total of 95 White-American kindergarten teachers in five school districts in Central Florida completed three questionnaires. Quantitative data analyses revealed that, this group of teachers racial identities showed positively skewed distribution among contact, reintegration, pseudoindependence, and autonomy statuses suggesting that more teachers had characteristics of advanced White racial identity development statuses. In terms of these teachers beliefs about the role of culture in social competence, their degree of cultural awareness appeared to be higher than their degree of consideration. Also these teachers took African-American culture into account when evaluating a child s social competence, but not Asian or Hispanic cultures. Regarding the relationships between these teachers racial identities and beliefs, the relationships discovered in this particular study were not statistically significant. In addition, insights such as teachers personal beliefs about social competence represented low-context cultural beliefs; teachers had varying degree of awareness about the role of culture in social competence; teachers cultural knowledge and evaluations about children varied widely from group to group; teachers had more professional experience than personal experience regarding diversity; and teachers beliefs about multicultural education revealed color-blind teaching have emerged through the qualitative data analyses of individual follow-up interviews. The findings of my study have implications for practice in early childhood teacher education such that teachers need to be provided with more opportunities to become aware about their racial identities and that teacher educators should focus on enhancing multicultural knowledge and skills beyond the level of awareness. Furthermore, several directions for future research are discussed in relation to the limitations of my study in order to better examine and understand these subjects.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Heejeong Han.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local: Adviser: Kemple, Kristen M.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2007
System ID: UFE0021176:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021176/00001

Material Information

Title: White-American Kindergarten Teachers' Racial Identities and Their Beliefs about the Role of Culture in Social Competence
Physical Description: 1 online resource (115 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Han, Heejeong
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: american, beliefs, competence, culture, identity, kindergarten, racial, social, teachers, white
Teaching and Learning -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Curriculum and Instruction (ISC) thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of my study is to examine White-American kindergarten teachers racial identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence, and to examine how they are related. This subject is important because due to the rapid increase of people of color in this country, more students are coming from diverse backgrounds while the majority of teachers are yet homogeneous White-Americans. Additionally, a growing number of teacher education researchers support the importance of examining teachers identities and beliefs because it has been found that teaching represents teachers self identities as well as their beliefs. Previously, however, very little attention has been given to early childhood teachers racial identities and their beliefs about children s social competence. A total of 95 White-American kindergarten teachers in five school districts in Central Florida completed three questionnaires. Quantitative data analyses revealed that, this group of teachers racial identities showed positively skewed distribution among contact, reintegration, pseudoindependence, and autonomy statuses suggesting that more teachers had characteristics of advanced White racial identity development statuses. In terms of these teachers beliefs about the role of culture in social competence, their degree of cultural awareness appeared to be higher than their degree of consideration. Also these teachers took African-American culture into account when evaluating a child s social competence, but not Asian or Hispanic cultures. Regarding the relationships between these teachers racial identities and beliefs, the relationships discovered in this particular study were not statistically significant. In addition, insights such as teachers personal beliefs about social competence represented low-context cultural beliefs; teachers had varying degree of awareness about the role of culture in social competence; teachers cultural knowledge and evaluations about children varied widely from group to group; teachers had more professional experience than personal experience regarding diversity; and teachers beliefs about multicultural education revealed color-blind teaching have emerged through the qualitative data analyses of individual follow-up interviews. The findings of my study have implications for practice in early childhood teacher education such that teachers need to be provided with more opportunities to become aware about their racial identities and that teacher educators should focus on enhancing multicultural knowledge and skills beyond the level of awareness. Furthermore, several directions for future research are discussed in relation to the limitations of my study in order to better examine and understand these subjects.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Heejeong Han.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local: Adviser: Kemple, Kristen M.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2007
System ID: UFE0021176:00001


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7affd2e3280f1d3995b9c6c0220a54e8a25391c5







WHITE-AMERICAN KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS' RACIAL IDENTITIES
AND THEIR BELIEFS ABOUT THE ROLE OF CULTURE IN SOCIAL COMPETENCE























By

HEE JEONG HAN


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2007

































O 2007 Hee Jeong Han

































To my family









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I thank my committee members, Drs. Kristen Kemple, Elizabeth Bondy, Tina Smith-

Bonahue, and Cirecie West-Olatunji for their great insight, guidance and support throughout my

doctoral study. I will never forget the patience, encouragement, and advice they have graciously

given me. Special appreciation needs to go to my chair, Dr. Kristen Kemple who has become an

incredible role model for me in how to be a teacher, researcher, mentor, and a professional

woman in the academia. In addition, I thank all the public school district faculties and staffs,

elementary school principals, and the kindergarten teachers in Alachua, Hillsborough, Marion,

Putnam, and Seminole counties who have participated in this research.

Finally, I extend my appreciation to my family and friends for their endless understanding,

support, and encouragement of all my endeavors. And, without a doubt, I wish to express the

most gratitude to my husband without whose love and sacrifice everything would have been

impossible. I feel like I owe him the whole world, and I truly believe he deserves this credit. My

last piece of thanks is for my precious daughter, Clara, who makes it all worthwhile.












TABLE OF CONTENTS


page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .............. ...............4.....


LIST OF TABLES ............ ...... .__. ...............7....


LIST OF FIGURES .............. ...............8.....


LIST OF TERMS ........._....._ ....__. ...............9....


AB S TRAC T ............._. .......... ..............._ 10...


CHAPTER


1 INTRODUCTION ................. ...............12.......... ......


Purpose of the Study ................. ...............14.......... .....
Research Questions............... ...............1

Si gnificance of the Study ................. ...............15.......... .....

2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................. ...............16................


Racial Identity Development ................... ............. ...............16......
Racial Identity Development for White-Americans ................. .......... ................1 6
Implications of Racial Identity in Teacher Education ........................... ...............21
Social Competence ................ ... ...............25.
Dimensions of Social Competence............... ..............2
Cross-Cultural Comparisons of Social Competence .............. ...............28....
Teacher' s Role in the Development of Social Competence ................. .....................32
Teachers' Beliefs ............... .. ... .... ...............3
Research on Teachers' Beliefs .............. ...............35....
Teachers' Beliefs about Social Competence .............. ...............38....
Sum m ary ................. ...............41.......... ......

3 METHODS .............. ...............44....


Participants .............. ...............44....
Instrum ents .............. .. .. .... ... ........... .......4
Child Vignette and Teachers' Beliefs Questionnaire .............. ..... ............... 4
Social Attitude Scale .............. ...............45....
Teacher Information Questionnaire ................. ...............46........... ....
Follow-up Interview ................. ...............47.......... .....
Data Collection Procedures .............. ...............47....
Pilot Study .............. ...............47....
Study ................. ...............49.................











4 RE SULT S ................. ...............5.. 1..............


Participants Background ................. ...............51........... ....
Teachers' Racial Identities ....................... .. ................5
Teachers' Beliefs about the Role of Culture in Social Competence ................ ....................54
Relationship between Teachers' Racial Identities and Beliefs about the Role of Culture
in Social Com petence................. .. ..... ... ...................5
Characteristics of Teachers' Beliefs about Culture and Social Competence .........................56

5 DI SCUS SSION ................. ...............76................


Teachers' Racial Identities, Beliefs, and the Relationships............... .............7
Teachers' Racial Identities .............. ...............76....
Teachers' Beliefs ............... ... ... ........ ........... ..... ..................7
Relationships between Teachers' Racial Identities and Beliefs ................ ................ .79
Limitations of the Study .............. ...............82....
Implications for Practice ................. ...............83........... ....
Implications for Future Research............... ...............86

APPENDIX


A PARTICIPANT CONSENT LETTER ................. ...............88................


B CHILD VIGNETTE AND TEACHERS' BELIEFS QUESTIONNAIRE ............... ...............89

C SOCIAL ATTITUDE SCALE .............. ...............97....


D TEACHER INFORMATION QUESTIONNAIRE ................. ............. ......... .......99

E FOLLOW-UP INTERVIEW PROTOCOL ......... ........_____ ......... ...........10


F PILOT PARTICIPANT CONSENT LETTER 1............... ...............103...


G PILOT PARTICIPANT CONSENT LETTER 2 ................. .........__ ...... 104..... ...


LIST OF REFERENCES ............__........... ...............105...


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............ ........... ...............115....











LIST OF TABLES

Table page

2-1 Helm's White racial identity development model .............. ...............43....

4-1 Teaching experience and number of children. .............. ...............68....

4-2 Chi-square test for educational degree ................. ...............70...............

4-3 Summary of ANOVA for age ................. ................ .................. ..........70

4-4 Summary of ANOVA for teaching experience ................. ...............70........... ..

4-5 Summary of ANOVA for self reported experience of teaching children from
different backgrounds. ............. ...............71.....

4-6 Summary of ANOVA for self-efficacy of teaching children from different
back ground s. ............. ...............71.....

4-7 Descriptive statistics about degree of awareness. ............. ...............71.....

4-8 Descriptive statistics about child evaluation ................. ...............71........... ..

4-9 Summary of dependent T-tests for child evaluation. .............. ...............71....

4-10 Reasons for evaluating Ming. ............. ...............72.....

4-11 Reasons for evaluating David. ............. ...............72.....

4-12 Reasons for evaluating Jose. .............. ...............72....

4-13 Reasons for evaluating Chris. ............. ...............72.....

4-14 Reasons for evaluating Jamal............... ...............73.

4-15 Reasons for evaluating Eric. ............. ...............73.....

4-16 Summary of ANOVA for degree of awareness. ................ ............ ...................74

4-17 Summary of MANOVA for child evaluation. ................ ................ ................75











LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

4-1 School districts of teachers. ............. ...............66.....

4-2 Teachers' age. ............. ...............66.....

4-3 Most advanced educational degree of teachers ................. ...............67........... ..

4-4 Types of teaching certificate of teachers. ............. ...............67.....

4-5 Current children's background. ............. ...............68.....

4-6 Experience of teaching children from different background. ................ .....................69

4-7 Self-efficacy of teaching children from different background. ................ ................. ..69

4-8 Racial identity status. .............. ...............70....

4-9 Mean Plots for ANOVA for degree of awareness. ............. ...............74.....

4-10 Mean Plots for MANOVA for child evaluation. ............. ...............75.....










LIST OF TERMS


African-American: all individuals who are of African-American descent a.k.a. Black.
Although Black and African-American are often interchangeably used, 'African-American' is
going to be used throughout my study except for the use in the Social Attitude Scale' which
followed the original document.

Awareness: a state of having and/or showing consciousness and sensitivity about any
given fact, either tangible or intangible. Cultural awareness refers to how much one is sensitive
about both his/her own and others' culture.

Consideration: a state of taking any given fact, either tangible or intangible, into account
when formulating an opinion or a plan. Cultural consideration refers to how much one takes
culture into account in his/her decision-making process.

Culture: the ideation, symbols, behaviors, values, and beliefs that are shared by a human
group to meet their survival needs (adopted from Banks, 1994). Cultural group refers to a group
of individuals who shares the same culture.

Race: one's ethnic heritage (i.e., White-American, African-American, Hispanic, Asian-
American). Racial identity refers to a sense of group or collective characteristics based on one's
perception that he/she shares a common heritage with a particular group (adopted from Helms,
1990).

Social competence: the ability to achieve personal goals in interpersonal interaction while
simultaneously maintaining a positive relationship with others over time and across settings
(adopted from Rubin & Rose-Krasnor, 1992).

Teacher's beliefs: what an educator holds to be true and his/her disposition with respect to
the truth of a proposition (adopted from Smith & Shepard, 1988).

White-American: all individuals who are of White Euro-American descent a.k.a.
Caucasian. Although Caucasian and White-American are often interchangeably used, 'White-
American' is going to be used throughout my study in order to enhance consistency with the
prevalent literatures.









Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

WHITE-AMERICAN KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS' RACIAL IDENTITIES
AND THEIR BELIEFS ABOUT THE ROLE OF CULTURE IN SOCIAL COMPETENCE

By

Hee Jeong Han

August 2007

Chair: Kristen Kemple
Major: Curriculum and Instruction

The purpose of my study is to examine White-American kindergarten teachers' racial

identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence, and to examine how

they are related. This subj ect is important because due to the rapid increase of people of color in

this country, more students are coming from diverse backgrounds while the maj ority of teachers

are yet homogeneous White-Americans. Additionally, a growing number of teacher education

researchers support the importance of examining teachers' identities and beliefs because it has

been found that teaching represents teachers' self identities as well as their beliefs. Previously,

however, very little attention has been given to early childhood teachers' racial identities and

their beliefs about children's social competence.

A total of 95 White-American kindergarten teachers in five school districts in Central

Florida completed three questionnaires. Quantitative data analyses revealed that, this group of

teachers' racial identities showed positively skewed distribution among contact, reintegration,

pseudoindependence, and autonomy statuses suggesting that more teachers had characteristics of

advanced White racial identity development statuses. In terms of these teachers' beliefs about the

role of culture in social competence, their degree of cultural awareness appeared to be higher

than their degree of consideration. Also these teachers took African-American culture into









account when evaluating a child's social competence, but not Asian or Hispanic cultures.

Regarding the relationships between these teachers' racial identities and beliefs, the relationships

discovered in this particular study were not statistically significant. In addition, insights such as

teachers' personal beliefs about social competence represented low-context cultural beliefs;

teachers had varying degree of awareness about the role of culture in social competence;

teachers' cultural knowledge and evaluations about children varied widely from group to group;

teachers had more professional experience than personal experience regarding diversity; and

teachers' beliefs about multicultural education revealed color-blind teaching have emerged

through the qualitative data analyses of individual follow-up interviews.

The findings of my study have implications for practice in early childhood teacher

education such that teachers need to be provided with more opportunities to become aware about

their racial identities and that teacher educators should focus on enhancing multicultural

knowledge and skills beyond the level of awareness. Furthermore, several directions for future

research are discussed in relation to the limitations of my study in order to better examine and

understand these subj ects.









CHAPTER 1
INTTRODUCTION

According to the U. S. Census Bureau (2002), there has been a rapid increase in the

number of people of color in this nation over recent decades. As more people from diverse racial

backgrounds become members of our society, schools must consider this issue of diversification

in the work that they do. In fact, the demography among teacher educators reveals a significant

divide between the teaching population and student population. More children from diverse

racial backgrounds are students in our schools, whereas the maj ority of teachers are

homogeneous White-Americans, especially young, female, middle-class White-Americans

(Irvine, 2003; Tatum, 1997; Wilson, Floden, & Ferini-Mundy, 2001). Researchers have found

that teaching represents teachers' identity by 'teaching what they are' and it is often impossible

to exclude their own racial backgrounds (Howard, 2006; Irvine, 2003; Tatum, 1997). Others

have also found that students of minority groups learn and behave differently from those of

maj ority groups, and advocated for a culturally responsive pedagogy (Bernard, 2004;

Brantlinger, 2003; Villegas & Lucas, 2002; Weinstein, 2002). There is an urgent need for teacher

educators to train teachers to reflect on their own identity development and consider how their

perspectives influence their teaching and interaction with students.

Social competence has been recognized as an important set of abilities which begins to

develop in the early childhood years. Researchers have tried to identify the definition and

important components of social competence (Katz & McClellan, 1997; Kemple, 2004; Rose-

Krasnor, 1997; Rubin, Bukowski, & Parker, 1998). Many definitions have been proposed and

some of them have adequately described the complex nature of social competence. Within the

past couple decades, there has been a growing recognition about and an emphasis on the cultural

aspects of social competence. Researchers have shown that certain aspects of social competence









are deeply influenced by one's culture, and that cultural knowledge is a crucial piece when

understanding social competence (Kantor, Elgas, & Fernie, 1993; Rose-Krasnor, 1997). This has

been further supported by Nisbett (2003), a cultural psychologist who studied individuals'

thought process, beliefs, and behaviors in many subject areas, who advocates that there are some

profound, systematic differences found in Westerners (i.e., Americans, Europeans) and Asians

(i.e., Chinese, Korean). He suggested these differences have implications for educators who wish

to design appropriate educational strategies for diverse students. More specifically, several

researchers have also investigated the socialization goals and values of early childhood teachers,

children's developmental variation of social competence, and the types of behavioral problems

experienced by young children in several different countries and among different cultural groups

in the U. S. (Chen et. al., 2004; Kistner, Metzler, Gatlin, & Risi, 1993; LaFreniere et. al., 2002;

Mendez, McDermott, & Fantuzzo, 2002; Mpofu, Thomas, & Chan, 2004; M. Smith, 2001). They

have found that there are both universal characteristics and culturally specific characteristics

across different countries and different cultural groups. Such findings are significant because

they imply that problems or misunderstandings could occur when little or no cultural

consideration is given to different characteristics of social competence.

Few previous researchers have studied early childhood teachers' beliefs about social

competence. There has been no research about early childhood teachers' racial identity

development. Thus, very little research attention has been given to the relationship between early

childhood teachers' racial identities and their beliefs, particularly in the area of understanding

and promoting young children's social competence. Because early childhood teachers are

generally homogeneous female White-Americans, there is a need to understand their racial

identities and how their identities associate with their beliefs about the role of culture in social










competence among diverse children. By exploring the relationship between teachers' racial

identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence, particularly among

White-American kindergarten teachers, early childhood teacher educators will be able to identify

strategies that can assist the teachers in enhancing their racial identity development while

supporting children's social competence in a culturally responsive manner. Furthermore, when

teachers become culturally responsive in their classrooms, they can more effectively contribute

to the children' s advancement of their own identities as well as their development of social

competence.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of my study is to examine White-American kindergarten teachers' racial

identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence. Specifically, my study

will explore White-American kindergarten teachers' racial identity statuses, their beliefs about

the role of culture in social competence, and the relationship between their identities and their

beliefs.

Research Questions

1. What are the racial identities of these White-American kindergarten teachers? Is there any
difference in these teachers' (a) educational level, (b) age, (c) teaching experience, (d) self
reported experience of teaching children from other backgrounds, and (e) self-efficacy of
teaching children from other backgrounds when compared by the racial identity status
groups?

2. What are these White-American kindergarten teachers' beliefs about the role of culture in
social competence?

2-a. To what degree are they aware about the role of culture in social competence?
2-b. Do they consider cultural differences when evaluating a child's social competencies?

3. What relationship exists between these White-American kindergarten teachers' racial
identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence?

4. What are the characteristics of these White-American kindergarten teachers' beliefs about
culture and social competence?










Significance of the Study

Previous studies have neither explored early childhood teachers' racial identities nor their

beliefs about the role of culture in social competence. There have been no studies that examined

White-American kindergarten teachers' perceptions in terms of their identities and beliefs, and

the relationship between them. The lack of research in this arena is of concern in light of the

emergent trend in today's schools, where there is a significant racial and/or cultural divide

between teachers and students. In addition, many researchers in teacher education and social

competence have observed that teachers bring their identities into their teaching and thus their

views of social competence are influenced by their own culture. However, little previous

research reflects these Eindings that there are different viewpoints of young children' s

development of social competence among different cultural groups. Understanding White-

American kindergarten teachers' racial identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in

social competence and examining the relationship between them is meaningful as teacher

educators continue to seek ways to provide culturally responsive education in today's

classrooms. The findings of my study will provide empirical evidence about the relationship

between racial identities and beliefs about social competence. My findings can also be used to

raise an awareness among early childhood teachers about the role of racial identities and how

identities relate to their use of instructional strategies in understanding and promoting children's

social competence.









CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

The purpose of this chapter is to present an overview of the research relevant to my study.

The review of literatures pertaining to the following topics will be presented: (a) racial identity

development, (b) social competence, and (c) teachers' beliefs. This chapter will conclude with a

summary.

Racial Identity Development

Racial Identity Development for White-Americans

Racial identity refers to a "sense of group or collective identity based on one's perception

that he or she shares a common racial heritage with a particular racial group" (Helms, 1990, p.3).

The idea of taking into account one' s racial identity development originated in the field of

multicultural counseling and therapy several decades ago. At the beginning, this approach was

usually used when working with people of color such as African-American, Asian-American,

Hispanics, and Native Americans because it was assumed that they had distinct cultural heritages

that make each group different from one another (Atkinson, Morten, & Sue, 1988; Cases &

Pytluk, 1995; Choney, Berryhill-Pappke, & Robbins, 1995; Cross, 1995; Helms, 1990).

Although this approach was promising for those groups, many experts began to emphasize the

need for and importance of racial identity development for White-Americans as well (Carter,

1995; Corvin & Wiggins, 1989; Helms, 1984, 1990; Ponterotto, 1988; Sue et al. 1998). Since the

maj ority of counselors and therapists are White middle-class individuals, this notion appears to

have importance in both research and practice. A number of models were proposed to understand

how White-Americans develop through the racial identity development stages and what the

implications are (Hardiman, 1982; Helms, 1984, 1990, 1995; Ponterotto, 1988; Rowe, Bennett,

& Atkinson, 1994).









One of the earliest attempts to investigate White-Americans' racial identity development

process was made by Hardiman (1982). Based upon the generic stages of social identity theory,

she presented a conceptual basis for the existence of White racial identity stages and conducted

an exploratory study to examine the existence of it. The study of autobiographies of six White-

Americans who attained a high level of racial consciousness led her to propose Hardiman's

White racial identity development model with the following five distinct stages.

The first stage is Lack of Social Consciousness, which is characterized by a lack of

awareness of racial difference and racism. White people in this stage are naive and ignorant of

race. The second stage is Acceptance, which is characterized by an unconscious Whiteness and

racist belief in the democratic ideal that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed and that

those who fail should be responsible for themselves. People in this stage believe in White

superiority and minority inferiority. The third stage is Resistance, which is characterized by the

rej section of internalized racist beliefs and Whiteness. White people in this stage often have

feelings of anger, pain, and frustration, and may develop a negative reaction toward their own

cultural group. The fourth stage is Redefinition, which is characterized by the development of a

new White identity that transcends racism. People in this stage no longer deny their Whiteness,

understand the White privilege, and confront their racism. The final fifth stage is Internalization,

which is characterized by the integration of the new White identity into all other aspects of the

identity and behavior. White people in this stage have much more comfort in understanding both

themselves and others, and may commit themselves in social actions as well.

Hardiman' s model has a few limitations such as the development of the stages is derived

from limited samples of White-American; the autobiographies might not be a true representation

of those individuals; and the stages are tied to existing social identity development theories.









Despite such cautions and potential limitations, Hardiman greatly contributed to the field of

White racial identity development by focusing on racism as a central issue of White-American' s

identity (Sue & Sue, 2003).

One of the most renowned White racial identity models was proposed by Helms (1984,

1990, 1995). She proposed the theory based on the assumption that White counselors will be able

to better understand their clients when they gain better understanding of their own racial

identities. Helms also assumed that racism is an integral issue of being a White-American and

believed developing a healthy White identity requires moving through two phases: (1)

abandoning the racism and (2) defining a non-racist White identity. Helm's initial model

included four stages (1984), before it was revised to have five stages (1990). In her most recent

revision (1995), she proposed six statuses, changing the term stages to status. It is very important

to note that Helms pointed out that racial identity is often situationally influenced, and thus one's

identity status should not be considered as a static level but more likely to be a flexible one. Six

specific White racial identity statuses are proposed: the first three falling in phase one and the

second three falling in phase two.

The first is the Contact status. White people in this status are unaware of racism and

discrimination, believe that everyone has an equal chance for success, and may have minimal

experiences with people of color. The second is the Disintegration status that occurs when a

person becomes conflicted over irresolvable racial moral dilemmas. As White people become

conscious of their Whiteness, they may experience dissonance, conflict, guilt, helplessness, or

anxiety. The third is the Reintegration status. This status can best be characterized as a

regression in that people step back to the basic belief of White superiority and minority

inferiority. Generally their White racial superiority gets stronger at this status, moving back to









the second status. The fourth is the Pseudoindependence status. There are conscious and

deliberate attempts for White people to understand racial differences and interact with people of

color, but it remains at the intellectual domain not yet reaching the affective domain. The fifth is

the Immersion Emersion status. White people in this status have an increasing willingness to

redefine their Whiteness and confront their prejudices. There is also an increased experiential

and affective understanding that used to be lacking. The last is the Autonomy status. This occurs

when White people become knowledgeable about racial differences, value the diversity, and are

no longer uncomfortable with the experiential reality of race.

Also, Helms' model has dominant 'information-processing strategies (IPS)' associated

with each status, which is basically a coping mechanism that White people typically use to avoid

anxiety and discomfort around the issue of race. This IPS has helped the understanding of

Helm's White racial identity development, and as a result enhanced the wide application of this

model (Sue & Sue, 2003). Table 2-1 introduces the representative examples of White people,

particularly the teachers, based on Helms' model.

The primary difference between the above two models is that Hardiman placed more

emphasis on racism as the catalyst for identity development whereas Helms placed more

emphasis on moral dilemmas in social interactions (Helms & Carter, 1990). Both Hardiman and

Helms, however, suggested that White identity development occurred through a stage-wise

process in which an individual moves from an oblivious stage toward a racially transcendent

stage. Ponterotto (1988) also proposed a very similar stage model with four stages: (a) Pre-

exposure, (b) Exposure, (c) Zealot-Defensive, and (d) Integration. Similarities among these

White racial identity development models were further supported by Sabnani, Ponterotto, and

Borodovsky (1991) when they identified common themes for planning counselor training










programs. The White Racial Identity Attitude Scale (WRIAS; Helms & Carter, 1990) and the

White Racial Consciousness Development Scale (WRCDS; Claney & Parker, 1989) are the two

maj or scales developed to assess White racial identity development based upon Helms' theory.

They both focus on White individual's attitude toward and/or experience with African-American

people which is occasionally criticized as a serious limitation, but at the same time it is also

supported because such comparison can maximize the distinct racial difference in the United

States.

In response to the above models, Rowe et al. (1994) proposed an alternative White racial

consciousness model proclaiming that theirs is a more parsimonious explanation for racial

identity. Instead of adopting the term 'stages' or 'statuses', they preferred to conceptualize the

identity as 'types' and defined as "a describable set of attitudes subj ect to experiential

modification, not a fixed personality attribute" (p. 134). They emphasized that there is little

evidence to support that an individual's identity process is developmentally sequential, but rather

it depends on a various consequences of life experience. Thus, they distinguished that the

identity types are not fixed entities but are subj ect to experiential modification. A total of seven

types of White racial identity were proposed.

The first, the Avoidantdddd~~~~~~dddddd tyipes ignore, avoid, and deny racial issues. Second, the Dependent

tyipes have minimal or no internalized personal attitudes so that they often follow others'

opinions. Third, the Dissonant tyipes have uncertain and tentative attitudes. Conflicts and

dissonance generally arise between their previously held attitudes and recent incidents. Fourth,

the Dominative types are very ethnocentric. They typically believe in White superiority and

minority inferiority. Fifth, the Conflictive tyipes support fairness and oppose obvious

discrimination, yet do not wish to alter the status quo. Sixth, the Reactive tyipes are aware of









racism in the society but are still ignorant of their individual responsibilities. Seventh, the

Integrative tyipes have integrated and pragmatic views of racial issues. They value a culturally

pluralistic society and have sophisticated understanding of racial issues. Rowe et al. grouped the

above types into two main groups: (1) unachieved White racial consciousness group with the

first three types and (2) achieved White racial consciousness group with the latter four types. The

Oklahoma Racial Attitudes Scale (ORAS; Choney & Behrens, 1996) is the scale developed to

assess White racial consciousness according to Rowe et al.'s theory.

Both Helms' White racial identity model and Rowe et al.'s White racial consciousness

models attempt to explain the same general phenomena, and thus it is not a surprise that they

share many common characteristics (Leach, Behrens, & LaFleur, 2002). Although Rowe et al.

(1994) argued that their model is superior to the others, especially Helms' model, Block and

Carter (1996) did a critical analysis on these models focusing on both theoretical claims and

empirical evidences and concluded that there is no evidence to substantiate Rowe et al.'s claims

by stating "a rose by any other name is still a rose" (p. 327). It is also recommended that for

future research, more priority should be given to providing the empirical evidence for the

application of either approach not the application of theories (Leach et al., 2002).

Implications of Racial Identity in Teacher Education

Many people, especially White-Americans believe that racism no longer exists in our

society, and do not seem to pay attention to their identities in regards of racial backgrounds

(Tatum, 1997). Most White-Americans also believe that race and/or culture is relatively

unimportant in one's identity development (Brantlinger, 2003; hooks, 2000). The influence of

one's racial identity has been researched in a wide variety of fields besides education. Block,

Roberson, and Neuger (1995) studied a group of full-time work employees and examined the

relationship between their White racial identity attitudes and reactions to interracial situations at









work. Their findings were congruent with Helm's theory that those individuals with high levels

of Autonomy attitudes had more positive reactions to interracial situations at work whereas those

individuals characterized by high levels of Disintegration and Reintegration attitudes had more

negative reactions. Taylor (1994) reported positive correlation between moral development and

the Autonomy status of Helms' White identity development model among employees. Ottavi,

Pope-Davis, and Ding (1994) also tested the White counselor trainees' racial identity

development and their self reported multicultural competencies. Regression analyses indicated

that White racial identity explained variability in multicultural competencies beyond that

accounted for by demographic, educational, and clinical variables. These findings all suggest that

there could be a correlation between one's racial identity and their attitudes toward other racial

groups, attitudes toward complex moral issues (i.e., racism, equality, and social justice), as well

as multicultural competencies (McAllister & Irvine, 2000).

Several studies were conducted to examine the relationship between racial identity and

multicultural competencies in educational settings as well. Although Sleeter (1992) did not

directly utilize the idea of White racial identity status, her narrative anecdotes revealed the

changes of teachers after participating in a 2-year in-service program. They showed increased

attention to African-American students and increased use of cooperative learning activities.

Lawrence and Tatum (1997) also reported that teachers changed their thinking, attitudes, and

behaviors regarding race through the 7-month professional development sessions. Most of the

participants who had racist oriented identity statuses based on Helm's theory at the beginning

moved toward more positive anti-racist identity statuses and took some forms of action to

combat racism. Both Brown, Parham, and Yonker' s (1996) study and Neville, Heppner, Louie,

Thompson, Brooks, and Baker's (1996) study identified a causal relationship between the









intervention courses and the changes of White participants' racial identity. Neville et al.'s

findings are especially meaningful because it reported that the changes were sustained over time

at the 1-year follow-up survey. They further suggested the need of multicultural training in

order to develop White-American's racial identity.

Recently, in the field of teacher education, there is a growing demand for teachers to

identify themselves and their teaching, and it is generally supported by educational researchers

that teaching represents teachers' racial and cultural backgrounds by 'teaching what they are'

(Banks, 1994; Howard, 2006; Nieto, 2000; Tatum, 1997). They found that teaching is often

based upon where teachers came from (i.e., how they were previously taught) and where they are

now (i.e., what they know, believe, and value). In short, teachers are either consciously or

unconsciously revealing their identities to the students they teach where there's no way to

exclude racial and cultural perspectives. In a study conducted with African-American teachers,

Irvine (2003) found that they defined teaching from a more empathetic perspective such as

caring, other mothering, and believing than White-American teachers. This perspective of

teaching originated from their racial and cultural backgrounds, and not surprisingly African-

American students performed better at schools when taught by those African-American teachers

(Bernard, 2004). Irvine explained this phenomenon by mentioning 'teaching with a cultural eye'.

She suggested that if teachers learn to look through the cultural eye, they are able to see more

diverse and different perspectives among students. To this end, there has been a continuous effort

to train and help teachers effectively teach diverse students in their classrooms. Given that the

maj ority of teachers continue to be homogeneous White-Americans, teacher educators have used

various methods to foster change in teachers' thinking, attitudes, and behaviors regarding

cultural diversity and sensitivity. Yet these have yielded mixed results because they often









focused on addressing contents and knowledge rather than the teachers' process of cross-cultural

learning (McAllister & Irvine, 2000).

It is noteworthy that researchers have asserted the importance of self recognition and

awareness as a prerequisite for effective teaching. Banks (1994), who studied extensively about

multicultural and multiethnic education, suggested that individuals do not become sensitive and

open to different ethnic groups until and unless they develop a positive sense of self, including

an awareness and acceptance of their own ethnic group. It is widely supported that in order to

become an effective teacher with diverse students, teachers must confront their own racism and

biases (Banks, 1994; C. I. Bennett, 1995; M. J. Bennett, 1993; Gay, 2000; Nieto, 2000; Sleeter,

1992; Villegas & Lucas, 2002). The White racial identity development models provide

conceptual insights for both practice and research in this regard, because they not only help

teachers self examine their identities but also help teacher educators identify where the teachers

stand along the continuum of racial identity development and differentiate the support for those

in different statuses (Carter & Goodwin, 1994; McAllister & Irvine, 2000). Teachers need to

understand their own level of racial identity development in order to change their perceptions

and expectations of students from different backgrounds. It is also necessary for teacher

educators to enable the teachers to examine their own understandings from racial identity

development perspectives. Lawrence and Tatum (1997) emphasized that professional

development programs that are intended to increase teachers' multicultural competencies should,

then, attend to the impact that these programs could have on the racial identity development of

the participants. J. M. Bennett (1993) also suggested that the structure of the intervention should

be designed to provide both support and challenge in reflecting cross-cultural process, and not to

merely convey the contents of other cultures.










Many researchers revealed that higher statuses of White racial identity were associated

with higher levels of multicultural competencies in a variety of settings (Block et al., 1995;

Brown et al., 1996; Neville et al., 1996; Ottavi et al. 1994; Taylor, 1994). They believed that the

higher racial identity reflects certain multicultural capacities such as an increased ability to

accept racial difference, to exhibit less racist behavior, and to appreciate diversity, all of which

could be considered as effective multicultural teaching competencies. Although reflecting on and

challenging one's identity is a long term process, constructing multicultural courses using racial

identity models and providing on-going professional development for pre-service and in-service

teachers will help decrease their resistance and increase their knowledge and skills (Lawrence &

Tatum, 1997). Moreover, as Carter and Goodwin (1994) suggest, there is still much to study

about the impact that effective antiracist professional development can have on teachers'

attitudes and behaviors. They also emphasized the need for research that explores the role of

racial identity development in addressing numerous educational, psychological, and social

questions within schools. It is important to reiterate that "racial identity theory and research

inform us that the task of developing effective skill, competence, and awareness about race and

culture is something all educators, White and non-White alike, must undertake" (Carter &

Goodwin, p.324).

Social Competence

Dimensions of Social Competence

Social competence has generally been identified as a marker of development and

adjustment. Thus, young children's development of social competence has been traditionally

emphasized in the Hield of early childhood education. However, there is much less agreement

about the definition of social competence and what constitutes socially competent behavior. In

the early 1960s, there was an effort to move away from deficit models of mental health when









viewing social competence. Zigler and Phillips (1961) argued that the focus of social competence

should be on individual's success in meeting social standards in multiple domains. In this stage,

social competence was broadly defined to reflect an individual's personal and social maturity.

One of the benefits of this broad definition is that it allows researchers to examine children from

a holistic perspective (Zigler & Phillips, 1961). Yet, due to the developments in this Hield,

definitions of social competence have changed substantially during the last couple decades. In

the 1980s and 1990s, there has been a growing interest in topics of children' s social development

(i.e., social behaviors, social cognition, and social competence). Also, several studies showed

that there are relatively weak associations between different dimensions of social competence

(i.e., peer relationships, emotional regularity, and school adjustment). The evidence suggested

that social competence does not represent a unitary construct (Raver & Zigler, 1997).

Faced with these complex relations among dimensions, researchers turned to a more

narrow definition of social competence in each of their own studies. Some examples are: "the

ability to perform culturally specified tasks" (Ogbu, 1981, p.414); "the attainment of relevant

social goals in specified social context, using appropriate means and resulting in positive

developmental outcomes" (Ford, 1982, p.324); "ability to achieve desired outcomes and show

adaptability across contexts" (Duck, 1989, p.92); and "the ability to achieve personal goals in

social interaction while simultaneously maintaining positive relationships with others over time

and across settings" (Rubin & Rose-Krasnor, 1992, p.285). Nonetheless, it is generally agreed

that most of the definitions include "effectiveness" as a central aspect of social competence

(Rose-Krasnor, 1997; Rubin, Bukowski, & Parker, 1998).

Among many attempts made to analyze the concept of social competence, the 'Prism

model of social competence' presented by Rose-Krasnor (1997) is one which provides helpful










ideas in understanding its complex nature. According to Rose-Krasnor, social competence is

divided into three sub levels: the top part is called the theoretical level, the middle part is the

index level, and the bottom part is the skills level. Each level has a slightly different viewpoint

about social competence, but they are interrelated with each other, and each has a unique purpose

(Rose-Krasnor, 1997).

From the theoretical level, social competence is viewed as effectiveness in interaction. This

is consistent with many researchers' definition and the fundamental aspect of social competence

(Guralnick, 1990; Katz & McClellan, 1997; Kemple, 2004; Kostelnik, Whiren, Soderman, &

Gregogy, 2006). However, the interpretation of effectiveness could be different based on time,

place, and people related to that interaction.

So, the index level takes into account the 'who', 'what', and 'where' issues of the

interaction. Since the interaction could not exist by itself and the effectiveness is determined

through the transactions with other people, it is divided into two domains: self and others. The

self domain reflects effectiveness from the individual's own perspective. It consists of aspects of

social competence where individual's own needs take priority such as success in meeting

personal goals and feelings of self-efficacy. On the other hand, the other domain reflects

interpersonal effectiveness such as good relationships with peers or adults, achieving appropriate

group status, and fulfiling society's expectations. Both the self and other domains of social

competence are segmented into pieces representing the multiple social contexts. This situation-

specific, context dependent nature of social competence is widely accepted by researchers as

well.

The bottom skills level represents the specific abilities that have been identified to

approach competence such as perspective taking, problem solving, emotional regulation, and










goals and values which provide the motivation for social behavior (Rubin et al., 1998). In

contrast to the social nature of the index level, the elements contained in the skills level are

located primarily within the individual. Some skills and values contained in the skills level may

be relevant across contexts, but certain skills are more valued in some contexts than in others.

Culture may be the most distinctive context determining the value of specific abilities or skills

because the individual's definition and expectation of socially competent and valued behaviors

are deeply influenced by his/her cultural background. In other words, the elements within the

skills level could substantially vary across cultures.

In sum, when reviewing social competence through the lens of culture, cultural variability

may be greatest at the skills level and decrease while moving up through the prism. At the

theoretical level, the general concept of social competence as effectiveness in interaction may be

universally accepted. At the index level, social competence is characterized as transactional and

context dependent. Behaviors that were effectively valued in one context may not be the same in

another context. Similarly, socially competent behavior needed to survive in one context may be

different from another context. However, at the skills level behaviors needed to achieve certain

social goals may differ substantially across cultures. Social competence is substantially culturally

sensitive.

Cross-Cultural Comparisons of Social Competence

Cultural influence on human behavior and thought process has been studied extensively in

the field of psychology. Nisbett (2003) and his colleagues, after a series of comparative

experiments, proclaimed that there are systematic differences in people's behavior and thought

processes among people from Western and Asian culture. At the beginning, such argument was

very provocative because it was a serious revoke of many psychologists' fundamental beliefs

that human beings' cognitive process and development are universal. Since Hall (1976) had









initially proposed the idea of high-context culture and low-context culture, there have been

burgeoning discussions concerning cultural differences in a wide range of human behaviors,

including the area of children's social competencies. When researchers investigated the

socialization goals and values of preschool teachers, children' s developmental variation of social

competence, and the types of behavioral problems experienced by preschoolers in several

different countries, there were both some universal findings and culture specific finding across

countries (Chen et al., 2004; Killen, Ardila-Rey, Barakkatz, & Want, 2000; LaFreniere et al.,

2002). While the processes underlying competent behavior was similar across cultures, the

specific behaviors associated with social competence showed cultural differences.

LaFreniere et al. (2002) conducted a multi-national study in eight different countries

including the United States, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Japan, China, and Russia, to

investigate preschool children's social and emotional development. Gender differences were

found in almost all countries, such that preschool boys were universally reported to be

significantly more aggressive and viewed as less socially competent than girls. Age differences

were also found such that children's social competence increased as they grew older. However,

in contrast to such universal trends, there were culture specific trends as well. In high-context

cultures such as Japan, China, Russia, and Brazil, social identity and group interest were more

valued while in low-context cultures such as United States, Canada, Austria, and Italy, individual

identity and personal interest were more valued. While compliance and respectfulness were more

emphasized in high-context culture, assertiveness and leadership were more emphasized in low-

context cultures. Children in high-context cultures were encouraged to use more subtle cues, but

children in low-context cultures were encouraged to use more verbal expressions. Moreover,

gender roles and stereotypes were more distinctive in some collectivist and conservative









countries like Russia, China, and Japan. For example, Russian girls who showed aggression were

viewed much more negatively than Russian boys. Different evaluations of aggression and

withdrawn behavior were also found among countries. High-context cultures usually appreciated

withdrawn behaviors rather than aggressive behaviors. As an example, socially anxious and

withdrawn behavior is often associated with peer popularity in high-context cultures, but in the

low-context cultures it is usually associated with peer rej section.

Another multi-national study conducted by Chen et al. (2004) revealed consistent Eindings

as well. Relations between self perceptions of social competence and social and school

adjustment were compared in Brazil, Canada, China, and Italy. In the four countries, social

competence and academic achievement were positively associated with self perception. This

similar pattern indicated the general nature of relationships. However, the subcomponents of

social competence had variant relationships. For instance, significant differences in the

relationship between shyness-sensitivity and self perception of social competence were noted.

Shyness-sensitivity was negatively associated in Brazilian, Canadian, and Italian children but not

among Chinese children. From a slightly different perspective, Killen et al. (2000) examined

preschool teachers' perception about conflict resolution, autonomy, and the group in the United

States, Colombia, El Salvador, and Taiwan. The Eindings revealed cultural similarities regarding

conflict resolution techniques and providing autonomy in the classroom, whereas cultural

differences were evident in teachers' attitude toward maintaining the group and encouraging

traditional group values.

Studies were also conducted to compare different racial or cultural groups in one country.

One group of researchers supports the Eindings that even within one country, children of color

may value different social behaviors than the mainstream children. Moreover, it is believed that









children of color, especially the low-income children have different opportunities for social

interactions, models of success, and preferred methods for achieving social goals than their

middle-class White counterparts (Fordham & Ogbu, 1986; Kaiser & Rasminsky, 2003; Kistner et

al., 1993; Klein & Chen, 2001; Mpofu et al., 2004). In an empirical study, Kistner et al.

examined elementary school children's sensitivity to specific child characteristics and found that

social preferences vary according to their racial background, especially for the girls. Mpofu et al.

also reported similar findings in their study with racially integrated schools in South Africa.

When students' race and gender were associated with social competence, White students were

perceived as socially more competent as compared to their African-American classmates. These

findings are consistent with previous studies that racially minority group children are at risk for

lower social acceptance in schools, and there could be a linkage between peer sociometric

choices and racial minority statuses. Klein and Chen pointed out that culture can influence not

only children's social skills and behaviors but also a family's child rearing practice as well as

communication skills and styles. Kaiser and Rasminsky also agreed that there are no best

universal norms or methods, and thus children naturally develop the characteristics that their own

culture values. They both shared each racial/cultural group's characteristics and further

suggested culturally responsive teaching strategies in working with diverse children.

On the other hand, some studies reported contrary findings that there were no significant

differences found with children of color (Mendez et al., 2002; M. Smith, 2001). M. Smith

explored the factors contributing to African-American children's peer acceptance, but reported

results that are consistent with those from White-American samples. Mendez et al. examined the

differences in African-American children's social competency as a function of age and gender,

and found patterns that are consistent with prior studies. Although some researchers argue that









the relationship between certain components (i.e., age, gender, emotional competence) and social

competence is consistent regardless of the group, there is considerable support in acknowledging

the importance of contextual consideration and different socialization practices for children from

different backgrounds (Garcia Coll et al., 1996; Kaiser & Rasminsky, 2003; Kantor et al., 1993;

Klein & Chen, 2001).

Teacher's Role in the Development of Social Competence

Early childhood teachers play a significant role in facilitating young children's

development of social competence, partly by virtue of the fact that teachers are the adults who

oversee children in school settings. While other factors such as the family, the community, and

the peers have substantial influence on children's social competence as well, classroom teachers

are the adults who observe children most intimately in social peer group settings, and thus could

have multiple opportunities to affect children's development (Kemple, 2004). A number of

authors have addressed how teachers can guide and support young children's development of

social competence. Also, a wide variety of strategies that teachers should employ to promote

young children's emerging social competencies have been suggested by both practical and

research literatures (File, 1993; Fox, Dunlap, Hemmeter, Joseph, & Strain, 2003; Hazen, Black,

& Fleming-Johnson, 1984; Katz & McClellan, 1997; Kemple, 2004; Kostelnik et al., 2006).

Generally, in the early childhood years, children do not learn social competencies best through

direct instruction. Based on their study with early elementary students' classroom behaviors,

Madsen, Becker, and Thomas (1968) asserted that when it comes to managing socially disruptive

behaviors, whole group instruction is very unlikely to be effective because it is not well suited to

young children's way of learning. Instead, it is generally suggested that individualized guidance

works better with young children, because a child can be engaged in understanding and

absorbing the new concept when he/she is directly involved in a situation. Individual focus and









the warmth of the interaction are critical in enhancing children' s capacity to hear and respond

meaningfully to the teacher's guidance (Katz & McClellan, 1997). Katz and McClellan further

suggested several principles that teachers are encouraged to keep in mind when dealing with

children's social competencies. Some examples are social competence is culturally defined,

social difficulties provide opportunities to teach, optimum teacher intervention promotes social

competence, and teachers' interactions with children should model social competence.

One of the biggest challenges teachers encounter is to decide what approach or strategy to

use for which children. It is important to tailor and adjust teaching strategies according to the

individual child's need and capability. File (1993) has utilized the Vygotskian perspective in this

realm suggesting that children can develop social competencies when they receive individually

appropriate assistance within the zone of proximal development (ZPD). A useful schematic for

classifying strategies as well as for making decisions about which strategies to consider first has

been proposed by Brown, Odom and Conroy (2001). Based on the intervention hierarchy, they

encouraged the interventionist to employ the least intrusive and most normal type of

interventions before moving on to more complex and demanding interventions. Shortly after, this

was followed by two other models with very similar conceptualization (Fox et al., 2003; Kemple,

2004). Both models consist of four distinct stages. The teaching pyramid includes the four levels

of practice: building positive relationships; implementing classroom preventive practices; using

social and emotional teaching strategies; and planning intensive individualized interventions

(Fox et al., 2003). The teaching continuum has four categories of intervention and support along

the continuum from the most to the least naturalistic: environmental arrangements; naturalistic

strategies; planned routine activities; and higher intensity interventions (Kemple, 2004). It is

commonly suggested that teachers begin with the most natural strategies such as building










positive relationships and creating a supportive classroom environment, and then move toward

more specific and individualized strategies and interventions as needed.

However, contradictory findings are found in research literatures. Although only a limited

number of empirical studies have directly examined the teacher' s role in young children' s social

competence development, most of them indicated that teachers are actually not doing a decent

job (File, 1994; Howes & Clemente, 1994; Hundert, Mahoney, & Hopkins, 1993; Kemple,

David, & Hysmith, 1997). Hundert et al. found that teachers spent less than 3% of their time

interacting with children in integrated preschools. File also observed preschool teachers during

free play time and found that teachers spent very little time mediating children's interactions.

She further noted that even when the teachers intervened, most of the interactions were not

individualized in relation to the children's age or ability: they were mostly directive in nature

regardless of children' s developmental needs. Very similar results were reported by Howes and

Clemente who found that teachers mediated peer play during only 2% of the observations, even

though the children were in proximity to teachers for almost half the of time. More recently,

Kemple et al. studied the frequency and nature of teachers' intervention behaviors in response to

children's naturally occurring peer interactions. As a result, they too found that teachers became

involved in an average of 5 peer interactions during a 30-minute free play period, their

interventions were of very short duration, and teachers seldom followed up on their interactions.

In addition, the most commonly observed teachers' behaviors were restrictive interventions such

as punishments, statements of rules and commands, and disruption of interaction (i.e., time out),

which the teacher terminated peer interaction. These observational data reveal that teachers do

very little in their classrooms to actively mediate and support children's social relationships and

interactions with their peers, and in turn, children are left largely on their own to manage their









social relationships unless their interactions create serious classroom conflicts or threaten other

children's safety. It further appears to be a big concern that children with lower social

competence will be repeatedly left out from the peer group while only children with higher social

competence will succeed in establishing and maintaining successful social relationships (File,

1993).

Nonetheless, supporting and facilitating children's development of social competence is a

valid and important teaching responsibility. Teachers can indeed intervene to maximize

children's successful social experiences (Asher & Renshaw, 1981). Yet, it is through careful and

methodical observation of a child's interaction style in social situations that teachers can gain

insight into which behaviors are contributing to a child's problem or in reverse, development of

social competence. Teachers who are knowledgeable in identifying children's social interaction

patterns that lead to social acceptance or rej section or isolation can effectively assist children in

using strategies associated with appropriate social competence (Hazen et al., 1984). It is also

suggested that teachers can play a significant role in supporting social growth and development

by improving the program quality and providing appropriate adult-child ratios (Kemple et al.,

1997). It should be emphasized again that "teachers who work with young children can have a

profound impact on children's social development an impact that can contribute to the quality

of children' s lives throughout their life span." (Katz & McClellan, 1997, p. 61).

Teachers' Beliefs

Research on Teachers' Beliefs

According to Clark and Peterson (1986), teaching involves two maj or domains: teachers'

beliefs or thought processes which occur inside teachers' head and thus are unobservable; and

teachers' actions and their effects which are observable and readily measurable. It has been

recently emphasized that beliefs are powerful cognitive filters through which meaning is









developed, and thus attention to how beliefs about teaching are acquired, maintained, and altered

has been one of the fundamental foci in teacher education (Fang, 1996; Nespor, 1987;

Richardson, 1996; K. E. Smith, 1997). Generally, the difficulty in studying teachers' beliefs has

often been caused by definitional problems and poor conceptualization (Paj ares, 1992). There are

quite a lot of terms found in the literature that are interchangeably used with beliefs such as

attitudes, values, opinions, ideology, perceptions, preconceptions, perspectives, personal

theories, and implicit theories. It is suggested, however, that the major confusion generally exists

between beliefs and knowledge. Paj ares (1992) explained that the most common comparison

could be that beliefs are based on evaluation and judgment whereas knowledge is based on

obj ective fact. Beliefs are often contextually bounded as well as derived from personal and

cultural experience. Nespor also identified four features that could serve to distinguish beliefs

from knowledge: existential presumption; alternativity; affective and evaluative aspects; and

episodic storage. Yet, even after understanding and agreeing upon the nature of teachers' beliefs,

it is still difficult to examine beliefs because they always comes with another construct, such as

teachers' beliefs about 'social competence'. Additionally, because individuals' beliefs are often

incompatible and teaching is a blurry field full of contradictions, teachers' beliefs are difficult to

pinpoint with precision.

Because beliefs cannot be directly observed or measured, examining teachers' beliefs

requires making inferences about teachers' underlying states from what they intend, say, and do

(Paj eres, 1992). Richardson (1996) mentioned interviews and observations as the two most

frequently employed methods in current studies on teachers' beliefs. It is also suggested that both

questionnaires and interviews are good avenues to understand peoples' inner-located traits such

as beliefs that are not readily observable. Especially, given the unique nature of people' s beliefs,









a scaling technique that uses a series of questions to get opinions on one or two specific issues is

recommended by psychologists and sociologists to improve researchers' ability to measure

attitudes or beliefs (Salant & Dillman, 1994). In the previous studies about teachers' beliefs,

sources of data typically included a variety of both quantitative and qualitative methods:

questionnaires (Cassidy, Buell, Pugh-Hoese, & Russell, 1995; Charlesworth, Hart, Burts,

Mosley, & Fleege, 1993; Kagan & K. E. Smith, 1988; Kemple, Hysmith, & David, 1996;

McMahon, Richmond, Reeves-Kazelskis, 2001; Peck, Carlson, & Helmstetter, 1992; K. E.

Smith, 1997; Yoo, 2005); interviews (Cassidy & Lawrence, 2000; Lieber, Capell, Sandall,

Wolfberg, Horn, & Beckman, 1998; Makin & McNaught, 2001; Marchant, 1995; McMahon et

al., 2001; Peck et al., 1992; M. K. Smith, & K. E. Smith, 2000; M. L. Smith & Shepard, 1988;

Yoo, 2005); observation records (Cassidy & Lawrence, 2000; Kagan & K. E. Smith, 1988;

Kemple et al. 1996; Lieber et al., 1998; M. L. Smith & Shepard, 1988); and additional program

documents (Lieber et al., 1998; M. L. Smith & Shepard, 1988). As shown above, usually more

than one method is implemented in many studies in order to validate and/or strengthen the

findings.

Although there are still two recurring themes of 'consistency' and 'inconsistency' between

teachers' beliefs and practices, it has been more supported that teachers' beliefs make up an

important part of their practices such as how teachers perceive, process, and act upon

information in the classroom (Clark & Peterson, 1986; Isenberg, 1990; Munby, 1982; Nespor,

1987; Pajares, 1992; Stern & Shavelson, 1983). In a recent study, Nelson (2000) found out that

personal factors such as beliefs and training together with past experience and personality types

had a greater effect on teachers' practices than environmental factors such as moral support from

colleagues and school resources. As a result, Nelson concluded that "if teachers have strong









beliefs, they can overcome obstacles in the environment that make implementing these beliefs

difficult" (p. 102). Few people would argue that teachers' beliefs affect, inform and guide their

practices to some degree, albeit the degree could differ by specific issues or content areas.

Therefore, it is important to understand teachers' beliefs not only as an element that largely

influences teachers' practices but also as a foundation in developing appropriate pre-service and

in-service teacher training programs (Cassidy & Lawrence, 2000; Lin, Gorrell, & Silvern, 2001;

Nelson, 2000; Richardson, 1996; M. K. Smith & K. E. Smith, 2000).

Teachers' Beliefs about Social Competence

Only a few studies have reported on teachers' beliefs in the area of social competence.

Lane, Givner, and Pierson (2004) examined elementary teachers' views of social competence by

having them identify the essential social skills for classroom success and compared them by

grade levels (primary vs. intermediate) and program types (general vs. special education). It was

found that cooperation and self control skills were identified as important, while assertion skills

were less important at both levels. In addition, both general and special education teachers placed

similar value on assertion and self control skills, whereas general education teachers viewed

cooperation as more essential for success than did special education teachers. Variations among

teachers' beliefs were further reported in the subsequent study by Lane, Wehby, and Cooley

(2006). They explored teachers' expectations of student behavior in terms of school levels

(elementary vs. middle vs. high), program types (general vs. special education), and school types

(high risk vs. low risk). Results indicated that teachers had similar emphasis on self control and

cooperation skills despite the subtle difference regarding which social skills are needed for

school success. Such findings collectively imply that although details of teachers' beliefs could

differ based upon grade level and program and school types, teachers consistently emphasized

social skills that facilitate classroom harmony as well as instruction. Another study examined the









influence of teachers' beliefs on children. Chang (2003) examined the influence of teachers'

beliefs about aggressive and withdrawn behaviors on middle school children's peer acceptance

and self perceived social competence. She found that teachers' aversion to aggression and

empathy toward withdrawal enhanced the self perception of both aggressive and withdrawn

children. My study is especially meaningful because it expands teachers' influence on dyadic

teacher-child relationship to the relationships among children. It is suggested that teachers'

beliefs and attitudes can be transcended to the students, and students take cues from teachers'

beliefs and attitudes in developing peer relationships. Yet, since most of the studies focused on

elementary or higher grade level students, it is unclear whether the finding would be the same for

early childhood teachers' beliefs or not.

In a study of beliefs about kindergarten teachers' teaching priorities, Knudsen-Lindauer

and Harris (1989) found that teachers ranked children's social skills third in the order of

importance out of 10 developmental domains. Listening skills and self confidence were indicated

by the teachers as the most important kindergarten skills. However, even though it is assumed

that teachers' beliefs are very likely to affect their teaching in early childhood classrooms, very

little is actually studied particularly about teachers' beliefs about young children' social

competence. It is occasionally embedded in more general inquiries such as teachers' beliefs

about developmentally appropriate educational practices (Kemple et al., 1996). In fact, most of

the teachers' beliefs studies in early childhood education have been done in limited areas such as

developmentally appropriate practices (Charlesworth et al., 1993; K. E. Smith, 1997; K. E. Smith

& Croom, 2001), inclusion (Lieber et al., 1998; Marchant, 1995; Peck et al., 1992; M. K. Smith

& K. E. Smith, 2000), and literacy (Makin & McNaught, 2001; McLachlan, Carvalho, Lautor, &

Kumar, 2006; McMahon, Richmond, & Reeves-Kazelskis, 1998; Yoo, 1998, 2005).









In regards to social competence in early childhood, several studies had examined mothers'

or parents' beliefs (Hastings & Rubin, 1999; Kennedy, 1992; Kim, 1993; Mills & Rubin, 1990;

Mize, Pettit, & Brown, 1995; Rubin, Mills, & Rose-Krasnor, 1989), but only a few studies have

investigated teachers' beliefs (Batey, 2002; Kemple et al., 1996). Kemple et al. studied preschool

and kindergarten teachers' beliefs about children's peer competence. When teachers were asked

to list their goals for young children, it is reported that all of the teachers had at least one goal

related to social competence. Teachers also believed that child temperament and parents were

most influential factors on children's peer competence. Batey reported similar findings in the

study with pre-service early childhood teachers. She investigated pre-service teachers' beliefs

about the four areas of social competence (i. e., establishing friendships with peers, resolving

conflicts with peers, sharing with peers, and initiating play activities with peers) and their roles

in promoting social competence. As a result, it was found that pre-service early childhood

teachers believed that developing social competence is important within all of the four areas, but

they believed that teachers had the least influence over children's social skills development over

children' s temperament, parents, and peers. It is interesting to note the similarities of the two

studies examining in-service and pre-service early childhood teachers.

Studies about early childhood teachers' beliefs about social competence are extremely

scarce. Very little is known about teachers' beliefs about social competence and how they affect

teachers' practices as well as children's development of social competence. Goffin (1989)

asserted that as the field of early childhood education has traditionally claimed to concern itself

with social and emotional competence, it is essential that systematic examinations of the

relationships among teachers' beliefs, knowledge, and practices in the classrooms be undertaken.

Moreover, if teachers have inaccurate perceptions concerning how a child begins to form









friendships or if they believe certain behavior is universally problematic, then such beliefs may

have some influence on the ways they respond to their children. These effects will eventually

have some impact on the development of children' s social competence (Rubin et al., 1989). This

is, therefore, one of the urgent areas that is under studied and thus requires further investigation.

Summary

White-Americans' racial identity development is closely related to the issue of racism, how

they abandon racism and redefine a non-racist identity. Helms (1984, 1990, 1995) presented the

six statuses model to describe how White-Americans generally develop their identities through

each status. In the field of early childhood education where young children's development of

social competence has been traditionally emphasized, it has been recently suggested with greater

emphasis that social competence should be viewed from a broader perspective through the lens

of culture. Rose-Krasnor (1997) presented a prism model to better understand the multi-layers of

social competence. Moreover, several cross-national and cross-cultural studies have reported

both the universal finding and culturally specific Eindings in children's development of social

skills and teachers' socialization values. Such Eindings have pivotal implications in the Hield

because they suggest that significant misunderstandings or problems could occur when little or

no cultural consideration is given to understanding and promoting children's social competence

(Kaiser & Rasminsky, 2003; Klein & Chen, 2001).

Although the importance of one' s racial identity development originally emerged from the

Hield of counseling and therapy, its implications are no less important in the Hield of teacher

education (Carter & Goodwon, 1994; Lawrence & Tatum, 1997; McAllister & Irvine, 2000).

Furthermore, there is little doubt that the urgent goal of teacher education is to train and support

teachers to become cross-culturally competent, and this is not an exception for early childhood

teachers who are homogeneous White-Americans compared to the diversifying backgrounds of










young children. In order to help teachers meet the current challenges of diversification and

cultural conflicts, it is necessary to understand teachers' beliefs as well as practices. Although it

is generally a difficult area to study, teachers' beliefs are believed to be a very powerful

cognitive domain to study because they are often related with teachers' practices (Fang, 1996;

Richardson, 1996). The importance of studying teachers' beliefs is also supported because it can

guide teacher educators to develop appropriate professional development programs (Cassidy &

Lawerence, 2000; Nelson, 2000). Additionally, many studies suggest that it is inevitable for

teachers to bring their identities into their teaching, and thus it is also necessary to guide teachers

to reflect on their racial identities especially when teaching students from different cultural

backgrounds and when teaching culturally vulnerable issues (Irvine, 2003; Tatum, 1997;

Villegas & Lucas, 2002; Weinstein, 2002).

However, very little attention has been given to examining early childhood teachers' racial

identities as well as their beliefs about social competence, not to mention the relationship

between them. Given the growing divide between the teaching population and the student

population, the lack of research in this arena is a potential concern for early childhood teacher

educators. In order to continue advocating the importance of young children' s development of

social competence and the teachers' role in that development, systematic examination about

early childhood teachers' beliefs about social competence should be undertaken (Goffin, 1989).

In order to support culturally responsive teaching and enhance teachers' multicultural

competencies, the impact of racial identity on early childhood teachers' beliefs and practices

should be further investigated as well (Carter & Goodwin, 1994).










Table. 2-1. Helm's White racial identity development model
Identity Status Representative Example
Contact* I grew up in a very sheltered environment. My neighbors were
mainly White and I went to school with all my White friends.
*Whenever I see the kids, I don't even think that way to divide
them into different racial groups. They are just kids, and they
are only five. I teach the same no matter which school I'm at.
Disintegration I've heard stories about African-American parents being
disrespectful to White teachers, but I haven't experienced it.
*I'm confused because I think it' s definitely this society that
gives me more advantages. I don't think that anybody looks at
me in a suspicious way when I walk into a store, but I have
friends who get stereotyped just by walking into a restaurant.
Reintegration* I don't think I had any incident that made me think I was
taking advantage of being a White person in this society.
*African-American children are louder, that's the main thing
when you're in a classroom with a lot of African-American
kids. I've seen that they'll only respond to loud voice because
that' s all they are used to a lot of times.
P seud oindep endence* I was teaching at predominantly African-American school. At
the beginning I had a few children saying "My mom doesn't
like White people", but eventually I was able to work it out.
*It was somewhat scary when after the gathering, you walk out
the school, it is dark, and you don't see another White face in
the parking lot.
Immersion/Emersion I probably get a lot more opportunities than other people just
being a White person in this society. I didn't do anything to get
anything, I'm just me. But I think there's definitely an
unconscious favoritism and it's not equal for people from other
races.
*When I'm within my comfortable private circle, I can probably
say something about inappropriate behaviors or words. But as
far as confrontation, I don't like it. So in the public situation, I
don't know.
Autonomy* I try to bring all of my children' s culture into the classroom. I
try to make sure that they are all very respectful of differences
regardless of their culture or personal differences.
*I try to make sure that we are very aware about the fact that
we're all different but we can still work together to make a
community. I think that' s going to be the theme for the whole
life because when they live somewhere they're going to be a
part of the community and everybody is going to be different.
* Statuses determined by 'Social Attitude Scale'.









CHAPTER 3
METHOD S

My study was designed to examine the White-American kindergarten teachers' racial

identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence. The purpose of this

chapter is to provide information regarding the participants, instruments, and the data collection

procedures of my study.

Participants

The participants of my study included 95 White-American kindergarten teachers from

Alachua, Hillsborough, Marion, Putnam, and Seminole counties in Central Florida. Upon

acquiring all appropriate entry permissions, research packets were distributed via first-class mail

to a total of 258 kindergarten teachers in 52 elementary schools. The researcher received a total

of 119 packets. Out of 119 returned, 15 packets (12.6%) were from teachers who are not White-

Americans and 9 packets were incomplete, and thus they were not used for my study. Finally 95

data sets were analyzed for my study. Detailed information regarding the participants'

demographic and educational background will be described in Chapter 4.

Instruments

Child Vignette and Teachers' Beliefs Questionnaire

Information on teachers' beliefs about the role of culture in social competence was

obtained by their ratings on a series of questions and statements that were developed for my

study (see Appendix B). The questionnaire is composed of two parts. In the first part, six

vignettes each with a hypothetical kindergarten child were presented followed by a series of

questions regarding the child's social competencies. Six variables were held constant across all

six vignettes: gender, socioeconomic status, physical health, linguistic ability, academic ability,

and family background. All six children were described as males, from middle class









socioeconomic status, physically healthy, proficient English speakers given their age although it

might not be their first language, among upper 50% of academic level in their class, and living

with both parents. Whereas children' s racial/cultural backgrounds varied across the six vignettes.

Basically there were three different characteristics and each was described in two different

children. One White-American child (Eric) was matched up with one African-American child

(Jamal); the other White-American child (Chris) was matched up with one Hispanic child (Jose);

and another White-American child (David) was matched up with one Asian child (Ming).

Teachers were asked to evaluate each child's level of social competence and describe the reason

for their judgments. In the second part, a total of 18 statements regarding cultural aspects of

children's social competencies were provided in a 5-point Likert-type scale. Teachers were asked

to indicate the degree to which they agreed or disagreed with each statement. The two-folded

purpose of this instrument is to examine the degree of teachers' awareness about the role of

culture in social competence via part two, and to examine whether or not they consider cultural

difference when evaluating children's social competence via part one.

Social Attitude Scale

Information on teachers' racial identities was obtained from their self report ratings on the

Social Attitude Scale (see Appendix C). The original title of the scale is 'White Racial

Consciousness Development Scale-Revised (WRCDS-R)', but for my study in order to minimize

the respondents' reaction to the title, it was retitled as 'Social Attitude Scale' by the researcher

with the permission from the original authors. The original WRCDS was initially developed by

Claney and Parker (1989), and it was recently revised to improve the psychometric properties of

the scale (2004). WRCDS-R is to measure White individuals' racial identity development based

on Helms' theory. WRCDS-R consists of a total of 40 Likert-type items: 8 contact items, 14

reintegration items, 9 pseudoindependence items, and 9 autonomy items. These items provided a









series of scores for each of the four identity statuses, and the analyses of the scores were used to

determine the participants' racial identity status.

Lee et al. (2007) reported the entire process of revising the scale and provided the

reliability and validity of this WRCDS-R. Reliability coefficients of the subscale of WRCDS-R

were .81 for contact, .86 for reintegration, .84 for pseudoindependence, and .71 for autonomy,

respectively. Total reliability of the scale was not provided because, according to the Helms'

theory, each identity status represents a distinct construct and thus it is not an appropriate

procedure for this scale. With regard to the validity of the WRCDS-R, Lee et al. conducted both

exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis to assess the goodness of fit of the

items to each subscale and showed satisfactory construct validity. They also reported the

evidence of contrasted group validity by comparing a counselors group and an undergraduate

students group through structural equation modeling. When the subscale scores were compared,

the counselors group had significantly lower scores than the undergraduate students group in the

lower statuses (contact and reintegration status) but had significantly higher scores in the

advanced statuses (pseudoindependence and autonomy statues), meaning that the counselor

group's racial identity statuses are higher than the undergraduate students group.

Teacher Information Questionnaire

Participating teachers were asked to complete the Teacher Information Questionnaire

developed by the researcher for my study (see Appendix D). The purpose of this instrument is to

obtain demographic and background information about the participants. Teachers provided

information about their educational background and their teaching environment. Agreements

regarding future contact were also obtained through this questionnaire in order to contact them

again later for the follow-up interview.









Follow-up Interview

The purpose of this follow-up interview was to obtain qualitative data regarding the

characteristics of participants' beliefs about culture and social competence. After the preliminary

data analyses, a sub-sample of the participants was asked to have an interview with the

researcher. Once all of the participants were classified into four identity statuses based upon their

responses to the Social Attitude Scale, 4 participants from contact status were randomly selected

and invited for the follow-up interviews. The teachers from contact status were selected because,

according to the teacher education literatures, this group is considered to need the most attention

and support in becoming culturally responsive teachers. The interview protocol remained almost

the same from the Child Vignette and Teachers' Beliefs Questionnaire, but additional probing

questions derived from the preliminary analyses of the data were included in order to help the

participants better debrief and express their ideas (see Appendix E). A few questions were

improvised at the spot to facilitate the conversation, due to the nature of the individual interview.

Data Collection Procedures

Pilot Study

A pilot study was conducted to develop the Child Vignette and Teachers' Beliefs

Questionnaire instrument. The first phase of the pilot study was to examine the content validity

of the instrument. The participants at this phase were six kindergarten teachers from Alachua

County in Florida. Upon getting the IRB approval, an elementary school was identified and

appropriate entry permission was obtained from the principal. Then the researcher communicated

with kindergarten teachers via mail to obtain the consents (see Appendix F). Necessary phone

calls were made to both give them a reminder and to set up a time and date for the meeting.

During the meeting, the researcher met with the kindergarten teachers to discuss the study and

distribute the materials. The participants were asked to read each of the six vignettes and respond









to the questions. The vignettes were presented in random order. Immediately after the

participants completed the vignette questionnaire, the researcher conducted a focus group. The

purpose of the focus group was to obtain participants' feedback on the Child Vignette and

Teachers' Beliefs Questionnaire items. For example, the researcher asked whether or not any of

the statements were confusing and whether or not enough information was provided in the

vignettes. This feedback was used, in conjunction with the committee members' feedback, to

prepare the final draft of the child vignettes and questionnaires to be used in the next phases. The

participants at this phase were compensated with a $20 gift card as an appreciation from the

researcher.

The second phase of the pilot study was to examine the reliability of the Child Vignette

and Teachers' Beliefs Questionnaire instrument. The participants were pre-service early

childhood teachers who are currently enrolled as collegiate students in the Early Childhood and

Elementary Proteach program in the College of Education at the University of Florida. After

securing IRB approval, the researcher obtained permission from five course instructors to ask

their students to participate. Then the researcher met with the students during their class periods

in order to discuss the study, obtain written consents (see Appendix G), and distribute the

materials. These participants were asked to read each of the six vignettes and respond to the

questions. The vignettes were presented in random order. Among approximately 130 students

who received consent letters and the materials, 114 volunteered to participate. The internal

consistency reliability using Cronbach' s Alpha for the 18 items of Part 2 was .86 (n=1 14).

According to Gall, Borg, and Gall (1996), internal consistency scores that yield a reliability

coefficient of at least .80 are considered sufficiently reliable for most research purposes.

Therefore, analyses supported the use of this instrument in the main research study.









Study

Data for the study were collected from four instruments: (a) Child Vignette and Teachers'

Beliefs Questionnaire, (b) Social Attitude Scale, (c) Teacher Information Questionnaire, and (d)

Follow-up Interview. Permission to conduct the study was received from both the University of

Florida Institutional Review Board and the school board of each county prior to data collection.

The researcher was available to discuss my study with the school board research director in

person or via phone or e-mail as necessary, and got the approval from the above 5 counties.

Initially, 6 school counties were invited but one county declined to participate in this research.

Upon obtaining the school board approval, the researcher was asked to get entry permission from

each elementary school principal. A total of 237 elementary school principals were contacted via

first class mail, email, phone, and/or fax. At least two different avenues of contacts were made,

but 139 principals did not respond. Among 98 principals who responded to the invitation, 52

principals allowed the researcher to contact his/her kindergarten teachers while 46 principals did

not provide entry permission. Most principals who did not give permission indicated that the

teachers were already involved in many other research proj ects. A few also indicated that this

research topic was either not interesting or too sensitive for them.

All kindergarten teachers were treated fairly regardless of their participation as prescribed

by the Standards for educational and psychological testing' (AERA, APA, & NCME, 1999).

Moreover, although my study was focusing only on White-American kindergarten teachers, the

research packet was distributed to all the kindergarten teachers in elementary schools where the

principal gave permission. Instead, one item on the Teacher Information Questionnaire asked the

participants' racial background, and after identifying the White-American kindergarten teachers,

other data were not used for the purpose of my study.










Upon acquiring all appropriate permissions, research packets were distributed via first-

class mail to a total of 258 kindergarten teachers in 52 elementary schools: 2, 20, 10, 11, and 9 in

Alachua, Hillsborough, Marion, Putnam, and Seminole counties, respectively. Research packets

included individual consents (see Appendix A), 3 research instruments, and a pre-stamped return

envelop. At least one follow-up contact was made to remind and encourage the teacher to

participate in the study. Participating teachers were asked to read and respond to the six vignettes

and a series of questions about each child. The six vignettes were presented in random order.

Also, they were asked to complete a Social Attitude Scale as well as a Teacher Information

Questionnaire, and return all the completed materials via enclosed pre-stamped envelope in order

to receive a $20 gift card as an appreciation from the researcher. All the quantitative data were

entered in the excel document and exported to SPSS software (version 1 1.5) for all of the

descriptive and inferential statistics such as chi-square, t-test, ANOVA, and MANOVA. In

addition, sub-sampled individual interviews were conducted to collect additional interview data

from the participants after the preliminary data analyses. Based on the responses from the Social

Attitude Scale, the participants were classified into four statuses. 4 participants from contact

status were randomly selected for follow-up interviews, based upon their agreement. Interview

participants were asked to meet with the researcher and conduct an individual debriefing

interview about their beliefs about culture and social competence. These interviewees were

compensated with a $20 gift card as an appreciation from the researcher. Each individual

interview was tape recorded and transcribed by the researcher for the qualitative data analyses.









CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

My study examined White-American kindergarten teachers' racial identities and their

beliefs about the role of culture in social competence. The purpose of this chapter is to present

the findings of my study in relation to the research questions.

Participants Background

The participants of my study included a total of 95 White-American kindergarten teachers

in Central Florida. Figures 4-1 to 4-7 and Table 4-1 provide a summary of the demographic and

educational background information provided by the participants.

The participants were a total of 95 White-American kindergarten teachers from

Alachua(5), Hillsborough(31), Marion(14), Putnam(20), and Seminole(25) counties in Central

Florida. All of the participants were female and ranged in age from 23 to 63 (X=40.26,

SD=12.21). The majority held a bachelor' s degree (73.7%) and had elementary teaching

certificate with an early childhood endorsement (54.7%). Participants' overall teaching

experience ranged from 0 to 32 years (X=12.78, SD=9.65), and their experience teaching

kindergarten ranged from 0 to 29 years (X=8.97, SD=7.72). Based on this 2006-2007 academic

year, the participants currently had a range from 15 to 24 children (X=17.86, SD=1.97) in their

kindergarten classrooms, and the children's background were as follows: Caucasian/White-

Americans (60.5%), Black/African-Americans (13.2%), Hispanic/Latino-Americans (17.7%),

Asian/Pacific Islanders (2.3%), and others (6.3%). Additionally, most of the teachers self

reported their experience of teaching children from different background as frequently or always

(80. 1%), and self reported their self-efficacy of teaching such children as moderate and high

(75.8%).









Teachers' Racial Identities

The first research question was as follows: What are the racial identities of these White-

American kindergarten teachers? Is there any difference in these teachers' (a) educational level,

(b) age, (c) teaching experience, (d) self reported experience of teaching children from other

backgrounds, and (e) self-efficacy of teaching children from other backgrounds when compared

by the racial identity status groups?

For research question one, these White-American kindergarten teachers' racial identities

were examined through their responses to the Social Attitude Scale. Each participant got a series

of numeric scores representing the characteristics of each of the four identity statuses, and the

status with the highest score was identified as one's racial identity. The results are as shown in

Figure 4-8. As seen in Figure 4-8, this group of White-American kindergarten teachers' racial

identity showed positively skewed distribution among four identity statuses. 18.9% of the White-

American kindergarten teachers had characteristics of the contact status. These people are

considered to have naive thoughts about racial issues and tend to ignore differences between

racial groups. They typically have minimal experiences with people of color and believe that

everyone has an equal chance in this society. Another 22. 1% of the participants had

characteristics of the reintegration status, in which they are considered to realize their Whiteness,

feel anger and resentment toward racial minorities and see them as inferior to Whites themselves.

24.2% of these teachers were identified to be at pseudoindependence status, They usually have

increased awareness and understanding of White dominance and privilege as contributing factors

in racist attitudes and behaviors, and thus often make deliberate efforts to interact with other

racial group members and understand racial differences. However, their consciousness remains

at the intellectual domain not yet reaching the affective domain. Last 34.7% of these White-

American kindergarten teachers had characteristics of autonomy status. They are considered to









have established a non-racist White identity in which similarities and differences between racial

groups are truly appreciated, and further they are no longer uncomfortable with the racial

diversity in our society.

Moreover, additional analyses were conducted in order to examine whether or not any

difference exists in these White-American kindergarten teachers' (a) educational level, (b) age,

(c) teaching experience, (d) self reported experience of teaching children from other

backgrounds, and (e) self-efficacy of teaching children from other backgrounds when compared

by the racial identity status groups.

First, Pearson's chi-square analysis was conducted in order to examine differences in these

teachers' educational level and racial identity status because both variables are categorical. As a

result, there was no statistically significant difference in these White-American kindergarten

teachers' educational level when compared by their racial identity status (72 = 3.608, df = 3, 2=

.307). Table 4-2 presents the statistical findings.

Second, a series of one-way between subj ect analysis of variance (ANOVA) were

conducted in order to examine differences in these teachers' age, teaching experience, self

reported experience of teaching children from different backgrounds, and self-efficacy of

teaching children from different backgrounds compared by racial identity status groups. As

presented in Table 4-3 to 4-6, all of the variables such as age, teaching experience, self reported

degree of teaching children from different background, and self-efficacy of teaching children

from different background were found to have no statistically significant effect on teachers'

racial identities. Teachers' self reported degree of teaching children from different background,

however, was approaching statistical significance (F(3,91) =2. 182, p = .096) which implies that

there could be some different tendency of racial identity among teachers with different










experience of teaching children from different backgrounds. Post-hoc independent sample t-tests

with a Bonferroni adjustment were conducted to examine the nature of the potential relationship,

and it appears that teachers with more experience of teaching children from different

backgrounds may be in the pseudoindependence or autonomy statuses.

Teachers' Beliefs about the Role of Culture in Social Competence

The second research question was as follows: What are these White-American

kindergarten teachers' beliefs about the role of culture in social competence? To what degree are

they aware about the role of culture in social competence? Do they consider cultural differences

when evaluating a child's social competencies?

For research question two, these White-American kindergarten teachers' beliefs about the

role of culture in social competence were examined through their responses to the Child Vignette

and Teachers' Beliefs Questionnaire. For question 2-a, White-American kindergarten teachers'

degree of awareness was examined through part two. To control for the response set bias, 9 items

(items 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 13, 16, and 18) were reverse coded, and then summed up to generate the

quantitative composite score. The possible range was from 18 to 90, with higher scores

indicating higher level of cultural awareness in social competence. Table 4-7 presents the range,

mean, and the standard deviation for these teachers' degree of awareness about the role of culture

in social competence.

For question 2-b, in order to find out whether or not these White-American kindergarten

teachers consider cultural differences when evaluating a child's social competence, a series of

dependent t-tests were conducted. Teachers' evaluation level for Ming (Asian) and David

(White-American), Jose (Hispanic) and Chris (White-American), and Jamal (African-American)

and Eric (White-American) was compared to see if there were any differences among teachers'

responses. The possible evaluation scores range from 1 to 4 with higher scores indicating the










higher level of social competence. Table 4-8 presents the descriptive statistics and Table 4-9

presents the dependent t-test results.

With the alpha level of .01, the mean difference between Jamal and Eric was statistically

significant, such that these White-American kindergarten teachers evaluated Jamal's level of

social competence higher than Eric' s level of social competence, t(94) = 4.808, p < .000. This

indicates that even though both Jamal and Eric had similar characteristics of social competencies,

the teachers took Jamal's African-American cultural background into account in their evaluation.

In other words, it suggests that teachers were able to evaluate social competence differently

depending on a child's background, when it was an African-American child. However, the mean

differences between Ming and David, and Jose and Chris were not statistically significant

suggesting that teachers did not take Asian and Hispanic cultural background into account in

their evaluation for Ming and Jose, respectively. Furthermore, examples of White-American

kindergarten teachers' responses regarding the reasons for their evaluation are presented in

Tables 4-10 to 4-15.

Relationship between Teachers' Racial Identities and Beliefs about the Role of Culture in
Social Competence

The third research question was as follows: What relationship exists between these White-

American kindergarten teachers' racial identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in

social competence?

For research question three, the relationship between these White-American kindergarten

teachers' racial identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence were

examined in two different phases. First, the relationship between teachers' racial identities and

their degree of awareness about the role of culture in social competence was examined through

one-way between subject analysis of variance (ANOVA). Teachers' racial identities were










entered as independent variable and their degree of awareness were entered as dependent

variable. Table 4-16 and Figure 4-9 present the results. As shown, mean score for teachers'

awareness appears to be lower at reintegration and pseudoindependence statuses than contact and

autonomy statuses. However, there were no statistically significant differences in teachers'

awareness about the role of culture in social competence among teachers in different racial

identity status groups (F(3, 91) = 1.075, p = .364).

Second, the relationship between teachers' racial identities and their consideration of

cultural differences in child evaluation was examined through one-way multivariate analysis of

variance (MANOVA). Teachers' racial identities were entered as independent variable and their

evaluations about Ming, Jose, and Jamal were entered as dependent variables for overall cultural

consideration. Table 4-17 and Figure 4-10 present the results. As shown, mean score for

teachers' child evaluation appears to be lower at reintegration and pseudoindependence statuses

than contact and autonomy statuses. However, again there was no significant effect of the

teachers' racial identity status on the combined dependent variable of overall cultural

consideration (F(9,216) = 1.161, g = .322; Wilks' Lambda = .892).

Characteristics of Teachers' Beliefs about Culture and Social Competence

The fourth research question was as follows: What are the characteristics of the White-

American kindergarten teachers' beliefs about culture and social competence?

For research question four, characteristics of these White-American kindergarten teachers'

beliefs about culture and social competence were examined through the qualitative individual

follow-up interviews. The participants for the follow-up interview were 4 White-American

kindergarten teachers' who were characterized to be in the contact status of their racial identity

development. These teachers were selected because it is suggested from the teacher education

literatures that this group is considered to need the most attention and support in becoming









culturally responsive teachers. Among 18 teachers in the contact status group, 4 teachers were

randomly selected based upon their agreements and availabilities. Following is brief information

about the teachers as well as the researcher.

As the researcher, I was born in South Korea and have been in the field of early childhood

education for about 15 years. Having both my bachelor' s and master' s degrees in early childhood

education, I am currently pursuing the doctorate degree, also in early childhood education. I have

taught young children for 5 years in both South Korea and the United States. As an individual

who has experienced cultural differences regarding social competence both in my early years and

as an adult, I came to believe in the importance of understanding and appreciating cultural

aspects of social competence. I also believe that teachers should understand culturally influenced

variations of children' s social competence in order to demonstrate developmentally and

culturally appropriate practices.

Ms. Amy (23 years old) just graduated from college with her master' s in education, and

this is the very first year of her teaching career. She is currently teaching 20 children from at

least 6 different backgrounds at a suburban area school.

Ms. Bona (3 5 years old) has 10 years of teaching experience. She has taught in a primarily

African-American school for 5 years before coming to the current school where the maj ority of

the students are White. The school is located in a very sheltered rural area.

Ms. Clara (54 years old), who is originally from the Midwest region of the country, has

been teaching for 25 years in 3 different states. Although she has been teaching for many years,

she has little experience of teaching children from diverse backgrounds.

Ms. Danielle (42 years old) worked as a nurse assistant for several years before she

decided to go to college to study early childhood education. This is her 7th year of teaching. Her









first school was a small neighborhood Title 1 school where most of the population was Hispanic.

The next school was kind of a mix, and now she's teaching at the upper-middle class area school

where most of the children are from affluent White families.

For the data analyses, all the follow-up interviews were tape recorded and transcribed by

the researcher. Initially each interview was analyzed separately to capture the main ideas of each

teacher. The important and/or interesting phrases were highlighted, underlined, circled, and

labeled with preliminary codes. Some of the initial codes at this stage were as follows: high

verbal, low shy, medium Hispanic experience, accommodation, and neutral teaching. Then the

four interviews were reanalyzed simultaneously once again. As the interview was led by the

series of questions from the researcher, responses from four different teachers were edited under

the same question and were cross checked to find any commonalities as well as differences

among them. Again similar ideas were highlighted with same colors while different ideas were

highlighted with different colors, and the overarching themes were labeled. Most of the themes

were corresponding with the topics of the questions asked, and the following are some examples

that emerged at this point: personal beliefs, degree of awareness, child evaluation, cultural

knowledge, personal experience of diversity, professional experience of diversity, and beliefs

about multicultural education. At this stage, in order to pursue the thrust-worthiness of the data

analyses, the researcher shared the transcripts and the potential themes with another early

childhood professional who is also a doctoral candidate in early childhood education and has

expertise in qualitative research methods. There were few disagreements regarding the maj or

themes. As a result, informative findings drawn from the teachers' follow-up interviews are

described as the following insights.









Teachers' personal beliefs about social competence represented low-context cultural

beliefs: It was found from all of the teachers that their personal beliefs about social competence

reflect the typical beliefs of so-called low-context Western culture, which indeed is these

teachers' cultural background. Verbal expression was valued more than nonverbal expression,

independence was highly emphasized, and socially withdrawn or shy behaviors made a negative

impression by all the teachers. Following are a few examples of their narratives.

Ms. Clara: I think both verbal and non-verbal expressions are important in social
competence, but probably verbal is more important for me. I certainly think it is an asset in
their development that they can feel free to express themselves. I would rather want to see
a child who's overly talkative than the other extreme who's introverted and not very
verbal. And when I seen them more verbalizing, to me that' s an indicator of growth.

Ms. Bona: I think independence is the key factor in social competence. Especially when you
have a child who's a follower and he ends up following the wrong crowd, I would rather
want a child who is very independent, who can value his own thoughts or ideas, and who
can stand up in front of other people who don't agree with them. I think it' s a very good
thing to be independent even in very early ages, because it raises their self confidence
too....I think socially withdrawn or shy behaviors hinder their peer relationships. I've had
kids who are really shy, don't get involved, and tend to be left behind in many activities. I
hate to see kids too shy. Whenever I see their hands go up, I always try to give the shyest
child a chance to talk because it' s very important for them to learn that.

Teachers had varying degree of awareness about the role of culture in social

competence: Even though most of the teachers' personal beliefs about social competence

reflected the values of White-American cultural background, their awareness about the role of

culture in social competence had a wide range. Some of them seemed to understood and accept

the idea of cultural differences in social competence, whereas the others expressed only

superficial understandings. The first two excerpts are from the former group of teachers and the

next two excerpts are from the latter group of teachers.

Ms. Amy: I don't think a child who is perceived to be socially competent in one cultural
group will be the same in any other cultural group. Some culture may value a child who
does speak their mind but some may not. So that' s going to vary as what role a child plays
inside the family or with the adults.









Ms. Bona: I definitely think it's true that socialization goals and values can be different by
different cultures and families. In fact, from my years of teaching, I've seen a lot of family
differences depending on schools I've worked at. The school I worked before was 90%
Black, and this school here is 90% White, and there's a huge difference in what I see and
hear from parents.

Ms. Clara: I'm not sure about the different socialization goals and values from families from
different background. It may be true, but I don't think I've had any experience with my
parents. Maybe I was very fortunate because every family I've worked with was very easy
to deal with. Again, I'm not sure that some behaviors are interpreted differently by people
from different cultural groups. I know what you're talking about, but nothing really stands
out in my mind. This community is pretty narrow in terms of diversity, so to speak.

Ms. Danielle: I think that a child who is considered to be socially competent in one cultural
group will be the same in any other group. I think it might vary a little bit depending upon
the situation if it' s something brand new to them or if they are going into the bran new
group, but other than that I think it' s pretty much even and overall no matter what culture.
Once they have achieved a certain level of social competence, it can be easily adaptable
into any other situation.

In the meantime, some teachers expressed the view that children of color need to learn the

culture of school and the larger society in order to succeed. For instance, one teacher reflected

that she learned about cultural diversity through professional teacher training and is able to take

that into account, but most of the lay persons may not go through those training. And thus, she

worried that if we don't help children coming from different backgrounds to assimilate into the

maj ority culture, it will be those children who eventually could get into trouble. Another teacher

also mentioned about the role of school and teacher in encouraging the process of mutual

accommodation. Their narratives are as follows.

Ms. Bona: I think different cultures do have different socialization goals and values, and
that' s fine. But when they grow up they'll have to learn that different cultures may have
different values and not to take it offensively. In a lot of training I've been taught about
culturally differences and sensitivities, for example most Hispanic or Asian kids when they
get in trouble they don't look in your eyes. So I try to keep that in the back of my minds
when I teach my children of color. But I do worry about that child because when they get
older and they meet someone who haven't had such training, they might take it that you're
being disrespectful, and then it's our children who get in trouble.

Ms. Amy: I try to bring other people's culture in my classroom. But they do need to
assimilate in some ways to the school culture: this is what we do and these are the rules,










you can do whatever at home but this is school. I try to make sure that we are all very
aware and respectful about the fact that we're all different but yet we can work together to
make a community. Actually, I think when people move into an area from another culture,
they might want to try assimilate into the new culture when they still want to maintain their
own language, traditions, and stuffs. And for their child, I think they'll want them to
maintain their cultural beliefs but also to compromise to fit into the society. I think that' s
part of our j ob as a teacher to make that balance because that' s going to be the theme for
their whole life.

Teachers' cultural knowledge and evaluations about children varied widely from

group to group: First, with regards to Asian culture, with the exception of Ms. Amy, the

teachers' didn't have any real experience with Asian children in their classroom, and thus most

of their cultural knowledge was based on stories they heard or multicultural sessions they

attended. For instance, they believed that Asian children tended to be smart, they don't make

eye-contact, and their parents are usually well involved in school activities. Moreover, all of

them, except for Ms. Amy, evaluated Ming and David at the lower level of social competence. It

was also found that Ming's Asian cultural background didn't really affect their judgments.

Ms. Bona: When his ideas don't get accepted he easily backs down, and that would worry
me for his poor skills. Every time he's confronted he'll back down and become quiet, and
if he'll hover around you that' s probably going to mean that he still wants to be accepted
by the group, which I believe is not right, it' s scary. I would worry about him falling under
peer pressure as he gets older. He might become a teenager who smokes because all of his
other friends are smoking.... If I knew the cultural background of Ming, it might have
made some difference as far as I understand certain behaviors such as why he doesn't want
to make eye contact or why he chooses to back down because I know some of these
behaviors are cultural traits. So it would be helpful to know where they are coming from in
that regards, but it wouldn't make a difference in terms of how I would want to move them
up and make them more accepted.

Ms. Clara: I guess some culture thing could be involved here. But maybe I might want to say
to Ming 'Look at me when I'm speaking. Look at my face and let' s talk about this.'
Because the little ones are so easily distracted and you've got to have that eye contact or
you might just go sailing over their head. I probably would try to work on that to have him
make eye contact with me when I have to communicate with him.

Second, with regards to Hispanic culture, all of the teachers mentioned that they had

experiences with Hispanic children and thus have more cultural knowledge about Hispanic









culture. However, their evaluations regarding Jose and Chris showed some different viewpoints,

as can be seen in the following excerpts.

Ms. Clara: Jose is a people pleaser. I think with these types of children who are so dependent
on pleasing his parents, it would probably be a good thing to stress to him it' s a good thing
to make decisions that will make him feel good. I once had to tell my Hispanic child 'Tell
your parents that you're feeling mad at those times.' He will need to build up some more
self confidence and think about his own good not for the others.

Ms. Amy: I think the thing that most sticks out to me between Jose and Chris is the thing
about parents, what parents want. I think a lot of times in Caucasian backgrounds, we don't
always follow up with what our parents want us to do, but in the Hispanic background, it is
possible that the parents may wish a little more.

Ms. Danielle: I don't want to put Jose in a lower end just because he's not a leader. Not all kids
are going to be leaders and that' s part of our life as well. He can be still contribute good
ideas and get along very well. He knows what' s expected for him by the others, so guided
in the right way I think he can grow up to make his own decision such as 'I know my
parents what me to become a doctor, but I want to become a ...' because to me it looks like
he can see the difference between what others want for him and what he wants for himself.
The first thing I would like to do with Jose is to do writing. When you write a journal I ask
them a lot about things what they think, what they want to be when they grow up and why.
In that way when they are writing something, they can get more emotions and expressions
out. So instead of asking verbally it might be better to ask them through writing.

Third, with regards to African-American culture, all of the teachers said they had worked

with African-American children and families and seemed to have no difficulty understanding

their cultural background. Although they generally rated Jamal's level higher than Eric, they

didn't explicitly mention Jamal's African-American background as the main reason for their

judgments. Instead, they tried to explain more about how much they tried to accept African-

American culture and use their knowledge to guide their teaching practices. Following are a few

examples.

Ms. Amy: I've seen that African-American kids are louder. I've seen that they'll only
respond to the loud voice at first because that' s all they are used to a lot of times. But as
long as you are very consistent with it, and probably I have to say that 500 times, in the
end they kind of tune out any kind of yelling and loud voices. Also I found that with a lot
of my African-American students, the best way to win them over is by using a softer but
firm voice, and setting my expectations high and not accepting anything less. I usually
think I may have to start with what they are used to, but move to one more.









Ms. Bona: Jamal is a natural born leader. Kids like this especially those with a leader quality,
other kids just love him. And I like to see kids become a leader but I do think it' s important
to think about a good leader vs. bad leader. I guess as a teacher you just need to be a
mediator when he does get angry so that the other children don't go along with what he
wants to do. Well, I think he's one of those kids if you can get him to do right things for
the right reason in the right way, he'll be a wonderful role model for the class and makes
things much easier for the teacher. Also, that's very astute for a child in that age to be so
tuned in non-verbal cues from other children. That's pretty observant.

Teachers had more professional experience than personal experience regarding

diversity: Teachers' experience regarding diversity has been investigated in two streams, one

from a personal level and the other from a professional level. From a personal perspective, these

teachers' overall experience of diversity was very limited. All of them grew up in a

homogeneous White environment and were not exposed to different culture until older when

they went to college or started working. Although they tend to say they are fairly comfortable in

multicultural or multiracial relationships, their lack of experience was frequently revealed in

their narratives. The following is a typical example.

Ms. Danielle: In terms of cultural diversity, I was very sheltered. I grew up in a very White
Anglo-Saxon community. I lived mainly around White neighbors, and I went to school
with just a few percentages of people from different cultural groups. But of course when
you're in middle school and high school, you tend to move toward your own cultural
group. And outside the school I was in sports teams where typically White students were in
my team. Actually I think it was when I was in high school that I was in a mixed culture
for the first time, and I guess it was kind of a cultural shock for me. But after high school,
it just became a natural common thing of our society, and now I wouldn't say that I'm
uncomfortable in a situation with people from other cultures.... However, even now, I
have to admit that I'm mostly around people from my culture. It' just probably not the
thing I spent most of my time in. I mean, besides school I'm more around my culture than
others and my other social circle is predominantly White. But still I feel comfortable with


From a professional perspective as a teacher, these teachers' teaching experience regarding

diversity was somewhat different from their personal experience. Even though the degree of

diversity varies, they all had and/or currently have children from different backgrounds.

Moreover, they all mentioned that teaching experience had influenced their beliefs about









multicultural education the most than personal experience or college learning experience. In fact,

it was found that most of them didn't have relationships with people from different backgrounds

before they started teaching. These Einding are described in the following excerpts.

Ms. Clara: Throughout all of my teaching experience across different states, I wouldn't say
that I've encountered diverse children very much. I guess I had a kind of protective
teaching environment in that sense. Especially this is a very much community based
school, and we don't have a real diversified culture thing here. However, still, I just think
teaching experience had helped me the most in my teaching because I've probably
encountered more different cultures of children and family under the teaching umbrella.
I've taken classes about multicultural teaching and we've had quite a few training along
those line. And if I were in a different environment and if I had to deal with children from
more different cultures than what I have now, I would definitely make more efforts to learn
about different cultures where the children come.

Ms. Amy: I would say I have a good amount of experience teaching children from different
backgrounds than myself, including all my practicum and internship experience. I know
there's definitely a lot more I can learn, but I would say for the most part I had a lot of
positive experience, which is good. And I think this is going to help me when I have more
families who aren't as responsive in the future.... I definitely think teaching experience
had helped me the most. Spending more time in real classrooms and having as much
hands-on experience with different students and parents as possible was extremely helpful.

Teachers' beliefs about multicultural education revealed color-blind teaching: When

prompted about their beliefs as well as their practices of multicultural education, some teachers'

narratives revealed ethnocentrism or color-blindness philosophy. As seen in the following

narratives, these teachers referred to children's age level or curriculum as a shield to justify their

attempts of color-blind teaching.

Ms. Bona: In terms of multicultural teaching, I'm not sure. Besides that Black history month,
and I guess it' s because it' s February and my mind is filled up with that, but I still teach
the same here (primarily White school) as I taught in the other school (primarily African-
American school). Whenever I see the kids I don't think I really want to divide them into
different racial groups. I mean, they are just kids, and they are only Hyve, they are babies.

Ms. Clara: I thought I was pretty knowledgeable but after talking to you, maybe I don't know
as much as I should.... I try to be obj ective in my teaching. I mean, I try to be very
obj ective by just presenting the facts and the basic knowledge about things which you have
to teach theses little ones. Especially, when you're teaching kindergarten you know you
can't really go in depth about anything. I don't want my children to go back home and say









'That' s not right mom and dad because Ms. Clara said so and so.' So I really try not to
influence them with my personal thoughts about anything.

Ms. Danielle: In terms of my current student ratio, I don't even think that way to group my kids
like that. Well, this year what I'm newly trying to learn in terms of different culture is the
Arabic. I have a boy who speaks Arabic and he's actually having a difficult time
socializing with other children. And what I've learned is that in the Arabic culture, boys
are babied. I think that' s their culture, and due to that he's having a difficult time because
there' s no independence or responsibility at home and you need those in school.... I think
there are things that I may not directly teach, but just comes out and influences the
classroom community. Maybe in more older grades you might have to think more about
those issues, but in the kindergarten I don't think there's that much. Everything is
wonderful when you're five. And regardless of what grades, in the education everything is
theory based and research based. Yes, I do have my own beliefs but I think my teaching
more fits into what I learned as far as what' s appropriate for the child or not."

As describe in above insights, the characteristics of these White-American kindergarten

teachers were found such that they personally had low-context cultural beliefs about social

competence, however, they were aware about the role of culture in social competence to some

varying degree. Their cultural knowledge and evaluations about children also revealed to have

wide range of difference from one group to another. In addition, teachers had limited personal

experience than professional teaching experience regarding diversity, and claimed to be color-

blind when teaching young children.
















mAlachua Hillsborough O Marion O Putnam a Seminole


Alachua
5.3%


Seminole
26.3%


Hillsborough
S32.6%


Putnam
21.1%


Marion
1 4.7%


Figure 4-1. School districts of teachers.












gAlachua Hillsborough O Marion O Putnam a Seminole


Alachua
5.3%


Seminole
26.3%


Hillsborough
S32 6%


Putnam
21.1%


Marion
1 4.7%


Figure 4-2. Teachers' age.
















SBachelors a Masters O Doctoral


Doctoral
2.2%


Masters
24.2%


Bachelors
73.7%


Figure 4-3. Most advanced educational degree of teachers.











g ementary a Blementary w ith Early Childhood O Age 3 to Third grade O ESOL m Others


Others
ESOL 9.4%
22.1


Bementary
32.6%






Elementary with
Early Childhood
54.7%


Age 3 to Third grade
1 8.9%


Figure 4-4. Types of teaching certificate of teachers.


* Total percentage exceeds 100% as some teachers had more than one teaching certificate.














Table 4-1. Teaching experience and number of children.
Participants (n=95) Mean Standard Deviation

Years of teaching experience X = 12.78 SD = 9.65

Years of kindergarten teaching experience X = 8.97 SD = 7.72
Number of children in current class X = 17.86 SD = 1.97


mWhite a Black O Hispanic O Asian Others


AsianOthers
2.3% 6.3%
Hispanic
17.7%


FWhite
60.5%


Black'
13.2%


Figure 4-5. Current children's background.



















50.009..

45.009..

40.009..

35.009..

30.009..

25.009..

20.009..

15.009..

10.009..

5.00/..

0.00/..


Never Rarely Occasionally Frequently Always


Figure 4-6. Experience of teaching children from different background.


45.009..

40.009..

35.009..

30.009..

25.009..

20.009..

15.009..

10.009..

5.00/..

0.00/..


Very Low Low Moderate High Very High


Figure 4-7. Self-efficacy of teaching children from different background.









































Table 4-2. Chi-square test for educational degree.
Value Df Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)
Pearson Chi-Square 3.608* 3 .307
* 1 cell has expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 4.74.






Table 4-3. Summary of ANOVA for age.
SS Df Mean Square F Sig.
Between Groups 501.625 3 167.208 1.126 .343
Within Groups 13518.796 91 148.558
Total 14020.421 94






Table 4-4. Summary of ANOVA for teaching experience.
SS df Mean Square F Sig.
Between Groups 562.531 3 187.510 2.082 .108
Within Groups 8193.827 91 90.042
Total 8756.358 94


35.09..


30.09..

25.09..

20.09..

15.09..

10.09..

5.09..

0.09..
Contact Reintegration Pseudo- Autonomy
Independence



Figure 4-8. Racial identity status.












Table 4-5. Summary of ANOVA for self reported experience of teaching children from different
backgrounds.
SS df Mean Square F Sig.
Between Groups 3.553 3 1.184 2.182 .096
Within Groups 49.394 91 .543
Total 52.947 94





Table 4-6. Summary of ANOVA for self-efficacy of teaching children from different
backgrounds.
SS df Mean Square F Sig.
Between Groups 1.705 3 .568 1.002 .396
Within Groups 51.621 91 .567
Total 53.326 94





Table 4-7. Descriptive statistics about degree of awareness.
Min Max Mean Std. Deviation
37 85 67.54 7.742





Table 4-8. Descriptive statistics about child evaluation.
Ming David Jose Chris Jamal Eric
Mean 2.49 2.57 2.68 2.60 2.65 2.34
Std. Dev. .563 .558 .623 .554 .541 .497





Table 4-9. Summary of dependent T-tests for child evaluation.
Pair Mean Std. Dev. t df Sig. (2-tailed)
Ming-David -.07 .733 -.980 94 .330
Jose-Chri s .08 .613 1.339 94 .184
Jamal-Eric .32 .640 4.808 94 .000 *
* p< .01










Table 4-10. Reasons for evaluating Ming.
Very Low He needs to stand up for himself and learn to express his needs.
or *His upbringing must have led him to believe that eye contact and
Low questioning adults is disrespectful.
*He is unable to make his own decision and follows others lead.
High *He displays compliance which could be the social competence in his
or cultural group.
Very High *He tries to blend in with the group. He fits into his class just fine.
*He must have been raised and taught to exhibit respect, maybe just in
a slightly different wythan most students.



Table 4-11. Reasons for evaluating David.
Very Low He can't handle confrontation and has difficulty handling criticism.
or *He easily withdraws his ideas and is too concerned about what
Low others' think.
*He becomes an observer and follower. He is too shy
High *Even though he backs down, this is only to avoid argument.
or *He doesn't want to ruffle anyone.
Very High *He enj oys being a part of a group, and can adapt his behaviors.


Table 4-12. Reasons for evaluating Jose.
Very Low He is a people pleaser. He has low self esteem.
or *He needs help with independent thinking. He needs to learn to think
Low for himself.
*He doesn't have leadership. He prefers to watch others handle
situations.
High *He works well in a group. Maybe he values others' input.
or *He lives up to the high expectations set for him from his parents.
Very High *He maybe more comfortable following others, which is fine. Not
everone needs to be leader.


Table 4-13. Reasons for evaluating Chris.
Very Low He is too shy and doesn't like leader role.
or *He depends too much on adults and has low self esteem. Maybe he
Low wants attention.
*He isextremely concerned about pleasing his parents.
High *He is well liked by his friends and works well in a group.
or *He enj oys helping and interacting with the teacher.
Very High *He wants to satisfy his parents, which is very normal. Most children
this ae tend to value their parents' opinions.










Table 4-14. Reasons for evaluating Jamal.
Very Low He can't communicate how he feels. He can't explain when he gets
or into trouble.
Low *He is too egocentric and can't take others' view.
*He wants to make all the decisions. He wants his decision to be the
final answer.
High *He has developed leadership skills at such a young age. Leaders
or occasionally have disagreements with others.
Very High *He is very inquisitive. Asking lots of questions indicate his interest in
others' perspectives.
*He is very observant. He notices and interprets social cues.



Table 4-15. Reasons for evaluating Eric.
Very Low He needs to listen to others, learn how to compromise, and develop
or cooperative play skills.
Low *He cannot verbalize his frustration.
*He is too sensitive about others' watching him.
High *He is very confident and enj oys taking a leader role.
or *He is good with nonverbal communication. He notices other
Very High children's nonverbal cues.
*He seems friendly and well liked.










Table 4-16. Summary of ANOVA for degree of awareness.
SS df Mean Square F Sig.
Between Groups 192.896 3 64.299 1.075 .364
Within Groups 5440.725 91 59.788
Total 5633.621 94


70

69

68

* 67

S66

65

64

63


Contact Rei nteg rati on Pseudo- Autonomy
Independence
Racial Identity



Figure 4-9. Mean Plots for ANOVA for degree of awareness.











Table 4-17. Summary of MANOVA for child evaluation.
Effect Value F Hypothesis Error Sig.
df df
Status Wilks' Lambda .892 1.161 9 216 .322


a 1 1


Jam al


Contact


Reintgration Pseudo-
independence
Racial Identity


Autonomy


Figure 4-10. Mean Plots for MANOVA for child evaluation.









CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the findings about White-American kindergarten

teachers' racial identities, their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence, and the

relationships between them. The limitations of my study will also be discussed followed by the

implications for practice as well as the implications for future research.

Teachers' Racial Identities, Beliefs, and the Relationships

Teachers' Racial Identities

The nature of the positively skewed distribution among the participants found in my study

raises a few questions. The first discussion is about this phenomenon that more than half of these

White-American kindergarten teachers (58.9%) showed the characteristics of

psuedoindependence and autonomy statuses, and especially the largest number of individuals

were identified as autonomy status. There are several potential explanations for this finding. On

the one hand, the sample may not be representative of White-American teachers of our society

due to the following reasons. First, there could have been a sampling bias which contributed to

the positive skewness. The teachers in this sample maybe exposed and/or forced to consider

diversity more frequently than others. In addition, these teachers volunteered to participate in my

study which implies that there could be some systematic differences between participants and

non-participants. Perhaps those who agreed to participate had more positive thoughts about the

issues of race, and thus have developed their racial identities more than average White-

Americans. Second, it is well known that self reported measures are vulnerable to social

desirability attitudes by respondents (Cone & Foster, 1993). Since the issue of race and culture is

yet a very sensitive and emotionally charged topic for so many people in our society, it could be

especially true with this kind of study. Some people would show very strong resistance to such










topic, whereas others would show strong demand characteristics. Therefore, it is feasible that

these teachers could have endorsed items that support the desirable social characteristics because

they did not want to appear prejudiced. On the other hand, this finding could be valid due to the

recent focus on multicultural teacher education in early childhood. A growing number of

researchers are emphasizing the need and importance of multicultural teacher education and have

been providing various professional development workshops. As a result, multicultural education

could have been transferred into many pre-service or in-service teacher education programs. It is,

therefore, possible to assume that such training are helping White-American teachers to reflect

on themselves and eventually to develop through their White racial identity development more

readily. Furthermore, it could also be a result of combined effect of social desirability bias and

multicultural teacher education such that as teachers are more exposed to multicultural education

programs, they feel more pressure to become multiculturally competent which in turn led them to

endorse socially desirable attitudes.

Another discussion could be made about White racial identity development theory and the

measuring instrument. Both theories of White racial identity development (Helms, 1995) and

White racial consciousness (Rowe et al., 1994) concur that one's identity does not necessarily

develop as a hierarchical or linear stages. Both theories also make the similar point that one's

racial identity could be flexible and situationally dependent (Leach et al. 2002). The data from

my study may align with those theoretical frameworks because there were a few teachers who

had similar characteristics of more than one status, and sometimes those two statuses were not in

the order of Helms' theory. It may be true, then, that not all people move fluidly through a

progression of statuses. Along this line, further questions regarding the construct of the

instrument could be raised. Although Lee et al. (2007) had provided evidence of reliability and









validity of the Social Attitude Scale (originally White Racial Consciousness Development Scale-

Revised), this instrument may have failed to distinguish the subtle differences within a single

status. Also, it could be deemed unclear whether this instrument is measuring the respondents'

accurate racial identity status or the respondents' self perception of their racial identity status.

Teachers' Beliefs

Based upon the descriptive statistics about teachers' beliefs about the role of culture in

social competence, these White-American kindergarten teachers' degree of awareness was

higher than the medium level whereas their consideration was at the medium level. In other

words, it appears that these White-American kindergarten teachers have a higher degree of

awareness than perceived actual consideration with children from other backgrounds (i.e., Ming,

Jose, and Jamal). This means that although the teachers claim to know about the role of culture

in social competence, they do not draw on that awareness when making a judgment about the

children. This is an interesting phenomenon in many ways. First, it could be a typical reflection

of one' s self evaluation system that individuals tend to be more generous in reporting what they

know. Thus, there could be some questions regarding these teachers' degree of awareness such

as how much they actually know versus how much they claim to know; do they know what they

know or do they know what they don't know. Second, on the contrary, it could represent the true

natural sequence of one' s acquisition of multicultural competence (Sue & Sue, 2003). The three

steps often suggested by researchers in order to become multiculturally competent are awareness,

knowledge, and skills. The findings indicate that these White-American kindergarten teachers

probably have acquired the multicultural awareness, but not yet acquired the multicultural

knowledge particularly about children's social competence.

Another interesting finding from my study is that teachers were more knowledgeable about

the impact of African-American culture on children' s social competence than about the impact of









the other cultures. According to the dependent t-test results, these White-American kindergarten

teachers took into account only the African-American cultural background in their evaluation of

children's social competence, but not the Asian or Hispanic cultural background. This could be

easily understandable given the historical issues of our education. Since that African-Americans

have been the largest minority population in this country but yet often marginalized, maj ority of

the discussions about educational diversity, equity, and achievement gaps have been focusing on

African-American students (Irvine, 2003; Tatum, 1997). In fact, it's often been a concern for

some educators because of the disproportionate representation of African-American children in

the child welfare system (Dennette, Mark, & Poertner, 2005). Teachers, therefore, are exposed to

and possibly trained to become more culturally sensitive and knowledgeable about African-

American children compared to any other minority groups. This was a consistent theme found

from personal interview narratives as well. Teachers may not have explicitly mentioned knowing

about African-American culture, but they did mention a lot about how they are doing well in

accepting African-American child's (i.e., Jamal) characteristics and even utilizing them as

strengths. It is, however, very important to remember that Hispanics and Asians are the fastest

growing minority population in this country. Although this could vary depending on the regional

location, teachers should expect and be ready to teach more children from Hispanic or Asian

cultural backgrounds. In fact, these particular participants were working with more Hispanic

(17.7%) than African-American (13.2%) children at the time of the study. Therefore, teacher

educators should make teacher preparation programs truly multicultural rather than focusing on

one or a few minority groups.

Relationships between Teachers' Racial Identities and Beliefs

The data revealed a distinct though not significant relationship between these teachers'

racial identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence. This finding










replicates that of two prior studies done about White individuals' racial identities (Claney &

Parker, 1989; Block, Roberson, & Neuger, 1995). Claney and Parker (1989) found correlations

between White college students' racial identity statues and their perceived comfort with African-

American individuals. The relationship was such that White people who have had very little or

no contact with African-American people are as comfortable in situations with African-

American as are the individuals who have developed a mature level of racial identity, whereas

Whites who have had some contact but not to the same extent as those in the later status feel less

comfortable. These findings led the researchers to discuss the importance of White people' s

gaining more than minimal experience and knowledge regarding African-American people,

because insufficient knowledge and experience appear to be correlated with a high level of

prejudice. Similarly, Block et al. (1995) studied White master' s level students and found that

both contact and autonomy statuses have a positive relationship with their reactions to interracial

relationships at work. Again, contrary to their assumptions, contact status showed a positive

association toward interracial relationship, and they concluded it reflects the naivete of White

individuals at the contact status.

In my study, teachers whose racial identity is characterized as contact status showed the

highest level of cultural awareness while those at pseudoindependence status showed the lowest

level of cultural awareness. Just like the prior studies, it could be explained through Helms'

identity development theory that people in the contact status are often too naive and do not take

race or culture seriously, whereas people in the pseudoindependence status tend to have

cocooned beliefs such as 'I already know about racial differences, and I do not need more

information', even though they are still limited in their understanding (Helms, 1995). The fact

that teachers in the autonomy status regained the level of cultural awareness also supports









Helms' theory that when people are fully willing to redefine their Whiteness, they can confront

their prejudices and can truly value the diverse reality of our society.

Additionally, teachers' cultural consideration about Ming, Jose, and Jamal showed a

similar pattern. Teachers in the reintegration status gave lower evaluation scores than those in the

contact status. This finding could be explained through Helms' theory as well because

reintegration status is often characterized as a regression period when people return to the basic

belief of White superiority and minority inferiority (Helms, 1995). It is not surprising to see that

teachers in the autonomy status gave the highest scores as this is when people become

knowledgeable and appreciative about racial and cultural differences. Moreover, among those

three children, teachers consistently evaluated Ming's social competence level the lowest. This

could be due to their lack of cultural understanding about Asian culture and minimal experience

of teaching Asian-American children, as further supported from their individual interview data.

The insights found from the qualitative interviews also support the main themes. Based

upon the personal narratives from teachers who are in the contact status, issues of ethnocentrism

and color-blindness emerged. Most of them had very limited experience with different cultures,

had naive beliefs about racial differences, and claimed they were color-blind. They often referred

to kindergarten children's young age as an excuse for their color-blind teaching, and a few also

mentioned the curriculum or developmentally appropriate practices as their justification.

However, it is widely supported from the teacher education literature that teachers' personal

beliefs and identities are embedded and revealed in their everyday teaching (Brantlinger, 2003;

Irvine, 2003; Tatum, 1997). In fact, one of the teachers admitted this by saying, "I think there are

some things about me that just fall into the classroom without my realizing it, like I act that way

and I do things that way". Since it would be almost impossible to completely separate teachers'










personal beliefs and professional beliefs, teachers' color-blind beliefs should be a concern no

matter what age level they are teaching.

Nonetheless, the findings from my study reveal that there was no statistically significant

relationship between White-American kindergarten teachers' racial identities and their beliefs

about the role of culture in social competence. This opens a door for another discussion. Rowe et

al. (1994) had discussed the transition points between different attitudes where people are not

fully committed to one type but go back and forth with their thoughts of race. The individual

interviews with the teachers who are in the contact status did reveal that the teachers' beliefs

about different cultures were fluctuating. In fact, Helms mentioned that one's racial identity is

situationlly influenced. Rowe et al. also discussed that people react differently to race or racial

issues according to not only their own behaviors, cognitions, emotions, and attitudes but also

others behaviors, cognitions, emotions, and attitudes. Thus, when a person's reaction is a result

of a combination of factors, and especially when teachers were asked to think about young

children, teachers' personal racial disposition and identity may not be consistently reflected in

their classroom interactions with young children. Moreover, one' s identity is composed of not

only racial identity but also gender identity and/or socio-economic identity. Given that the

current theories of racial identity development do not explain the intersection of all the above

identities, it would be very difficult to tease out the influence of racial identity itself and thus the

investigation of one' s racial identity may not provide a full explanation of their teaching beliefs

as well as practices.

Limitations of the Study

My study has several interesting and significant findings, however, its limitations must

also be considered. First, there could be an issue of sampling bias. Since the samples were

restricted to kindergarten teachers who were willing to participate in my study, the findings only









reflect these participants' views and may not represent the entire population of White-American

kindergarten teachers. Second, there could be an issue of social desirability bias especially due to

the sensitivity of topics such as race and culture. Although survey design and self reported

measures are yet one of the most frequently used indicators of personal beliefs or attitudes in

educational research, the absence of observable data to accompany the self reported statements

remains as another limitation of the study. Third, there could be some questions regarding the

instruments. Teachers' beliefs about the role of culture in social competence were examined

through a newly developed instrument Child Vignette and Teachers' Beliefs Questionnaire, and

therefore there are limited data to support its validity and reliability. Moreover, in spite of the

authors' argument, the validity of the Social Attitude Scale is also a concern because it categories

people into a single status group, which is not likely to be the case in the real world. If this

instrument is to be used as a high inference measure, this should be carefully reconsidered and

additional research needs to be conducted to support it as a reliable and valid measure. Fourth,

my study did not investigate teachers' practices. Teachers' actual practices will need to be

studied in order to compare the Eindings about their beliefs, because teachers' practices may or

may not be contingent with their beliefs. Lastly, my study is also limited to White-American

kindergarten teachers. A wider range of teachers in terms of racial backgrounds (i.e., African-

American teachers, Hispanic teachers) will need to be investigated to thoroughly understand the

entire early childhood teaching population in the United States.

Implications for Practice

As one of the few empirical investigations about early childhood teachers' racial identities

and beliefs, findings from my study provide several important implications for practice in the

Hield of early childhood teacher education. Due to the growing number of students of color in the

U. S. schools and the homogeneous teaching population, an increasing number of teacher-









student/parent relationships will be cross-cultural. Increased awareness of their own White racial

identity for White-American teachers is therefore crucially important and helpful in improving

such relationships (Carter & Goodwin, 1994). Examining White-American kindergarten

teachers' White racial identity status may assist them in gaining awareness of their own

perceptions of race, culture, and multicultural education. To this end, one possible solution to

take care of sampling bias among teaching population is to gain institutional support. For

instance, if the department of education and/or school districts require that all teachers respond to

such racial identity questionnaires (not necessarily the one used for my study), then we would be

able to randomize the sample and that would yield a more accurate representation of all the

teachers. Furthermore, if the teachers are asked to respond to such questionnaires in a regular

intervals (i.e., every year, every 3 years... etc), then the results could provide the changes of

teachers' identities which the teacher educators could use as a springboard for any professional

development program.

In terms of teachers' beliefs about the role of culture in social competence, it was found

that teachers showed a higher level of awareness than their perceived actual consideration. This

finding implies that teachers are aware that cultural differences in social competence exist, but

they are simply not yet knowledgeable enough to distinguish how exactly different they are and

what needs to be done to embrace such differences. Teacher preparation institutions and teacher

educators have to provide sufficient opportunities and supports for both pre-service and in-

service teachers. Teachers should be equipped with accurate and appropriate knowledge and

skills to understand and guide social competence for all students including those from culturally

diverse backgrounds. They should also be able to recognize the subtle differences amongst

similar cultural groups (i.e., Chinese, Indian, Mong... etc) in order to be truly responsive.









Furthermore, given that family environment is the most influential factor impacting children's

cultural transmission of social competence, connecting home and classroom could be a direction

to step forward. Utilizing parents as 'funds of knowledge' such as considering parents as a

helpful resource, listening to parents' ideas, and finding ways to get the parents actively involved

could be some potential things to do in order to establish home-classroom connection (Moll,

Amanti, Neff, & Conzales, 2005).

My study also suggests that teachers should be aware of their own racial identities and

beliefs which could influence their reactions to and interactions with students, so that some

children are not put at a disadvantage. This is particularly important for kindergarten teachers, as

kindergarten children's experiences impact their long-term school adjustment (Rusher,

McGrevin, & Lambiotte, 1992). If teachers are aware of themselves, they can work to ensure that

their identities and beliefs do not negatively impact their young children. This can be especially

important when working with children from different backgrounds different from their own. To

this end, in order to become aware and competent, reaching out for other available resources

could be one possibility. For example, teachers can partner with school counselors as consultants

when facing identity issues. Interdisciplinary work among counselor educators and teacher

educators could further assist such collaborations. Nonetheless, it is important to remember that

it is often difficult to investigate such topics without offending the participants or interviewees

not to mention that it is very hard to examine what exactly are their attitudes and beliefs.

Therefore, teacher educators should be very careful when planning and implementing any kind

of teacher education programs on these topics. They must establish an environment that is

trusting and open. As much as a caring climate is essential for young children to learn

effectively, a cooperative and supportive atmosphere is necessary for teachers too.










Implications for Future Research

My study provided perspectives about White-American kindergarten teachers' racial

identities, their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence, and some possible

relationships. Although the relationships from this particular study were not statistically

significant, additional exploration could provide further information.

First, my study could be replicated to a wider range of early childhood teachers such as

teachers from different backgrounds besides White-Americans, teachers from geographically

different regions, and teachers of preschool or higher elementary grades. It would also be very

interesting to compare the responses of pre-service teachers and in-service teachers to find

commonalities and differences, since this could provide directions for appropriate pre-service

and in-service teacher education.

Second, teachers' racial identities could be examined through a different methodology. As

it is well known that there are both strengths and weaknesses in any given method or instrument,

it would be a good idea to try another approach in order to provide more in-depth information

regarding teachers' racial identities. For example, analyzing teachers' written j ournals could be

one way since writing, instead of talking, may be a more comfortable and safe way for some

people to disclose their honest thoughts. In the meantime, more interdisciplinary studies and

training including teachers and school counselors, teacher educators and counselor educators are

needed to augment identity development of teachers. Also, longitudinal studies that focus on the

changes among teachers could be another idea to further expand this topic. Nonetheless, again it

would be important to remember that rapport and a caring climate should be established before

such discourse.

Finally, my study focused on teachers' beliefs and perceived consideration through the

evaluation of a hypothetical child in the vignettes, but not their actual practices. An additional










implication for future research includes looking at teachers' practices. As an example, the

researchers) might go into these teachers' classrooms and observe how they respond, interact,

and/or intervene with children and families from cultural backgrounds different from their own.

It could be the case that teachers who believe in the importance of cultural consideration fail to

reflect it in their actual teaching, and there could be multiple reasons for it, such as goodness of

fit between a teacher and a child, or more complicated family issues. Therefore, studies that

examine teachers' real practices would provide a broader perspective about teachers'

multicultural competencies.










APPENDIX A
PARTICIPANT CONSENT LETTER

School of Teaching and Learning
P.O. Box 117048
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-7048

Dear Teacher
My name is Heejeong Sophia Han and I am a doctoral candidate in School of Teaching and
Learning at the University of Florida. I would like to imvite you to participate in a doctoral study that will
explore the relationship between kindergarten teachers' social attitudes and their beliefs about the role of
culture in social competence.
You will be asked to complete three questionnaires. First, you will be asked to read six scenarios
about hypothetical children, and after each scenario you will be asked to respond to a series of questions
about the child presented. Second, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire that will provide
information about your social attitudes. Finally, you will be asked to respond to a questionnaire asking
about your personal information (i.e., age, educational level, teaching experience). These three
questionnaires should take no more than 30minutes to complete.
You have been selected to participate based on your status as a kindergarten teacher upon approval
from your school board. There will be no risk to you, and your refusal to give consent will not in any way
affect your status at school. You are free to withdraw your permission to participate at any time without
consequence. You will be assigned a confidential number, and all of your personal information will be
kept completely confidential. In appreciation of your participation, you will receive a $20 gift card. A
benefit of participation includes the opportunity to further research about cultural difference and
children' social competence. I will also share a copy of the research results with you when the study is
completed upon request.
Please indicate your consent to participate in my study below. If you choose to participate, please
complete the attached questionnaires and return it to me in the enclosed envelope together with your
consent form. Additional copy of this letter is yours to keep. If you do not choose to participate, please
also let me know by simply returning the blank questionnaires in the enclosed envelope. If you have any
questions please do not hesitate to contact me at (352) 392-9191, ext 249 or my advisor Dr. Kristen
Kemple at (352) 392-9191, ext 250. Questions or concerns about research participant's right may be
directed to the UFIRB at (352) 392-0433 or P.O.Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250. Thank you very
much in advance for your support.

Sincerely


Heejeong Sophia Han, M. A.
College of Education
University of Florida

Please read the above description, sign below, and return.

I, have read the procedures described above and voluntarily agree to
participate in this study. I acknowledge that I have received a copy of the above description.



Signature Date



THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION!

















The following descriptions are about hypothetical children. Each child has
certain characteristics in common. They are all males, from middle class
socioeconomic status, physically healthy, and proficient English speakers given
their age although it might not be their first language. Academically, they are
among the upper 50% of the class, and they all live with both parents.
As you read each vignette, assume that the child is one of the kindergarteners
in your classroom, and it is the end of the March grading period. Also assume that
you have worked hard with each and all of these children to help their development
of social competencies. Please read each vignette and answer the questions based
on the information presented. There are no right or wrong answers, so please
respond based on your first reaction.


APPENDIX B
CHILD VIGNETTE AND TEACHERS' BELIEFS QUESTIONNAIRE


PART 1.


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MING
Ming turned 6 years old in late October. His parents are Chinese and they moved to the United
States when Ming was l year old. Usually Ming gets along well with other children and the teacher.
He typically is a good listener, takes directions well, and works hard to complete any task he is told
to do. However, when challenged by others, Ming quickly backs down in order to avoid conflicts and
easily follows others' directions. He becomes disappointed and refuses to make eye contact with you
when you correct his mistakes. Also, when he is rejected by his peers he often wanders around them
without words.


1. How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements about Ming?
Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4


a. He avoids confrontations. 1 2 3 4
b. He is passive and socially withdrawn. 1 2 3 4
c. He is compliant. 1 2 3 4
d. He is too compliant. 1 2 3 4
e. He follows group interest over his own to become cooperative. 1 2 3 4
f. He lacks confidence and assertiveneSS. 1 2 3 4
g. He shows respect by avoiding eye contact. 1 2 3 4
h. He shows disengagement by avoiding eye contact. 1 2 3 4


2. On average, how would you evaluate Ming's level of social competence?
Very low Low High Very high
1 2 3 4


3. Please describe why you think so.











DAVID
David celebrated his 6th birthday at the beginning of November. Both of his parents are Caucasians.
David is a very good listener and takes directions well. He is usually the first child in class to finish
any task he is told to do. Also, David is verbally expressive and enjoys interacting with other
children and the teacher. However, David prefers to back down and easily takes back his words to
avoid troublesome situations when confronted by an adult or a peer. Similarly, when his idea is not
accepted from his peers, he often becomes quiet and chooses to hover around them. David also
refuses to make eye contact with you whenever you try to correct his misbehavior.


1. How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements about David?
Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4


a. He avoids confrontations. 1 2 3 4
b. He is passive and socially withdrawn. 1 2 3 4
c. He is compliant. 1 2 3 4
d. He is too compliant. 1 2 3 4
e. He follows group interest over his own to become cooperative. 1 2 3 4
f. He lacks confidence and assertiveneSS. 1 2 3 4
g. He shows respect by avoiding eye contact. 1 2 3 4
h. He shows disengagement by avoiding eye contact. 1 2 3 4


2. On average, how would you evaluate David's level of social competence?
Very low Low High Very high
1 2 3 4


3. Please describe why you think so.











JOSE
Jose had his 6th birthday at the end of December. Both of his parents are Hispanics, but they moved
from Mexico to the United States before Jose was born. He often hovers around you and enjoys
helping you with class duties. He is very sympathetic toward his peers, is well-liked, and has two
close friends. Jose always prefers to work in a small group rather than by himself. However, Jose is
usually too shy to be a team leader and rarely initiates conversation with new children or adults.
When asked to choose something, he is often concerned about satisfying his parents (for example,
when you ask Jose what he wants to be in the future, he answers "My parents want me to become a
doctor.").


1. How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements about Jose?
Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4


a. He is compliant. 1 2 3 4
b. He is too compliant. 1 2 3 4
c. He works well with a group. 1 2 3 4
d. He is not independent enough. 1 2 3 4
e. He is humble and modest. 1 2 3 4
f. He does not have good leadership skillS. 1 2 3 4
g. He values his parents' opinions. 1 2 3 4
h. He is too dependent on his parents. 1 2 3 4


2. On average, how would you evaluate Jose's level of social competence?
Very low Low High Very high
1 2 3 4


3. Please describe why you think so.











CHRIS
Chris celebrated his 6th birthday at the end of November. Both of his parents are Caucasians. Chris
is well-liked by his peers because he is usually very sympathetic. Chris typically wants to work with a
small group of peers rather than independently. He also enjoys getting your attention. He frequently
volunteers to help you with class duties. However, Chris is frequently concerned about pleasing his
parents (for example, when you ask Chris what he wants to be in the future, he answers "My parents
want me to become a lawyer."). Moreover, Chris rarely initiates conversation or interacts with new
faces. He is often too shy to take the leader-role among his peers, and even reports that he feels
more comfortable when playing with older children.


1. How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements about Chris?
Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4


a. He is compliant. 1 2 3 4
b. He is too compliant. 1 2 3 4
c. He works well with a group. 1 2 3 4
d. He is not independent enough. 1 2 3 4
e. He is humble and modest. 1 2 3 4
f. He does not have good leadership skillS. 1 2 3 4
g. He values his parents' opinions. 1 2 3 4
h. He is too dependent on his parents. 1 2 3 4


2. On average, how would you evaluate Chris's level of social competence?
Very low Low High Very high
1 2 3 4


3. Please describe why you would think so.











JA1MAL
Jamal turned 6 in mid November. Both of his parents are African-Americans. Jamal has several
friends in the class and enjoys participating in games or group activities. He is usually good at
noticing and interpreting social cues during group activity (for example, when a group of children
are playing with blocks, Jamal is always the first one who notices another child who stands by
them). However, Jamal likes to make decisions for the group, and occasionally gets into an
argument with other children for that reason. Also, he tends to ask a lot of "Why"' questions, both to
you and his peers, and often has difficulty verbally articulating his thoughts. When he gets
extremely upset, Jamal puts his head down when you talk to him about his problem.


1. How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements about Jamal?
Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4


a. He has good leadership skillS. 1 2 3 4
b. He wants to be in control. 1 2 3 4
c. He is good at non-verbal communication. 1 2 3 4
d. He has a problem with verbal communication. 1 2 3 4
e. He is good at working with a group. 1 2 3 4
f. He is not good at working independently. 1 2 3 4
g. He puts his head down to show his own disappointment. 1 2 3 4
h. He puts his head down to show disinterest and resistance. 1 2 3 4


2. On average, how would you evaluate Jamal's level of social competence?
Very low Low High Very high
1 2 3 4


3. Please describe why you think so.











ERIC
Eric had his 6th birthday in early December. Both of his parents are Caucasians. Eric is usually very
sensitive about understanding others' non-verbal cues (for example, Eric easily notices when
another child glances at him during group activity). Moreover, Eric seems to be comfortable
working with most of the children in the class, and always likes to play together with them as a
group. He enjoys making decisions for both himself and his peers as well. However, when
challenged by others, Eric gets extremely upset. Whenever you try to talk to him about his
misbehavior, he typically puts his head down. Eric is not very skillful in verbally expressing his
thoughts or problems so that he often fails to solve conflicts verbally. He occasionally has arguments
with his peers.


1. How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements about Eric?
Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4


a. He has good leadership skillS. 1 2 3 4
b. He wants to be in control. 1 2 3 4
c. He is good at non-verbal communication. 1 2 3 4
d. He has a problem with verbal communication. 1 2 3 4
e. He is good at working with a group. 1 2 3 4
f. He is not good at working independently. 1 2 3 4
g. He puts his head down to show his own disappointment. 1 2 3 4
h. He puts his head down to show disinterest and resistance. 1 2 3 4


2. On average, how would you evaluate Eric's level of social competence?
Very low Low High Very high
1 2 3 4


3. Please describe why you think so.











PART 2.
Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with each of the following statements.
Strongly Disagree Disagree Uncertain Agree Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4 5

1- I think that verbal expressiveness is a prerequisite for socially 1 2 3 4 5
competent behavior regardless of a child's culture.
2. I think that the value of independence varies from culture to culture. 1 2 3 4 5

3- I think that the value of obedience and assertiveness does not differ 1 2 3 4 5
by culture.
4- I think that the way of becoming socially competent varies from 1 2 3 4 5
culture to culture.
5- I think that socially withdrawn and shy behaviors have negative 1 2 3 4 5
influence on peer relationships regardless of culture.
6. I think that approaches to promote children's social behaviors are 1 2 3 4 5
influenced by culture.
7- I think that all children should be given the same guidance and 1 2 3 4 5
teaching for developing their social competencies.
8. I think that the characteristics of effective interaction do not vary by 1 2 3 4 5
culture.
9- I think that families from different cultural groups have different 1 2 3 4 5
expectations of their children's social skills.
1o. I think that all cultures place equal emphasis on being independent. 1 2 3 4 5

11- I think that the ability and frequency of using verbal expression or 1 2 3 4 5
subtle non-verbal cues is a cultural preference.
12. I think that obedience and assertiveness are promoted with 1 2 3 4 5
different emphasis among different cultural groups.
13- I think that the way of achieving social competence is universal. 1 2 3 4 5

14- I think that the characteristics of effective interaction differs from 1 2 3 4 5
one culture to another.
15- I think that some behaviors are interpreted differently by people 1 2 3 4 5
from different cultural groups.
16. I think that a child who is perceived to be socially competent in one 1 2 3 4 5
cultural group will be the same in any other cultural group.
17- I think that socially withdrawn and shy behaviors associate with 1 2 3 4 5
either peer popularity or peer rejection depending on different
cultural backgrounds.
18. I think that socialization goals and values are identical in familieS 1 2 3 4 5
from all cultural groups.










APPENDIX C
SOCIAL ATTITUDE SCALE


This scale is designed to understand people's attitude about social and political issues. There are
no right or wrong answers. Please choose the intensity that most fits you or your experience.


Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4 5


1. I have had little or no contact with Black people other than seeing 1 2 3 4 5
them on campus.
2. Blacks should not be allowed to continue in school unless able tO 1 2 3 4 5
perform at the same level as Whites.
3. White people think they are better than everyone else just because 1 2 3 4 5
they are White.
4. Whenever I witness it, I confront people who make racist comments. 1 2 3 4 5
5. I greatly enjoy cross-racial (involving Blacks and Whites together) 1 2 3 4 5
activities and I try to participate in them often.
6. Reversed discrimination is a big problem for Whites in America. 1 2 3 4 5
7. I support the idea of restitution for Blacks based on the history of 1 2 3 4 5
slavery and oppression.
8. I do not understand why Blacks are so resentful of White people. 1 2 3 4 5
9. As a White person, I feel it is my responsibility to help eradicate 1 2 3 4 5
racism and discrimination in our society.
10. I am afraid that minorities are taking over American society. 1 2 3 4 5
11. I have lived in close proximity to black people. 1 2 3 4 5
12. My family would disown me if I married a Black person. 1 2 3 4 5
13. Dominance over others is a characteristic of White culture. 1 2 3 4 5
14. Black people have brought many of their problems on themselves. 1 2 3 4 5
15. I would feel comfortable dating a Black person. 1 2 3 4 5
16. I have Black friendS. 1 2 3 4 5
17. Black people are responsible for their lot in life. 1 2 3 4 5
18. White people should provide some form of restitution to Black people. 1 2 3 4 5













Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4 5


19 Slavery stopped a long time ago, Black people should just get over it. 1 2 3 4 5
20. I have never had much contact with Black people. 1 2 3 4 5
21. Racism continues because Black people dwell on the past. 1 2 3 4 5
22. My family would support me if I married a Black person. 1 2 3 4 5
23. Throughout history, White people have been the dominant oppressor. 1 2 3 4 5
24. In America, people pretty much decide their own fate. 1 2 3 4 5
25. None of my friends would look down on me for having an interracial 1 2 3 4 5
relationship.
26. I would feel uncomfortable living near Black people. 1 2 3 4 5
27. If Black people weren't so lazy, they wouldn't be in the position 1 2 3 4 5
they're in.
28. If the media portrayed Black people more positively, racial tensions 1 2 3 4 5
would end.

29. When I hear a racist joke, I say something to show my disapproval. 1 2 3 4 5
30. There are more Black people on welfare than Whites. 1 2 3 4 5
31. I do not have any Black friendS. 1 2 3 4 5
32. White people are responsible for putting an end to racism. 1 2 3 4 5
33. I would feel comfortable with a Black physician. 1 2 3 4 5
34. Affirmative action is just reverse discrimination. 1 2 3 4 5
35. I am ashamed of what my Whiteness represents. 1 2 3 4 5
36. When I hear someone make racist comments, I say something to 1 2 3 4 5
them to show my disapproval.
37. If Black people wanted to change things, they could take action 1 2 3 4 5
themselves.

38. I feel comfortable when I am in close contact with Black people. 1 2 3 4 5
39. I think White people should work hard to give up their advantages. 1 2 3 4 5
40. Blacks must get over the issue of slavery so that we can move on. 1 2 3 4 5


C~7~I12C~YOZ) ~FO~~YOZ)~I r1~77CZ~7C~IO~r!










APPENDIX D
TEACHER INFORMATION QUESTIONNAIRE


1. What is your gender? female male


2. WVhat is your age?


3. What is your background? (please check one)
Caucasian/White-American (Non-Hispanic)
Black/African-American (Non-Hispanic)
Hispanic/Latino-American
Asian/Pacifie Islander
Native American
Multiracial
Other (please specify)


4. WVhat is your most advanced educational degree? (please check one and specify)
Bachelor's in
Master's in
Specialist in
Doctorate in


5. Where did you go for your undergraduate?


6. WVhere did you go for graduate school? or N/A


7. WVhat type of certification do you have? (please check all that apply)
Elementary certification only
Elementary certification with an early childhood endorsement
Birth to age four certification
Age three to grade three certification
Pre-K handicapped endorsement
Other (please specify)


8. How many years of teaching experience do you have in total?












9. How many years of experience teaching kindergarten do you have?


to. Currently how many children are in your class?


11. Currently how many children in your class are from the following backgrounds?
Caucasian/White-American (Non-Hispanic)
Black/African-American (Non-Hispanic)
Hispanic/Latino-American
Asian/Pacific Islander
Native American
Multiracial
Others (please specify)


12. Generally speaking, how much experience do you have teaching children from
different backgrounds than your own? (see listings of Question lo)


1 2 3 4 5
Never Rarely Occasionally Frequently Always


13. Generally speaking, how much do you consider yourself to be competent when
teaching children from different backgrounds than your own?


1 2 3 4 5
Very Low Low Moderate High Very High


14. If there is a need to obtain additional ideas, can I contact you in the future?
Yes, I can be contacted if needed.
Please provide your phone number or e-mail which you prefer to be reached.
Phone: E-mail:
No, I do not wish to be contacted again.


15. Please provide me with your address where you wish the gift card to be sent.



CUK4N12CYOU< FORYOUR/I r ATICIERTION!!










APPENDIX E
FOLLOW-UP INTTERVIEW PROTOCOL


PART 1.


What are your personal thoughts about social competence?
Prompted with the following phrases as necessary:
verbal expressiveness
independence
obedience and assertiveness
socially withdrawn and shy behaviors
effective interaction
socialization goals and values


What are your thoughts about each of the following statement, and why?
I think that the ability and frequency of using verbal expression or subtle non-verbal cues
is a cultural preference.
I think that the value of independence varies from culture to culture.
I think that obedience and assertiveness are promoted with different emphasis among
different cultural groups.
I think that socially withdrawn and shy behaviors associate with either peer popularity or
peer rejection depending on different cultural backgrounds.
I think that a child who is perceived to be socially competent in one cultural group will be
the same in any other cultural group.
I think that some behaviors are interpreted differently by people from different cultural
groups.
I think that approaches to promote children's social behaviors are influenced by culture.
I think that families from different cultural groups could have different expectations of
their children's social skills.
I think that the way of becoming socially competent varies from culture to culture.











PART 2.


Show them the scenarios of Ming, Jose, and Jamal without the information about each child's
cultural background.
How would you evaluate the level of social competence about this child, and why?
How would you intervene with this child to promote his social competence, and why?


Tell them, what if this child was Asian/Hispanic/African-American instead of White-American:
How much difference would it make with your decision?
How would you evaluate and intervene, and why?


What kind of knowledge/ideas do you have for certain group of people?
Asian
Hispanic
African-American


PART 3.


As a human being:
How much experience do you think you have interacting with people from different
cultural groups?
How would you evaluate your multicultural/interracial self-efficacy?


As a kindergarten teacher:
How much experience do you think you have so far teaching children from different
cultural groups?
How would you evaluate your multicultural teaching efficacy?
In regards of your teaching efficacy, what do you think has helped you the most? (i.e.,
personal experience, college education, teaching experience)
How much influence do you think your personal identity and beliefs has in your
teaching?
What are your thoughts about multicultural education in early childhood?











APPENDIX F
PILOT PARTICIPANT CONSENT LETTER 1

School of Teaching and Learning
P.O. Box 117048
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-7048

Dear Teacher
My name is Heejeong Sophia Han and I am a doctoral candidate in School of Teaching and Learning at
the University of Florida. I would like to imvite you to participate in the preliminary portion of my doctoral
study that will explore the kindergarten teachers' beliefs about the role of culture in social competence.
You will be asked to participate in a focus group to explore the appropriateness of an instrument to be
used in the study. First, you will be asked to read six vignettes about hypothetical children, and after each
scenario you will be asked to respond to a series of questions about the child presented. Second, you will be
asked to participate in a focus group meeting, during which we will discuss the vignettes and questionnaires.
Reading the vignettes and answering the questions should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete, and the
focus group meeting will take approximately 3o minutes on the same day.
You have been selected to participate based on your status as a kindergarten teacher upon approval from
your school principal. There will be no risk to you, and your refusal to give consent will not in any way affect
your status at school. You are free to withdraw your permission to participate at any time without consequence.
You will be assigned a confidential number, and all of your personal information will be kept completely
confidential. In appreciation of your participation, you will receive a $20 Target gift card. A benefit of
participation includes the opportunity to further research about cultural difference and children' social
competence. I will also be happy to provide you with a summary of the research results when the study is
completed upon request.
Please indicate your consent to participate in my study by signing below, and return it to me in the
enclosed envelope. If you agree to participate please let me know your availability as well. Additional copy is for
yours to keep. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at (352) 392-9191, ext 249 or my
advisor Dr. Kristen Kemple at (352) 392-9191, ext 250. Questions or concerns about research participant's right
may be directed to the UFIRB at (352) 392-0433 or P.O.Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250. Thank you
very much in advance for your support.

Sincerely


Heejeong Sophia Han, M. A.
College of Education
University of Florida

Please read the above description, sign below, and return.

I, have read the procedures described above and voluntarily agree to participate
in this study. I acknowledge that I have received a copy of the above description.



Signature Date

If you agreed to participate, please indicate when would be the best time for you to meet for this study. You will
be contacted again soon with the confirmed date and place. Thank you very much!

Aug 30 (Wed) 3:oo 4:oo
Sep 1 (Fri) 3:oo 4:oo
Sep 6 (Wed) 3:oo 4:oo
Sep 8 (Fri) 3:oo 4:oo

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION!










APPENDIX G
PILOT PARTICIPANT CONSENT LETTER 2

School of Teaching and Learning
P.O. Box 117048
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-7048

Dear Pre-service Teacher

My name is Heejeong Sophia Han and I am a doctoral candidate in School of Teaching and
Learning at the University of Florida. I would like to imvite you to participate in the preliminary portion of
my doctoral study that will explore kindergarten teachers' beliefs about the role of culture in social
competence.
You will be asked to read six vignettes about hypothetical children, and after each scenario you will
be asked to respond to a series of questions about the child presented. Reading the vignettes and
answering the questions should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete. You will be asked to complete
the same questionnaire twice within a two-week period.
You have been selected to participate based on your status as a pre-service teacher upon approval
from your course instructor. There will be no risk to you, and your refusal to give consent will not in any
way affect your status in your course or with your instructor. You are free to withdraw your permission to
participate at any time without consequence. You will be assigned a confidential number, and all of your
personal information will be kept completely confidential. A benefit of participation includes the
opportunity to further research about cultural difference and children's social competence. Your
participation will be very appreciated. I will also be happy to provide you with a summary of the research
results when the study is completed upon request.
Please indicate your consent to participate in my study by signing below and return it to me.
Additional copy is for yours to keep. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at
(352) 392-9191, ext 249 or my advisor Dr. Kristen Kemple at (352) 392-9191, ext 250. Questions or
concerns about research participant's right may be directed to the UFIRB at (352) 392-0433 or P.O.Box
112250, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250. Thank you very much in advance for your support.

Sincerely


Heejeong Sophia Han, M. A.
College of Education
University of Florida


Please read the above description, sign below, and return.

I, have read the procedures described above and voluntarily agree to participate in
this study. I acknowledge that I have received a copy of the above description.



Signature Date






THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION!










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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Hee Jeong (Sophia) Han was born on July 11, 1973, in Seoul, South Korea, where she

grew up for most of her life until she came over to the United States to pursue her doctoral study.

She received both her bachelors and maters in Early Childhood Education from Ewha Women' s

University, and taught preschool and kindergarten children for four years. She also taught early

childhood education and child development courses at several colleges for two and a half years.

She began her doctoral program at the University of Florida in 2003. Her maj or area of study

includes early childhood teachers' identities and beliefs, children's development of social

competence, and cultural/social influence in early education. She currently lives at Louisville,

Kentucky with her husband and a daughter, and serves as an assistant professor in the

Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Louisville.





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1 WHITE-AMERICAN KINDERGARTEN TE ACHERS RACIAL IDENTITIES AND THEIR BELIEFS ABOUT THE ROLE OF CULTURE IN SOCIAL COMPETENCE By HEE JEONG HAN A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2007

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2 2007 Hee Jeong Han

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3 To my family

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my committee members, Drs. Kris ten Kemple, Elizabeth Bondy, Tina SmithBonahue, and Cirecie West-Olat unji for their great insight, gu idance and support throughout my doctoral study. I will never forget the patience, encouragement, and advice they have graciously given me. Special appreciation needs to go to my chair, Dr. Kristen Kemple who has become an incredible role model for me in how to be a teacher, researcher, mentor, and a professional woman in the academia. In addition, I thank all th e public school district faculties and staffs, elementary school principals, and the kinde rgarten teachers in Alachua, Hillsborough, Marion, Putnam, and Seminole counties who have participated in this research. Finally, I extend my appreciation to my family and friends for their endless understanding, support, and encouragement of all my endeavor s. And, without a doubt, I wish to express the most gratitude to my husband without whose lo ve and sacrifice everything would have been impossible. I feel like I owe him the whole world, and I truly believe he de serves this credit. My last piece of thanks is for my precious da ughter, Clara, who makes it all worthwhile.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........7 LIST OF FIGURES................................................................................................................ .........8 LIST OF TERMS.................................................................................................................. ...........9 ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... ............10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................12 Purpose of the Study........................................................................................................... ....14 Research Questions............................................................................................................. ....14 Significance of the Study...................................................................................................... ..15 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................16 Racial Identity Development..................................................................................................16 Racial Identity Development for White-Americans........................................................16 Implications of Racial Identity in Teacher Education.....................................................21 Social Competence.............................................................................................................. ...25 Dimensions of Social Competence..................................................................................25 Cross-Cultural Comparisons of Social Competence.......................................................28 Teachers Role in the Development of Social Competence............................................32 Teachers Beliefs.............................................................................................................. ......35 Research on Teachers Beliefs........................................................................................35 Teachers Beliefs about Social Competence...................................................................38 Summary........................................................................................................................ .........41 3 METHODS........................................................................................................................ .....44 Participants................................................................................................................... ..........44 Instruments.................................................................................................................... .........44 Child Vignette and Teachers Beliefs Questionnaire......................................................44 Social Attitude Scale.......................................................................................................45 Teacher Information Questionnaire.................................................................................46 Follow-up Interview........................................................................................................47 Data Collection Procedures....................................................................................................47 Pilot Study.................................................................................................................... ...47 Study.......................................................................................................................... ......49

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6 4 RESULTS........................................................................................................................ .......51 Participants Background........................................................................................................ .51 Teachers Racial Identities.................................................................................................... .52 Teachers Beliefs about the Role of Culture in Social Competence......................................54 Relationship between Teachers Racial Identi ties and Beliefs about the Role of Culture in Social Competence..........................................................................................................55 Characteristics of Teachers Beliefs about Culture and Social Competence.........................56 5 DISCUSSION..................................................................................................................... ....76 Teachers Racial Identities, Beliefs, and the Relationships....................................................76 Teachers Racial Identities..............................................................................................76 Teachers Beliefs.............................................................................................................78 Relationships between Teachers Racial Identities and Beliefs......................................79 Limitations of the Study....................................................................................................... ..82 Implications for Practice...................................................................................................... ...83 Implications for Future Research............................................................................................86 APPENDIX A PARTICIPANT CONSENT LETTER...................................................................................88 B CHILD VIGNETTE AND TEACHERS BELIEFS QUESIONNAIRE...............................89 C SOCIAL ATTITUDE SCALE...............................................................................................97 D TEACHER INFORMATION QUESTIONNAIRE................................................................99 E FOLLOW-UP INTERVIEW PROTOCOL..........................................................................101 F PILOT PARTICIPANT CONSENT LETTER 1..................................................................103 G PILOT PARTICIPANT CONSENT LETTER 2..................................................................104 LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................105 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................115

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1 Helms White racial id entity development model.............................................................43 4-1 Teaching experience an d number of children....................................................................68 4-2 Chi-square test fo r educational degree...............................................................................70 4-3 Summary of ANOVA for age............................................................................................70 4-4 Summary of ANOVA fo r teaching experience..................................................................70 4-5 Summary of ANOVA for self reported experience of teaching children from different backgrounds........................................................................................................71 4-6 Summary of ANO VA for self-efficacy of teach ing children from different backgrounds.................................................................................................................... ...71 4-7 Descriptive statistics ab out degree of awareness...............................................................71 4-8 Descriptive statistics about child evaluation......................................................................71 4-9 Summary of dependent Ttests for child evaluation..........................................................71 4-10 Reasons for evaluating Ming.............................................................................................72 4-11 Reasons for evaluating David............................................................................................72 4-12 Reasons for evaluating Jose...............................................................................................72 4-13 Reasons for evaluating Chris.............................................................................................72 4-14 Reasons for evaluating Jamal.............................................................................................73 4-15 Reasons for evaluating Eric...............................................................................................73 4-16 Summary of ANOVA for degree of awareness.................................................................74 4-17 Summary of MANOVA for child evaluation....................................................................75

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8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4-1 School districts of teachers............................................................................................... .66 4-2 Teachers age.............................................................................................................. .......66 4-3 Most advanced educational degree of teachers..................................................................67 4-4 Types of teaching certificate of teachers...........................................................................67 4-5 Current childrens background..........................................................................................68 4-6 Experience of teaching child ren from different background.............................................69 4-7 Self-efficacy of teaching child ren from different background..........................................69 4-8 Racial identity status..................................................................................................... .....70 4-9 Mean Plots for ANOVA for degree of awareness.............................................................74 4-10 Mean Plots for MANOVA for child evaluation................................................................75

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9 LIST OF TERMS African-American : all individuals who are of Afri can-American descent a.k.a. Black. Although Black and African-American are often interchangeably used, African-American is going to be used throughout my study except for th e use in the Social Attitude Scale which followed the original document. Awareness : a state of having and/or showing c onsciousness and sensitivity about any given fact, either tangible or in tangible. Cultural awareness refers to how much one is sensitive about both his/her own and others culture. Consideration : a state of taking any given fact, either tangible or intangible, into account when formulating an opinion or a plan. Cultural consideration refers to how much one takes culture into account in his/ her decision-making process. Culture : the ideation, symbols, beha viors, values, and beliefs that are shared by a human group to meet their survival needs (adopted fr om Banks, 1994). Cultural group refers to a group of individuals who shares the same culture. Race : ones ethnic heritage (i.e., White-Ame rican, African-American, Hispanic, AsianAmerican). Racial identity refers to a sense of group or collective characteristics based on ones perception that he/she shares a common heritage with a partic ular group (adopted from Helms, 1990). Social competence : the ability to achieve personal goals in interpersonal interaction while simultaneously maintaining a positive relationshi p with others over time and across settings (adopted from Rubin & Rose-Krasnor, 1992). Teachers beliefs : what an educator holds to be true and his/her di sposition with respect to the truth of a proposition (adopt ed from Smith & Shepard, 1988). White-American : all individuals who are of White Euro-American descent a.k.a. Caucasian. Although Caucasian and White-America n are often interchangeably used, WhiteAmerican is going to be used throughout my st udy in order to enhance consistency with the prevalent literatures.

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10 Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy WHITE-AMERICAN KINDERGARTEN TE ACHERS RACIAL IDENTITIES AND THEIR BELIEFS ABOUT THE ROLE OF CULTURE IN SOCIAL COMPETENCE By Hee Jeong Han August 2007 Chair: Kristen Kemple Major: Curriculum and Instruction The purpose of my study is to examine Wh ite-American kindergarten teachers racial identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence, and to examine how they are related. This subject is important because due to the rapid increase of people of color in this country, more students are coming from diverse backgrounds wh ile the majority of teachers are yet homogeneous White-Americans. Additionall y, a growing number of teacher education researchers support the importance of examining teachers identities and beliefs because it has been found that teaching represents teachers self identities as we ll as their beliefs. Previously, however, very little attention has been given to early childhood teachers racial identities and their beliefs about children s social competence. A total of 95 White-American kindergarten t eachers in five school districts in Central Florida completed three questionnaires. Quantitati ve data analyses revealed that, this group of teachers racial identities showed positively skewed distribution among contact, reintegration, pseudoindependence, and autonomy statuses suggesti ng that more teachers had characteristics of advanced White racial identity de velopment statuses. In terms of these teachers beliefs about the role of culture in social competence, their de gree of cultural awareness appeared to be higher than their degree of consideration. Also thes e teachers took African-A merican culture into

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11 account when evaluating a childs social compet ence, but not Asian or Hispanic cultures. Regarding the relationships betwee n these teachers racial identities and beliefs, the relationships discovered in this particular study were not statis tically significant. In addition, insights such as teachers personal beliefs about social competen ce represented low-context cultural beliefs; teachers had varying degree of awareness about the role of culture in social competence; teachers cultural knowledge and evaluations about children vari ed widely from group to group; teachers had more professional experience than personal experience regarding diversity; and teachers beliefs about multicultural educati on revealed color-blind teaching have emerged through the qualitative data analyses of individual follow-up interviews. The findings of my study have implicati ons for practice in early childhood teacher education such that teachers need to be provide d with more opportunities to become aware about their racial identities and th at teacher educators should focus on enhancing multicultural knowledge and skills beyond the leve l of awareness. Furthermore, several directions for future research are discussed in relation to the limitati ons of my study in orde r to better examine and understand these subjects.

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12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION According to the U. S. Census Bureau ( 2002), there has been a rapid increase in the number of people of color in this nation over rece nt decades. As more people from diverse racial backgrounds become members of our society, schools must consider this is sue of diversification in the work that they do. In fact, the demogr aphy among teacher educators reveals a significant divide between the teaching population and st udent population. More children from diverse racial backgrounds are students in our schools, whereas the majority of teachers are homogeneous White-Americans, especially young, female, middle-class White-Americans (Irvine, 2003; Tatum, 1997; Wilson, Floden, & Ferini-Mundy, 2001). Researchers have found that teaching represents teachers identity by teac hing what they are and it is often impossible to exclude their own racial backgrounds (H oward, 2006; Irvine, 2003; Tatum, 1997). Others have also found that students of minority groups learn and behave diffe rently from those of majority groups, and advocated for a cu lturally responsive pedagogy (Bernard, 2004; Brantlinger, 2003; Villegas & Lu cas, 2002; Weinstein, 2002). There is an urgent need for teacher educators to train teachers to reflect on their own identity development and consider how their perspectives influence their teachi ng and interaction with students. Social competence has been recognized as an important set of abilities which begins to develop in the early childhood years. Researcher s have tried to identify the definition and important components of social competence (Katz & McClellan, 1997; Kemple, 2004; RoseKrasnor, 1997; Rubin, Bukowski, & Parker, 1998) Many definitions have been proposed and some of them have adequately described the co mplex nature of social competence. Within the past couple decades, there has been a growing recognition about and an emphasis on the cultural aspects of social competence. Researchers have sh own that certain aspects of social competence

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13 are deeply influenced by ones culture, and th at cultural knowledge is a crucial piece when understanding social competence (Kantor, Elgas, & Fernie, 1993; Rose-Krasnor, 1997). This has been further supported by Nisbett (2003), a cult ural psychologist who studied individuals thought process, beliefs, and behaviors in many s ubject areas, who advocates that there are some profound, systematic differences found in Westerne rs (i.e., Americans, Europeans) and Asians (i.e., Chinese, Korean). He suggested these differe nces have implications for educators who wish to design appropriate educationa l strategies for diverse student s. More specifically, several researchers have also investigated the socializa tion goals and values of early childhood teachers, childrens developmental variation of social co mpetence, and the types of behavioral problems experienced by young children in several different countries and among di fferent cultural groups in the U. S. (Chen et. al., 2004; Kistner, Metz ler, Gatlin, & Risi, 1993; LaFreniere et. al., 2002; Mendez, McDermott, & Fantuzzo, 2002; Mpofu, Thomas, & Chan, 2004; M. Smith, 2001). They have found that there are both universal characte ristics and culturally sp ecific characteristics across different countries and di fferent cultural groups. Such fi ndings are significant because they imply that problems or misunderstandi ngs could occur when little or no cultural consideration is given to different characteristics of social competence. Few previous researchers have studied ear ly childhood teachers beliefs about social competence. There has been no research about early childhood teachers racial identity development. Thus, very little re search attention has been given to the relationship between early childhood teachers racial identities and their beliefs, partic ularly in the area of understanding and promoting young childrens social compet ence. Because early childhood teachers are generally homogeneous female White-Americans, there is a need to understand their racial identities and how their id entities associate with their beliefs a bout the role of culture in social

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14 competence among diverse children. By exploring the relationship between teachers racial identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence, particularly among White-American kindergarten teachers, early chil dhood teacher educators will be able to identify strategies that can assist the teachers in enhancing their racial identity development while supporting childrens social compet ence in a culturally responsive manner. Furthermore, when teachers become culturally responsive in their cla ssrooms, they can more effectively contribute to the childrens advancement of their own identities as well as their development of social competence. Purpose of the Study The purpose of my study is to examine Wh ite-American kindergarten teachers racial identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence. Specifically, my study will explore White-American kindergarten teachers racial identity statuses, their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence, and the relationship between th eir identities and their beliefs. Research Questions 1. What are the racial identities of these White -American kindergarten teachers? Is there any difference in these teachers (a) educational leve l, (b) age, (c) teachi ng experience, (d) self reported experience of teaching children from other backgrounds, and (e) self-efficacy of teaching children from other backgrounds when compared by the racial identity status groups? 2. What are these White-American kindergarten te achers beliefs about the role of culture in social competence? 2-a. To what degree are they aware about th e role of culture in social competence? 2-b. Do they consider cultural differences wh en evaluating a childs social competencies? 3. What relationship exists between these White-American kindergarten teachers racial identities and their belief s about the role of culture in social competence? 4. What are the characteristics of these White -American kindergarten teachers beliefs about culture and social competence?

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15 Significance of the Study Previous studies have neither explored early childhood teachers racial identities nor their beliefs about the role of culture in social comp etence. There have been no studies that examined White-American kindergarten teachers perceptions in terms of their iden tities and beliefs, and the relationship between them. The l ack of research in this arena is of concern in light of the emergent trend in todays schools, where there is a significant racial a nd/or cultural divide between teachers and students. In addition, many researchers in teacher education and social competence have observed that teachers bring thei r identities into their teaching and thus their views of social competence are influenced by their own culture. However, little previous research reflects these findings that there are different viewpoints of young childrens development of social comp etence among different cultural groups. Understanding WhiteAmerican kindergarten teachers r acial identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence and examining the relationshi p between them is m eaningful as teacher educators continue to seek ways to provide culturally responsive education in todays classrooms. The findings of my study will prov ide empirical evidence about the relationship between racial identities and beliefs about social competence. My findings can also be used to raise an awareness among early childhood teachers a bout the role of racial identities and how identities relate to their use of instructional strategies in understandi ng and promoting childrens social competence.

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16 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW The purpose of this chapter is to present an overview of the research relevant to my study. The review of literatures pertaining to the following topics will be presented: (a) racial identity development, (b) social competence, and (c) teache rs beliefs. This chapter will conclude with a summary. Racial Identity Development Racial Identity Development for White-Americans Racial identity refers to a s ense of group or collective identity based on ones perception that he or she shares a common racial heritage with a particul ar racial group (Helms, 1990, p.3). The idea of taking into account ones racial identity developmen t originated in the field of multicultural counseling and thera py several decades ago. At the beginning, this approach was usually used when working with people of co lor such as African-American, Asian-American, Hispanics, and Native Americans because it was assu med that they had distinct cultural heritages that make each group different from one anot her (Atkinson, Morten, & Sue, 1988; Cases & Pytluk, 1995; Choney, Berryhill-Pappke, & R obbins, 1995; Cross, 1995; Helms, 1990). Although this approach was promising for those groups, many experts began to emphasize the need for and importance of racial identity de velopment for White-Americans as well (Carter, 1995; Corvin & Wiggins, 1989; Helms, 1984, 1990; P onterotto, 1988; Sue et al. 1998). Since the majority of counselors and therap ists are White middle-class indivi duals, this notion appears to have importance in both research and practice. A number of mode ls were proposed to understand how White-Americans develop thro ugh the racial identity development stages and what the implications are (Hardiman, 1982; Helms, 1984, 1990, 1995; Ponterotto, 1988; Rowe, Bennett, & Atkinson, 1994).

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17 One of the earliest attempts to investigate White-Americans racial identity development process was made by Hardiman (1982). Based upon th e generic stages of so cial identity theory, she presented a conceptual basis for the existence of White racial identity stages and conducted an exploratory study to examine the existence of it. The study of autobi ographies of six WhiteAmericans who attained a high le vel of racial consciousness led her to propose Hardimans White racial identity development model w ith the following five distinct stages. The first stage is Lack of Social Consciousness, which is characterized by a lack of awareness of racial difference and racism. White people in this stage are nave and ignorant of race. The second stage is Acceptance which is characterized by an unconscious Whiteness and racist belief in the democratic ideal that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed and that those who fail should be responsible for themse lves. People in this stage believe in White superiority and minority infe riority. The third stage is Resistance which is characterized by the rejection of internalized racist beliefs and Whiteness. White people in this stage often have feelings of anger, pain, and frustration, and may develop a ne gative reaction to ward their own cultural group. The fourth stage is Redefinition which is characterized by the development of a new White identity that transcends racism. Pe ople in this stage no longer deny their Whiteness, understand the White privilege, and confront their racism. The final fifth stage is Internalization which is characterized by the integration of the new White identity into all other aspects of the identity and behavior. White people in this st age have much more comfort in understanding both themselves and others, and may commit them selves in social actions as well. Hardimans model has a few limitations such as the development of the stages is derived from limited samples of White-American; the autobi ographies might not be a true representation of those individuals; and the stag es are tied to existing social identity development theories.

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18 Despite such cautions and potential limitations, Ha rdiman greatly contributed to the field of White racial identity development by focusing on racism as a central issue of White-Americans identity (Sue & Sue, 2003). One of the most renowned White racial iden tity models was proposed by Helms (1984, 1990, 1995). She proposed the theory based on the assumption that White counselors will be able to better understand their clients when they gain better understanding of their own racial identities. Helms also assumed that racism is an integral issue of being a White-American and believed developing a healthy White identity requires moving through two phases: (1) abandoning the racism and (2) defining a non-r acist White identity. Helms initial model included four stages (1984), before it was revised to ha ve five stages (1990). In her most recent revision (1995), she proposed six statuses, changing th e term stages to status It is very important to note that Helms pointed out that racial identity is often situa tionally influenced, and thus ones identity status should not be consid ered as a static level but more likely to be a flexible one. Six specific White racial identity statuses are proposed: the first three falling in phase one and the second three falling in phase two. The first is the Contact status White people in this status are unaware of racism and discrimination, believe that everyone has an equal chance for success, and may have minimal experiences with people of color. The second is the Disintegration status that occurs when a person becomes conflicted over irresolvable raci al moral dilemmas. As White people become conscious of their Whiteness, they may experience dissonance, conflict, guilt, helplessness, or anxiety. The third is the Reintegration status This status can best be characterized as a regression in that people step back to the basic belief of White s uperiority and minority inferiority. Generally their White racial superiority gets stronger at this status, moving back to

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19 the second status. The fourth is the Pseudoindependence status There are conscious and deliberate attempts for White people to understand r acial differences and interact with people of color, but it remains at the intellectual domain not yet reaching the affective domain. The fifth is the Immersion/Emersion status White people in this status ha ve an increasing willingness to redefine their Whiteness and confront their prejud ices. There is also an increased experiential and affective understanding that used to be lacking. The last is the Autonomy status This occurs when White people become knowledgeable about r acial differences, value the diversity, and are no longer uncomfortable with the experiential reality of race. Also, Helms model has dominant informati on-processing strategies (IPS) associated with each status, which is basically a coping mech anism that White people typically use to avoid anxiety and discomfort around the issue of race. This IPS has helped the understanding of Helms White racial identity development, and as a result enhanced the wide application of this model (Sue & Sue, 2003). Table 2-1 introduces th e representative exampl es of White people, particularly the teachers, based on Helms model. The primary difference between the above tw o models is that Hardiman placed more emphasis on racism as the catalyst for identity development whereas Helms placed more emphasis on moral dilemmas in social interactio ns (Helms & Carter, 1990). Both Hardiman and Helms, however, suggested that White identi ty development occurred through a stage-wise process in which an individual moves from an ob livious stage toward a racially transcendent stage. Ponterotto (1988) also proposed a very similar stage model with four stages: (a) Preexposure, (b) Exposure, (c) Zealot-Defensive, and (d) Integration. Si milarities among these White racial identity development models were further supported by Sabnani, Ponterotto, and Borodovsky (1991) when they identified commo n themes for planning counselor training

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20 programs. The White Racial Id entity Attitude Scale (WRIAS; Helms & Carter, 1990) and the White Racial Consciousness Development Scale (WRCDS; Claney & Park er, 1989) are the two major scales developed to assess White racial identity development based upon Helms theory. They both focus on White individuals attitude to ward and/or experience with African-American people which is occasionally critic ized as a serious limitation, but at the same time it is also supported because such comparison can maximize th e distinct racial difference in the United States. In response to the above models, Rowe et al. (1994) proposed an alternative White racial consciousness model proclaiming that theirs is a more parsimonious explanation for racial identity. Instead of adopt ing the term stages or statuses, they preferred to conceptualize the identity as types and defined as a describa ble set of attitudes s ubject to experiential modification, not a fixed persona lity attribute (p. 134). They em phasized that there is little evidence to support that an indivi duals identity process is devel opmentally sequential, but rather it depends on a various conseque nces of life experience. Thus, they distinguished that the identity types are not fixed entities but are subj ect to experiential modifi cation. A total of seven types of White racial identity were proposed. The first, the Avoidant types ignore, avoid, and deny raci al issues. Second, the Dependent types have minimal or no internal ized personal attitudes so th at they often follow others opinions. Third, the Dissonant types have uncertain and tentativ e attitudes. Conflicts and dissonance generally arise between their previously held attitudes and rece nt incidents. Fourth, the Dominative types are very ethnocentric. They typically believe in White superiority and minority inferiority. Fifth, the Conflictive types support fairness and oppose obvious discrimination, yet do not wish to alter the status quo. Sixth, the Reactive types are aware of

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21 racism in the society but are still ignorant of their individual responsib ilities. Seventh, the Integrative types have integrated and pragmatic views of racial issues. They value a culturally pluralistic society and have sophi sticated understanding of racial issues. Rowe et al. grouped the above types into two main groups: (1) unachie ved White racial consciousness group with the first three types and (2) achieved White racial consciousness group w ith the latter f our types. The Oklahoma Racial Attitudes Scale (ORAS; Choney & Behrens, 1996) is the scale developed to assess White racial consciousness acco rding to Rowe et al.s theory. Both Helms White racial identity model a nd Rowe et al.s White racial consciousness models attempt to explain the sa me general phenomena, and thus it is not a surprise that they share many common characteristics (Leach, Behr ens, & LaFleur, 2002). Although Rowe et al. (1994) argued that their model is superior to the others, especi ally Helms model, Block and Carter (1996) did a critical analysis on thes e models focusing on both theoretical claims and empirical evidences and concluded that there is no evidence to subs tantiate Rowe et al.s claims by stating a rose by any other name is still a rose (p. 327). It is also recommended that for future research, more priority should be gi ven to providing the empi rical evidence for the application of either approach not the a pplication of theories (Leach et al., 2002). Implications of Racial Identity in Teacher Education Many people, especially White-Americans beli eve that racism no longer exists in our society, and do not seem to pay attention to thei r identities in regards of racial backgrounds (Tatum, 1997). Most White-Americans also belie ve that race and/or culture is relatively unimportant in ones identity development (Brantlinger, 2003; hooks, 2000). The influence of ones racial identity has been researched in a wide variety of fields besides education. Block, Roberson, and Neuger (1995) studied a group of fu ll-time work employees and examined the relationship between their White racial identity at titudes and reactions to in terracial situations at

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22 work. Their findings were congruent with Helms theory that thos e individuals with high levels of Autonomy attitudes had more positive reactions to interracial situations at work whereas those individuals characterized by high levels of Disi ntegration and Reintegration attitudes had more negative reactions. Taylor (1994) reported positive co rrelation between moral development and the Autonomy status of Helms White ident ity development model among employees. Ottavi, Pope-Davis, and Ding (1994) also tested the White counselor traine es racial identity development and their self reported multicultura l competencies. Regression analyses indicated that White racial identity explained variability in multicultural competencies beyond that accounted for by demographic, educational, and clin ical variables. These fi ndings all suggest that there could be a correlation between ones racial identity and their attitude s toward other racial groups, attitudes toward complex moral issues (i.e., racism, equality, and social justice), as well as multicultural competencies (McAllister & Irvine, 2000). Several studies were conducted to examine the relationship between racial identity and multicultural competencies in educational settings as well. Although Sleeter (1992) did not directly utilize the idea of White racial identi ty status, her narrative anecdotes revealed the changes of teachers after particip ating in a 2-year in-service program. They showed increased attention to African-American students and increased use of cooperative learning activities. Lawrence and Tatum (1997) also reported that teachers changed their thinking, attitudes, and behaviors regarding race thr ough the 7-month professional deve lopment sessions. Most of the participants who had racist orie nted identity statuses based on Helms theory at the beginning moved toward more positive anti-racist identity statuses and took some forms of action to combat racism. Both Brown, Parham, and Yonke rs (1996) study and Neville, Heppner, Louie, Thompson, Brooks, and Bakers (1996) study iden tified a causal rela tionship between the

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23 intervention courses and the changes of White pa rticipants racial identity. Neville et al.s findings are especially meaningful because it repo rted that the changes we re sustained over time at the 1-year follow-up survey. They further suggested the need of multicultural trainings in order to develop White-Ameri cans racial identity. Recently, in the field of teach er education, there is a gr owing demand for teachers to identify themselves and their teaching, and it is generally supported by e ducational researchers that teaching represents teachers racial and cu ltural backgrounds by teaching what they are (Banks, 1994; Howard, 2006; Nieto, 2000; Tatum, 1997). They found that teaching is often based upon where teachers came from (i.e., how they were previously tau ght) and where they are now (i.e., what they know, believe, and value). In short, teachers are either consciously or unconsciously revealing their iden tities to the students they teach where theres no way to exclude racial and cultural perspectives. In a study conducted with African-American teachers, Irvine (2003) found that they defined teaching fr om a more empathetic perspective such as caring, other mothering, and believing than Wh ite-American teachers. This perspective of teaching originated from their racial and cult ural backgrounds, and not surprisingly AfricanAmerican students performed better at schools when taught by those African-American teachers (Bernard, 2004). Irvine explained this phenomen on by mentioning teaching with a cultural eye. She suggested that if teachers learn to look throu gh the cultural eye, they are able to see more diverse and different perspectives among students. To this end, there has been a continuous effort to train and help teachers effec tively teach diverse students in their classrooms. Given that the majority of teachers continue to be homogeneous White-Americans, teacher educators have used various methods to foster change in teacher s thinking, attitudes, and behaviors regarding cultural diversity and sensitivity. Yet these have yielded mixed results because they often

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24 focused on addressing contents and knowledge rather than the teachers process of cross-cultural learning (McAllister & Irvine, 2000). It is noteworthy that researchers have asse rted the importance of self recognition and awareness as a prerequisite fo r effective teaching. Banks (1994) who studied extensively about multicultural and multiethnic education, suggested that individuals do not become sensitive and open to different ethnic groups until and unless they develop a positive sense of self, including an awareness and acceptance of th eir own ethnic group. It is widely supported that in order to become an effective teacher with diverse student s, teachers must confront their own racism and biases (Banks, 1994; C. I. Bennett, 1995; M. J. Bennett, 1993; Gay, 2000; Nieto, 2000; Sleeter, 1992; Villegas & Lucas, 2002). The White racial identity developm ent models provide conceptual insights for both practice and research in this regard, because they not only help teachers self examine their identi ties but also help teacher educat ors identify where the teachers stand along the continuum of racial identity de velopment and differentiate the support for those in different statuses (Carter & Goodwin, 1994; McAllister & Irvine, 2000). Teachers need to understand their own level of racial identity deve lopment in order to change their perceptions and expectations of students from different backgrounds. It is also necessary for teacher educators to enable the teachers to examine their own understandings from racial identity development perspectives. Lawrence and Ta tum (1997) emphasized that professional development programs that are intended to increase teachers multicultural competencies should, then, attend to the impact that these programs c ould have on the racial identity development of the participants. J. M. Bennett ( 1993) also suggested that the stru cture of the intervention should be designed to provide both support and challenge in reflecting cross-cultural process, and not to merely convey the contents of other cultures.

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25 Many researchers revealed that higher statuses of White racial identity were associated with higher levels of multicultu ral competencies in a variety of settings (Block et al., 1995; Brown et al., 1996; Neville et al., 1996; Ottavi et al. 1994; Taylor, 1994). They believed that the higher racial identity reflects ce rtain multicultural capacities such as an increased ability to accept racial difference, to exhibit less racist be havior, and to appreciate diversity, all of which could be considered as effective multicultura l teaching competencies. Although reflecting on and challenging ones identity is a long term process, constructing multicultural courses using racial identity models and providing on-going profession al development for pre-service and in-service teachers will help decrease their resistance a nd increase their knowledge and skills (Lawrence & Tatum, 1997). Moreover, as Carter and Goodwin (1994) suggest, there is still much to study about the impact that effectiv e antiracist professional deve lopment can have on teachers attitudes and behaviors. They al so emphasized the need for resear ch that explores the role of racial identity development in addressing num erous educational, psyc hological, and social questions within schools. It is important to reit erate that racial identity theory and research inform us that the task of developing effectiv e skill, competence, and awareness about race and culture is something all educators, White a nd non-White alike, must undertake (Carter & Goodwin, p.324). Social Competence Dimensions of Social Competence Social competence has generally been iden tified as a marker of development and adjustment. Thus, young childrens development of social competence has been traditionally emphasized in the field of early childhood edu cation. However, there is much less agreement about the definition of social competence and wh at constitutes socially competent behavior. In the early 1960s, there was an effort to move away from deficit models of mental health when

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26 viewing social competence. Zigler and Phillips (1 961) argued that the focus of social competence should be on individuals success in meeting social standards in multiple domains. In this stage, social competence was broadly defined to reflec t an individuals persona l and social maturity. One of the benefits of this broad definition is th at it allows researchers to examine children from a holistic perspective (Z igler & Phillips, 1961). Yet, due to the developments in this field, definitions of social competence have changed substantially during the last couple decades. In the 1980s and 1990s, there has been a growing interest in topics of childrens social development (i.e., social behaviors, social cognition, and social competence) Also, several studies showed that there are relatively weak a ssociations between different dime nsions of social competence (i.e., peer relationships, emoti onal regularity, and school adjust ment). The evidence suggested that social competence does not represent a unitary construct (R aver & Zigler, 1997). Faced with these complex relations among di mensions, researchers turned to a more narrow definition of social competence in each of their own studies. Some examples are: the ability to perform culturally specified tasks (Ogbu, 1981, p.414); the attainment of relevant social goals in specified social context, us ing appropriate means and resulting in positive developmental outcomes (Ford, 1982, p.324); abili ty to achieve desired outcomes and show adaptability across contexts (Duck, 1989, p.92); and the ability to achieve personal goals in social interaction while simultaneously maintain ing positive relationships with others over time and across settings (Rubin & Rose-Krasnor, 19 92, p.285). Nonetheless, it is generally agreed that most of the definitions in clude effectiveness as a central aspect of social competence (Rose-Krasnor, 1997; Rubin, Bukowski, & Parker, 1998). Among many attempts made to analyze the co ncept of social competence, the Prism model of social competence presented by Rose-K rasnor (1997) is one which provides helpful

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27 ideas in understanding its complex nature. Acco rding to Rose-Krasnor, social competence is divided into three sub levels: the top part is ca lled the theoretical level, the middle part is the index level, and the bottom part is the skills level. Each level ha s a slightly different viewpoint about social competence, but they are interrelate d with each other, and each has a unique purpose (Rose-Krasnor, 1997). From the theoretical level, social competence is viewed as effectivene ss in interaction. This is consistent with many researchers definition and the fundamental aspect of social competence (Guralnick, 1990; Katz & McCl ellan, 1997; Kemple, 2004; Kost elnik, Whiren, Soderman, & Gregogy, 2006). However, the interp retation of effectiveness coul d be different based on time, place, and people related to that interaction. So, the index level takes into account the who, what, and whe re issues of the interaction. Since the interacti on could not exist by itself and th e effectiveness is determined through the transactions with othe r people, it is divided into tw o domains: self and others. The self domain reflects effectiveness fr om the individuals own perspectiv e. It consists of aspects of social competence where individuals own needs take priority such as success in meeting personal goals and feelings of self-efficacy. On the other hand the other domain reflects interpersonal effectiveness such as good relationships with peers or adults, achieving appropriate group status, and fulfilling societys expectations. Both the self and other domains of social competence are segmented into pieces representing the multiple social contexts. This situationspecific, context dependent nature of social competence is widely accepted by researchers as well. The bottom skills level represents the specifi c abilities that have been identified to approach competence such as pe rspective taking, problem solv ing, emotional regulation, and

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28 goals and values which provide the motivation for social behavior (R ubin et al., 1998). In contrast to the social nature of the index level, the elements contained in the skills level are located primarily within the individual. Some skills and values contained in the skills level may be relevant across contexts, but certain skills are more valued in some contexts than in others. Culture may be the most distinctive context determ ining the value of specifi c abilities or skills because the individuals definition and expectatio n of socially competent and valued behaviors are deeply influenced by his/her cultural bac kground. In other words, the elements within the skills level could substantially vary across cultures. In sum, when reviewing social competence thro ugh the lens of culture, cultural variability may be greatest at the skills level and decrea se while moving up through the prism. At the theoretical level, the general con cept of social competence as eff ectiveness in interaction may be universally accepted. At the index level, social co mpetence is characterized as transactional and context dependent. Behaviors that were effectively valued in one context may not be the same in another context. Similarly, socia lly competent behavior needed to survive in one context may be different from another context. However, at the skills level behaviors needed to achieve certain social goals may differ substant ially across cultures. Social competence is substantially culturally sensitive. Cross-Cultural Comparisons of Social Competence Cultural influence on human behavior and thought process has been studied extensively in the field of psychology. Nisbett (2003) and his colleagues, af ter a series of comparative experiments, proclaimed that there are systema tic differences in peopl es behavior and thought processes among people from Western and Asian cu lture. At the beginning, such argument was very provocative because it was a serious revoke of many psychologists fundamental beliefs that human beings cognitive process and development are universal. Since Hall (1976) had

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29 initially proposed the idea of high-context cultu re and low-context cultu re, there have been burgeoning discussions concerning cultural differences in a wide range of human behaviors, including the area of childrens social comp etencies. When researchers investigated the socialization goals and values of preschool teacher s, childrens developmen tal variation of social competence, and the types of behavioral prob lems experienced by pr eschoolers in several different countries, there were both some unive rsal findings and culture specific finding across countries (Chen et al., 2004; Killen, Ardila-Re y, Barakkatz, & Want, 2000; LaFreniere et al., 2002). While the processes underlying competent behavior was similar across cultures, the specific behaviors associated with social competence showed cultural differences. LaFreniere et al. (2002) conducted a multi-na tional study in eight different countries including the United States, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Japan, China, and Russia, to investigate preschool childrens social and emotional development. Gender differences were found in almost all countries, such that preschool boys were universally reported to be significantly more aggressive and viewed as less socially competent than girls. Age differences were also found such that childr ens social competence increased as they grew older. However, in contrast to such universal tr ends, there were culture specific trends as well. In high-context cultures such as Japan, China, Russia, and Brazil, social identity and grou p interest were more valued while in low-context cultures such as United States, Canada, Austria, and Italy, individual identity and personal interest we re more valued. While compliance and respectfulness were more emphasized in high-context culture, assertivenes s and leadership were more emphasized in lowcontext cultures. Children in high -context cultures were encouraged to use more subtle cues, but children in low-context cultures were encouraged to use more verbal expressions. Moreover, gender roles and stereotypes were more distin ctive in some collectivist and conservative

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30 countries like Russia, China, and Japan. For exam ple, Russian girls who showed aggression were viewed much more negatively than Russian boy s. Different evaluations of aggression and withdrawn behavior were also found among countrie s. High-context cultures usually appreciated withdrawn behaviors rather than aggressive behaviors. As an example, socially anxious and withdrawn behavior is often asso ciated with peer popularity in hi gh-context cultures, but in the low-context cultures it is usually associated with peer rejection. Another multi-national study conducted by Chen et al. (2004) revealed consistent findings as well. Relations between self perceptions of social competence and social and school adjustment were compared in Brazil, Canada, Ch ina, and Italy. In the four countries, social competence and academic achievement were positiv ely associated with self perception. This similar pattern indicated the general nature of relationships. However, the subcomponents of social competence had variant relationships. For instance, significant differences in the relationship between shyness-sensitivity and self perception of social competence were noted. Shyness-sensitivity was negatively associated in Br azilian, Canadian, and Italian children but not among Chinese children. From a slightly different perspective, Killen et al. (2000) examined preschool teachers perception about conflict resolution, autono my, and the group in the United States, Colombia, El Salvador, and Taiwan. The fi ndings revealed cultural similarities regarding conflict resolution techniques and providing au tonomy in the classroom, whereas cultural differences were evident in teachers attitude toward maintaining the group and encouraging traditional group values. Studies were also conducted to compare different racial or cultural groups in one country. One group of researchers supports the findings that even within one country, children of color may value different social behaviors than the main stream children. Moreover, it is believed that

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31 children of color, especially the low-income children have different opportunities for social interactions, models of success, and preferred methods for achieving social goals than their middle-class White counterparts (Fordham & Og bu, 1986; Kaiser & Rasmin sky, 2003; Kistner et al., 1993; Klein & Chen, 2001; Mpofu et al., 2004) In an empirical study, Kistner et al. examined elementary school childrens sensitivity to specific child charac teristics and found that social preferences vary according to their racial background, especia lly for the girls. Mpofu et al. also reported similar findings in their study with racially integrated sc hools in South Africa. When students race and gender were associated with social competence, White students were perceived as socially more competent as compar ed to their African-American classmates. These findings are consistent with prev ious studies that racially minor ity group children are at risk for lower social acceptance in schools, and there co uld be a linkage between peer sociometric choices and racial minority status es. Klein and Chen pointed out that culture can influence not only childrens social skills and behaviors but al so a familys child rearing practice as well as communication skills and styles. Kaiser and Ra sminsky also agreed that there are no best universal norms or methods, and thus children natu rally develop the characte ristics that their own culture values. They both shared each racial /cultural groups charac teristics and further suggested culturally responsive teaching strate gies in working with diverse children. On the other hand, some studies reported cont rary findings that ther e were no significant differences found with children of color (M endez et al., 2002; M. Smith, 2001). M. Smith explored the factors contributi ng to African-American childrens peer acceptance, but reported results that are consistent with those from Wh ite-American samples. Mendez et al. examined the differences in African-American childrens social competency as a function of age and gender, and found patterns that are consistent with prio r studies. Although some researchers argue that

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32 the relationship between certain components (i.e., age, gender, emotional competence) and social competence is consistent regardless of the group, there is considerable support in acknowledging the importance of contextual consideration and diffe rent socialization practices for children from different backgrounds (Garcia Coll et al., 1996; Ka iser & Rasminsky, 2003; Kantor et al., 1993; Klein & Chen, 2001). Teachers Role in the Develo pment of Social Competence Early childhood teachers play a significan t role in facilitating young childrens development of social competence, partly by virtue of the fact that teachers are the adults who oversee children in school setti ngs. While other factors such as the family, the community, and the peers have substantial influence on children s social competence as well, classroom teachers are the adults who observe childre n most intimately in social peer group settings, and thus could have multiple opportunities to affect children s development (Kemple, 2004). A number of authors have addressed how teachers can guide and support young childrens development of social competence. Also, a wide variety of stra tegies that teachers should employ to promote young childrens emerging social competencies have been suggested by both practical and research literatures (File, 1993; Fox, Dunla p, Hemmeter, Joseph, & Strain, 2003; Hazen, Black, & Fleming-Johnson, 1984; Katz & McClellan, 19 97; Kemple, 2004; Kostelnik et al., 2006). Generally, in the early childhood years, children do not learn social competencies best through direct instruction. Based on their study with ear ly elementary students classroom behaviors, Madsen, Becker, and Thomas (1968) asserted that when it comes to managing socially disruptive behaviors, whole group instruction is very unlikely to be effective be cause it is not well suited to young childrens way of learning. Instead, it is ge nerally suggested that individualized guidance works better with young children, because a ch ild can be engaged in understanding and absorbing the new concept when he/she is directly involved in a situation. Individual focus and

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33 the warmth of the interaction ar e critical in enhancing children s capacity to hear and respond meaningfully to the teachers guidance (Katz & Mc Clellan, 1997). Katz a nd McClellan further suggested several principles that teachers are encouraged to keep in mind when dealing with childrens social competencies. Some examples are social competence is culturally defined, social difficulties provide opportunities to teac h, optimum teacher intervention promotes social competence, and teachers interactions with children should model social competence. One of the biggest challenges teachers encounter is to decide what appr oach or strategy to use for which children. It is important to tailor and adjust teaching strategies according to the individual childs need and capabi lity. File (1993) has ut ilized the Vygotskian perspective in this realm suggesting that children can develop social competencies when they receive individually appropriate assistance within the zone of proxi mal development (ZPD). A useful schematic for classifying strategies as well as for making decisions about which st rategies to consider first has been proposed by Brown, Odom and Conroy (2001) Based on the intervention hierarchy, they encouraged the interventionist to employ th e least intrusive and most normal type of interventions before moving on to more complex a nd demanding interventions. Shortly after, this was followed by two other models with very simila r conceptualization (Fox et al., 2003; Kemple, 2004). Both models consist of four distinct stag es. The teaching pyramid includes the four levels of practice: building positive relationships; im plementing classroom preventive practices; using social and emotional teaching st rategies; and planning intensive individualized interventions (Fox et al., 2003). The teaching continuum has fo ur categories of interv ention and support along the continuum from the most to the least natura listic: environmental arrangements; naturalistic strategies; planned routin e activities; and higher intensity in terventions (Kemple, 2004). It is commonly suggested that teachers begin with th e most natural strategi es such as building

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34 positive relationships and creating a supportive cla ssroom environment, and then move toward more specific and individualized strate gies and interventions as needed. However, contradictory findings are found in re search literatures. Although only a limited number of empirical studies have directly examined the teachers role in young childrens social competence development, most of them indicat ed that teachers are actually not doing a decent job (File, 1994; Howes & Clemente, 1994; Hundert, Mahoney, & Hopkins, 1993; Kemple, David, & Hysmith, 1997). Hundert et al. found that teachers spent less than 3% of their time interacting with children in integrated preschoo ls. File also observed preschool teachers during free play time and found that teachers spent very little time mediating ch ildrens interactions. She further noted that even when the teachers in tervened, most of the interactions were not individualized in relation to the childrens age or ability: they were mostly directive in nature regardless of childrens developmental needs. Ve ry similar results were reported by Howes and Clemente who found that teachers mediated peer play during only 2% of the observations, even though the children were in proximity to teachers for almost half the of time. More recently, Kemple et al. studied the frequency and nature of teachers intervention be haviors in response to childrens naturally occurring peer interactions. As a result, they too found that teachers became involved in an average of 5 peer interactions during a 30minute free play period, their interventions were of very shor t duration, and teachers seldom followed up on their interactions. In addition, the most commonly observed teachers behaviors were restrictive interventions such as punishments, statements of rules and commands and disruption of interaction (i.e., time out), which the teacher terminated peer interaction. Th ese observational data reveal that teachers do very little in their classrooms to actively mediate and support ch ildrens social relationships and interactions with their peers, a nd in turn, children are left larg ely on their own to manage their

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35 social relationships unless their in teractions create serious classr oom conflicts or threaten other childrens safety. It further appears to be a big concern that children with lower social competence will be repeatedly left out from the peer group while only children with higher social competence will succeed in establishing and maintaining successful social relationships (File, 1993). Nonetheless, supporting and fac ilitating childrens de velopment of social competence is a valid and important teaching responsibility. Te achers can indeed intervene to maximize childrens successful social expe riences (Asher & Renshaw, 1981). Yet, it is through careful and methodical observation of a childs interaction style in social situ ations that teachers can gain insight into which behaviors are contributing to a childs problem or in reverse, development of social competence. Teachers who are knowledgeable in identifying children s social interaction patterns that lead to soci al acceptance or rejectio n or isolation can effectively assist children in using strategies associated with appropriate so cial competence (Hazen et al., 1984). It is also suggested that teachers can play a significant role in supporting social growth and development by improving the program quality and providing appr opriate adult-child ratios (Kemple et al., 1997). It should be emphasized again that t eachers who work with young children can have a profound impact on childrens social development an impact that can contribute to the quality of childrens lives throughout their life span. (Katz & McClellan, 1997, p. 61). Teachers Beliefs Research on Teachers Beliefs According to Clark and Peterson (1986), teac hing involves two major domains: teachers beliefs or thought processes which occur inside teachers head and thus are unobservable; and teachers actions and their effects which are obs ervable and readily meas urable. It has been recently emphasized that beliefs are powerfu l cognitive filters through which meaning is

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36 developed, and thus attention to how beliefs a bout teaching are acquired, maintained, and altered has been one of the fundamental foci in teacher education (Fang, 1996; Nespor, 1987; Richardson, 1996; K. E. Smith, 1997). Generally, the difficulty in studying teachers beliefs has often been caused by definitional problems and poor conceptualization (P ajares, 1992). There are quite a lot of terms found in th e literature that are interchangeab ly used with beliefs such as attitudes, values, opinions, ideology, percep tions, preconceptions, pe rspectives, personal theories, and implicit theories. It is suggested, ho wever, that the major confusion generally exists between beliefs and knowledge. Pajares (1992) explained that the mo st common comparison could be that beliefs are ba sed on evaluation and judgment whereas knowledge is based on objective fact. Beliefs are often contextually bounded as well as derived from personal and cultural experience. Nespor also identified four f eatures that could serve to distinguish beliefs from knowledge: existential presum ption; alternativity; affectiv e and evaluative aspects; and episodic storage. Yet, even after understanding a nd agreeing upon the nature of teachers beliefs, it is still difficult to examine beliefs because they always comes with another construct, such as teachers beliefs about social co mpetence. Additionally, because individuals beliefs are often incompatible and teaching is a blurry field full of contradictions, teachers beliefs are difficult to pinpoint with precision. Because beliefs cannot be directly observed or measured, examining teachers beliefs requires making inferences about teachers underl ying states from what they intend, say, and do (Pajeres, 1992). Richardson (1996) mentioned in terviews and observations as the two most frequently employed methods in current studies on t eachers beliefs. It is also suggested that both questionnaires and interviews ar e good avenues to understand peoples inner-located traits such as beliefs that are not readily observable. Especi ally, given the unique nature of peoples beliefs,

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37 a scaling technique that uses a se ries of questions to get opinions on one or two specific issues is recommended by psychologists and sociologists to improve researchers ability to measure attitudes or beliefs (Salant & Dillman, 1994). In the previous st udies about teachers beliefs, sources of data typically in cluded a variety of both quantita tive and qualitative methods: questionnaires (Cassidy, Buell, Pugh-Hoese, & Russell, 1995; Charlesworth, Hart, Burts, Mosley, & Fleege, 1993; Kagan & K. E. Smith, 1988; Kemple, Hysmith, & David, 1996; McMahon, Richmond, Reeves-Kazelskis, 2001; Pec k, Carlson, & Helmstetter, 1992; K. E. Smith, 1997; Yoo, 2005); interviews (Cassidy & La wrence, 2000; Lieber, Capell, Sandall, Wolfberg, Horn, & Beckman, 1998; Makin & McNaught, 2001; Marchant, 1995; McMahon et al., 2001; Peck et al., 1992; M. K. Smith, & K. E. Smith, 2000; M. L. Smith & Shepard, 1988; Yoo, 2005); observation records (Cassidy & La wrence, 2000; Kagan & K. E. Smith, 1988; Kemple et al. 1996; Lieber et al., 1998; M. L. Smith & Shepard, 1988); and additional program documents (Lieber et al., 1998; M. L. Smith & Shepard, 1988). As shown above, usually more than one method is implemented in many studies in order to validate and/or strengthen the findings. Although there are still two recu rring themes of consistency and inconsistency between teachers beliefs and practices, it has been more supported that teachers beliefs make up an important part of their pract ices such as how teachers perceive, process, and act upon information in the classroom (Clark & Pe terson, 1986; Isenberg, 1990; Munby, 1982; Nespor, 1987; Pajares, 1992; Stern & Shavelson, 1983). In a recent study, Nelson (2000) found out that personal factors such as beliefs and training together with past experience and personality types had a greater effect on teachers practices than environmental factors such as moral support from colleagues and school resources. As a result, Ne lson concluded that if teachers have strong

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38 beliefs, they can overcome obstacles in the envi ronment that make implementing these beliefs difficult (p. 102). Few people would argue that t eachers beliefs affect, inform and guide their practices to some degree, albeit the degree co uld differ by specific issu es or content areas. Therefore, it is important to understand teachers beliefs not only as an element that largely influences teachers practices but also as a foundation in devel oping appropriate pre-service and in-service teacher training pr ograms (Cassidy & Lawrence, 2000; Lin, Gorrell, & Silvern, 2001; Nelson, 2000; Richardson, 1996; M. K. Smith & K. E. Smith, 2000). Teachers Beliefs about Social Competence Only a few studies have reported on teachers beliefs in the area of social competence. Lane, Givner, and Pierson (2004) examined elemen tary teachers views of social competence by having them identify the essential social skil ls for classroom success and compared them by grade levels (primary vs. intermediate) and progra m types (general vs. special education). It was found that cooperation and self control skills were identified as important, while assertion skills were less important at both leve ls. In addition, both general and sp ecial education teachers placed similar value on assertion and self control skil ls, whereas general education teachers viewed cooperation as more essential fo r success than did special edu cation teachers. Variations among teachers beliefs were further reported in th e subsequent study by Lane, Wehby, and Cooley (2006). They explored teachers expectations of student behavior in terms of school levels (elementary vs. middle vs. high), program types (g eneral vs. special educ ation), and school types (high risk vs. low risk). Results indicated that teachers had similar emphasis on self control and cooperation skills despite the sub tle difference regarding which so cial skills are needed for school success. Such findings coll ectively imply that although deta ils of teachers beliefs could differ based upon grade level and program and sc hool types, teachers consistently emphasized social skills that facilitate classroom harmony as well as instruction. A nother study examined the

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39 influence of teachers beliefs on children. Cha ng (2003) examined the influence of teachers beliefs about aggressive and withdrawn behaviors on middle sc hool childrens peer acceptance and self perceived social competence. She f ound that teachers aver sion to aggression and empathy toward withdrawal enhanced the self perception of both aggressive and withdrawn children. My study is especially meaningful b ecause it expands teachers influence on dyadic teacher-child relationship to the relationships among children. It is suggested that teachers beliefs and attitudes can be transcended to the students, and students take cues from teachers beliefs and attitudes in developi ng peer relationships. Yet, since most of the studies focused on elementary or higher grade level students, it is unclear whether the finding would be the same for early childhood teachers beliefs or not. In a study of beliefs about kindergarten teach ers teaching priorities, Knudsen-Lindauer and Harris (1989) found that teach ers ranked childrens social skills third in the order of importance out of 10 developmental domains. Listen ing skills and self confidence were indicated by the teachers as the most important kindergar ten skills. However, even though it is assumed that teachers beliefs are very li kely to affect their teaching in early childhood classrooms, very little is actually stud ied particularly about teachers beliefs about young children social competence. It is occasionally embedded in more general inquiries such as teachers beliefs about developmentally appropriate educational pract ices (Kemple et al., 1996). In fact, most of the teachers beliefs studies in early childhood education have been done in limited areas such as developmentally appropriate practices (Charleswo rth et al., 1993; K. E. Smith, 1997; K. E. Smith & Croom, 2001), inclusion (Lieber et al., 1998; Ma rchant, 1995; Peck et al., 1992; M. K. Smith & K. E. Smith, 2000), and literacy (Makin & McNaught, 2001; McLachlan, Carvalho, Lautor, & Kumar, 2006; McMahon, Richmond, & Reeves-Kazelskis, 1998; Yoo, 1998, 2005).

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40 In regards to social competen ce in early childhood, several st udies had examined mothers or parents beliefs (Hastings & Rubin, 1999; Kennedy, 1992; Kim, 1993; Mills & Rubin, 1990; Mize, Pettit, & Brown, 1995; Rubi n, Mills, & Rose-Krasnor, 1989), but only a few studies have investigated teachers beliefs (B atey, 2002; Kemple et al., 1996). Ke mple et al. studied preschool and kindergarten teachers beliefs about childrens peer compet ence. When teachers were asked to list their goals for young children, it is reported that all of the teachers had at least one goal related to social competence. Teachers also be lieved that child temperament and parents were most influential factors on childrens peer co mpetence. Batey reported similar findings in the study with pre-service early childhood teachers. Sh e investigated pre-serv ice teachers beliefs about the four areas of social competence (i. e ., establishing friendships with peers, resolving conflicts with peers, sharing with peers, and init iating play activities with peers) and their roles in promoting social competence. As a result it was found that preservice early childhood teachers believed that developing social competence is important within all of the four areas, but they believed that teachers had the least influe nce over childrens social skills development over childrens temperament, parents, and peers. It is interesting to note the similarities of the two studies examining in-service and preservice early childhood teachers. Studies about early childhood teachers belief s about social competence are extremely scarce. Very little is known about teachers beliefs about social competence and how they affect teachers practices as well as childrens de velopment of social competence. Goffin (1989) asserted that as the field of early childhood educ ation has traditionally clai med to concern itself with social and emotional comp etence, it is essential that systematic examinations of the relationships among teachers beli efs, knowledge, and practices in the classrooms be undertaken. Moreover, if teachers have inaccurate perceptio ns concerning how a child begins to form

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41 friendships or if they believe cer tain behavior is universally pr oblematic, then such beliefs may have some influence on the ways they respond to their children. These effects will eventually have some impact on the development of childre ns social competence (Rubin et al., 1989). This is, therefore, one of the urgent areas that is und er studied and thus requi res further investigation. Summary White-Americans racial identity development is closely related to the issue of racism, how they abandon racism and redefine a non-ra cist identity. Helms (1984, 1990, 1995) presented the six statuses model to describe how White-Americans generally de velop their identities through each status. In the field of early childhood e ducation where young childrens development of social competence has been traditionally emphasize d, it has been recently suggested with greater emphasis that social competence should be viewed from a broader persp ective through the lens of culture. Rose-Krasnor (1997) presented a pris m model to better understa nd the multi-layers of social competence. Moreover, several cross-nati onal and cross-cultural studies have reported both the universal finding and cu lturally specific findings in child rens development of social skills and teachers socialization values. Such fi ndings have pivotal imp lications in the field because they suggest that significant misunders tandings or problems could occur when little or no cultural consideration is give n to understanding and promoting childrens social competence (Kaiser & Rasminsky, 2003; Klein & Chen, 2001). Although the importance of ones racial identity development originally emerged from the field of counseling and therapy, its implications are no less important in the field of teacher education (Carter & Goodwon, 1994; Lawrence & Tatum, 1997; McAllister & Irvine, 2000). Furthermore, there is little doubt that the urgent goal of teacher education is to train and support teachers to become cross-culturally competent, and this is not an exception for early childhood teachers who are homogeneous White-Americans co mpared to the diversifying backgrounds of

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42 young children. In order to help teachers meet th e current challenges of diversification and cultural conflicts, it is necessary to understand teachers belief s as well as practices. Although it is generally a difficult area to study, teachers beliefs are believed to be a very powerful cognitive domain to study because they are ofte n related with teachers practices (Fang, 1996; Richardson, 1996). The importance of studying teachers beliefs is also supported because it can guide teacher educators to de velop appropriate professional development programs (Cassidy & Lawerence, 2000; Nelson, 2000). Additionally, many st udies suggest that it is inevitable for teachers to bring their identities into their teaching, and thus it is also necessary to guide teachers to reflect on their racial identi ties especially when teaching students from different cultural backgrounds and when teaching culturally vulne rable issues (Irvine, 2003; Tatum, 1997; Villegas & Lucas, 2002; Weinstein, 2002). However, very little attention has been give n to examining early childhood teachers racial identities as well as their be liefs about social competence, not to mention the relationship between them. Given the growing divide be tween the teaching populat ion and the student population, the lack of research in this arena is a potential co ncern for early childhood teacher educators. In order to continue advocating th e importance of young childrens development of social competence and the teachers role in th at development, systematic examination about early childhood teachers beliefs about social competence should be undertaken (Goffin, 1989). In order to support culturally responsive teaching and enhance teachers multicultural competencies, the impact of racial identity on early childhood teachers beliefs and practices should be further investigated as well (Carte r & Goodwin, 1994).

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43 Table. 2-1. Helms White racial identity development model Identity Status Representative Example Contact* I grew up in a very sheltered environment. My neighbors were mainly White and I went to school with all my White friends. Whenever I see the kids, I dont ev en think that way to divide them into different racial groups They are just kids, and they are only five. I teach the same no matter which school Im at. Disintegration Ive heard stories about Afri can-American parents being disrespectful to White teachers, but I havent experienced it. Im confused because I think its definitely this society that gives me more advantages. I dont think that anybody looks at me in a suspicious way when I walk into a store, but I have friends who get stereotyped just by walking into a restaurant. Reintegration* I dont think I had any incident that made me think I was taking advantage of being a Wh ite person in this society. African-American children are l ouder, thats the main thing when youre in a classroom w ith a lot of African-American kids. Ive seen that theyll onl y respond to loud voice because thats all they are used to a lot of times. Pseudoindependence* I was teaching at predominantly African-American school. At the beginning I had a few ch ildren saying My mom doesnt like White people, but eventually I was able to work it out. It was somewhat scary when after the gathering, you walk out the school, it is dark, and you dont see another White face in the parking lot. Immersion/Emersion I probably get a lot more opportunities than other people just being a White person in this so ciety. I didnt do anything to get anything, Im just me. But I th ink theres definitely an unconscious favoritism and its not equal for people from other races. When Im within my comfortable private circle, I can probably say something about inappropriate behaviors or words. But as far as confrontation, I dont like it. So in the public situation, I dont know. Autonomy* I try to bring all of my childrens culture into the classroom. I try to make sure that they are a ll very respectful of differences regardless of their culture or personal differences. I try to make sure that we are very aware about the fact that were all different but we can st ill work together to make a community. I think thats going to be the theme for the whole life because when they live somewhere theyre going to be a part of the community and ever ybody is going to be different. Statuses determined by Social Attitude Scale.

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44 CHAPTER 3 METHODS My study was designed to examine the White -American kindergarten teachers racial identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence. The purpose of this chapter is to provide informati on regarding the participants, inst ruments, and the data collection procedures of my study. Participants The participants of my study included 95 White-American kindergarten teachers from Alachua, Hillsborough, Marion, Putnam, and Semi nole counties in Central Florida. Upon acquiring all appropriate entry perm issions, research packets were distributed via first-class mail to a total of 258 kindergarten teachers in 52 elemen tary schools. The researcher received a total of 119 packets. Out of 119 returned, 15 packets (12.6%) were from teachers who are not WhiteAmericans and 9 packets were incomplete, and th us they were not used for my study. Finally 95 data sets were analyzed for my study. Detail ed information regard ing the participants demographic and educational background will be described in Chapter 4. Instruments Child Vignette and Teachers Beliefs Questionnaire Information on teachers beliefs about the ro le of culture in social competence was obtained by their ratings on a seri es of questions and statements that were developed for my study (see Appendix B). The questio nnaire is composed of two pa rts. In the first part, six vignettes each with a hypothetical kindergarten child were presented followed by a series of questions regarding the childs social competenci es. Six variables were he ld constant across all six vignettes: gender, socioeconomic status, physi cal health, linguistic ab ility, academic ability, and family background. All six children were described as males, from middle class

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45 socioeconomic status, physically healthy, proficient English sp eakers given their age although it might not be their first language, among upper 50% of academic level in th eir class, and living with both parents. Whereas childr ens racial/cultural backgrounds varied across the six vignettes. Basically there were three different characteri stics and each was described in two different children. One White-American child (Eric) was matched up with one African-American child (Jamal); the other White-American child (Chris) was matched up with one Hispanic child (Jose); and another White-American child (David) wa s matched up with one Asian child (Ming). Teachers were asked to evaluate each childs leve l of social competence and describe the reason for their judgments. In the second part, a total of 18 statements regard ing cultural aspects of childrens social competencies were provided in a 5-point Likert-type scale. Teachers were asked to indicate the degree to which they agreed or disagreed with each statement. The two-folded purpose of this instrument is to examine the de gree of teachers awareness about the role of culture in social competence via part two, and to examine whether or not th ey consider cultural difference when evaluating childrens social competence via part one. Social Attitude Scale Information on teachers racial identities was obtained from their self report ratings on the Social Attitude Scale (see Appendix C). The orig inal title of the scale is White Racial Consciousness Development Scale-Revised (WRCDS-R ), but for my study in order to minimize the respondents reaction to the tit le, it was retitled as Social Attitude Scale by the researcher with the permission from the original authors. The original WRCDS wa s initially developed by Claney and Parker (1989), and it was recently re vised to improve the psychometric properties of the scale (2004). WRCDS-R is to measure White i ndividuals racial iden tity development based on Helms theory. WRCDS-R consists of a total of 40 Likert-type items: 8 contact items, 14 reintegration items, 9 pseudoindependence items, and 9 autonomy items. These items provided a

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46 series of scores for each of the four identity stat uses, and the analyses of the scores were used to determine the participants racial identity status. Lee et al. (2007) reported the entire proce ss of revising the scal e and provided the reliability and validity of this WRCDS-R. Reliabi lity coefficients of the subscale of WRCDS-R were .81 for contact, .86 for reintegration, .84 for pseudoindependence, and .71 for autonomy, respectively. Total reliability of the scale wa s not provided because, ac cording to the Helms theory, each identity status represents a distin ct construct and thus it is not an appropriate procedure for this scale. With regard to the va lidity of the WRCDS-R, Le e et al. conducted both exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis to assess the goodness of fit of the items to each subscale and showed satisfactor y construct validity. They also reported the evidence of contrasted group validity by comp aring a counselors group and an undergraduate students group through structural equation modeling. When the s ubscale scores were compared, the counselors group had significantly lower scores than the undergraduat e students group in the lower statuses (contact and rein tegration status) but had signif icantly higher scores in the advanced statuses (pseudoindependence and auto nomy statues), meaning that the counselor groups racial identity statuses are hi gher than the undergraduate students group. Teacher Information Questionnaire Participating teachers were asked to comple te the Teacher Information Questionnaire developed by the researcher for my study (see Appe ndix D). The purpose of th is instrument is to obtain demographic and background information about the participants. Teachers provided information about their educational background and their teaching environment. Agreements regarding future contact were al so obtained through this questi onnaire in order to contact them again later for the follow-up interview.

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47 Follow-up Interview The purpose of this follow-up interview was to obtain qualitative data regarding the characteristics of participants beliefs about culture a nd social competence. After the preliminary data analyses, a sub-sample of the participan ts was asked to have an interview with the researcher. Once all of the participants were cla ssified into four identity statuses based upon their responses to the Social Attitude Sc ale, 4 participants from contact status were randomly selected and invited for the follow-up interviews. The teache rs from contact status were selected because, according to the teacher education literatures, this group is considered to need the most attention and support in becoming culturally responsive teache rs. The interview protocol remained almost the same from the Child Vignette and Teachers Beliefs Questionnaire, but additional probing questions derived from the preliminary analyses of the data were included in order to help the participants better debrief and express their ideas (see Append ix E). A few questions were improvised at the spot to facilitate the conversati on, due to the nature of th e individual interview. Data Collection Procedures Pilot Study A pilot study was conducted to develop the Child Vignette and Teachers Beliefs Questionnaire instrument. The first phase of the pilot study was to examine the content validity of the instrument. The participants at this ph ase were six kindergarten teachers from Alachua County in Florida. Upon getti ng the IRB approval, an elementary school was identified and appropriate entry permission was obtained from th e principal. Then the researcher communicated with kindergarten teachers via mail to obtain th e consents (see Appendix F). Necessary phone calls were made to both give them a reminder and to set up a time and date for the meeting. During the meeting, the researcher met with th e kindergarten teachers to discuss the study and distribute the materials. The participants were asked to read each of th e six vignettes and respond

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48 to the questions. The vignettes were presen ted in random order. Immediately after the participants completed the vi gnette questionnaire, the resear cher conducted a focus group. The purpose of the focus group was to obtain partic ipants feedback on th e Child Vignette and Teachers Beliefs Questionnaire items. For example, the researcher asked whether or not any of the statements were confusing and whether or not enough information was provided in the vignettes. This feedback was used, in conjuncti on with the committee members feedback, to prepare the final draft of the child vignettes and qu estionnaires to be used in the next phases. The participants at this pha se were compensated with a $20 gift card as an appreciation from the researcher. The second phase of the pilot study was to ex amine the reliability of the Child Vignette and Teachers Beliefs Questionnaire instrument The participants were pre-service early childhood teachers who are currently enrolled as collegiate students in the Early Childhood and Elementary Proteach program in the College of E ducation at the University of Florida. After securing IRB approval, the resear cher obtained permission from fi ve course instructors to ask their students to participate. Then the researcher met with the students du ring their class periods in order to discuss the study, obtain written consents (see Appendix G), and distribute the materials. These participants were asked to read each of the six vi gnettes and respond to the questions. The vignettes were presented in random order. Among approximately 130 students who received consent letters and the materials, 114 volunteered to participate. The internal consistency reliability using Cronbachs Alpha for the 18 items of Part 2 was .86 (n=114). According to Gall, Borg, and Gall (1996), internal consistency scores th at yield a reliability coefficient of at least .80 are considered su fficiently reliable for most research purposes. Therefore, analyses supported the use of th is instrument in the main research study.

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49 Study Data for the study were collected from four instruments: (a) Child Vignette and Teachers Beliefs Questionnaire, (b) Social Attitude Scale, (c) Teacher In formation Questionnaire, and (d) Follow-up Interview. Permission to conduct the st udy was received from both the University of Florida Institutional Review Board and the school board of each county prior to data collection. The researcher was available to discuss my stud y with the school board research director in person or via phone or e-mail as necessary, and got the approval from the above 5 counties. Initially, 6 school counties were invited but one c ounty declined to particip ate in this research. Upon obtaining the school board approval, the res earcher was asked to get entry permission from each elementary school principal. A total of 237 elementary school principals were contacted via first class mail, email, phone, and/or fax. At leas t two different avenues of contacts were made, but 139 principals did not respond. Among 98 prin cipals who responded to the invitation, 52 principals allowed the researcher to contact his/her kindergarten teachers while 46 principals did not provide entry permission. Most principals who did not give permission indicated that the teachers were already involved in many other resear ch projects. A few also indicated that this research topic was either not interesting or too sensitive for them. All kindergarten teachers were treated fairly re gardless of their participation as prescribed by the Standards for educational and psychol ogical testing (AER A, APA, & NCME, 1999). Moreover, although my study was focusing only on White-American kindergarten teachers, the research packet was distributed to all the kindergarten teachers in elementary schools where the principal gave permission. Instead, one item on the Teacher Information Questionnaire asked the participants racial background, and after identifying the White-A merican kindergarten teachers, other data were not used for the purpose of my study.

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50 Upon acquiring all appropriate permissions, rese arch packets were distributed via firstclass mail to a total of 258 kindergarten teachers in 52 elementary schools: 2, 20, 10, 11, and 9 in Alachua, Hillsborough, Marion, Putnam, and Seminole counties, respectively. Research packets included individual consents (see Appendix A), 3 re search instruments, and a pre-stamped return envelop. At least one followup contact was made to remind and encourage the teacher to participate in the study. Participa ting teachers were asked to read and respond to the six vignettes and a series of questions about each child. The six vignettes were presented in random order. Also, they were asked to complete a Social Attitude Scale as well as a Teacher Information Questionnaire, and return all the completed materi als via enclosed pre-stamped envelope in order to receive a $20 gift card as an appreciation from the researcher. All the quantitative data were entered in the excel document and exported to SPSS software (version 11.5) for all of the descriptive and inferential statistics such as chi-square, t-test, ANOVA, and MANOVA. In addition, sub-sampled individual interviews were conducted to collect additional interview data from the participants after the preliminary data analyses. Based on the responses from the Social Attitude Scale, the participants were classified into four statuses. 4 participants from contact status were randomly selected for follow-up in terviews, based upon their agreement. Interview participants were asked to meet with the re searcher and conduct an individual debriefing interview about their beliefs a bout culture and social competence. These interviewees were compensated with a $20 gift card as an apprec iation from the research er. Each individual interview was tape recorded and transcribed by the researcher fo r the qualitative data analyses.

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51 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS My study examined White-American kindergarte n teachers racial identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in social comp etence. The purpose of this chapter is to present the findings of my study in relati on to the research questions. Participants Background The participants of my study included a tota l of 95 White-American kindergarten teachers in Central Florida. Figures 4-1 to 4-7 and Tabl e 4-1 provide a summary of the demographic and educational background informati on provided by the participants. The participants were a total of 95 Wh ite-American kindergar ten teachers from Alachua(5), Hillsborough(31), Marion(14), Putnam (20), and Seminole(25) counties in Central Florida. All of the participants were fe male and ranged in age from 23 to 63 (X=40.26, SD=12.21). The majority held a bachelors degree (73.7%) and had elementary teaching certificate with an early childhood endorsement (54.7%). Participants overall teaching experience ranged from 0 to 32 years (X= 12.78, SD=9.65), and their experience teaching kindergarten ranged from 0 to 29 years (X= 8.97, SD=7.72). Based on this 2006-2007 academic year, the participants currently had a range fr om 15 to 24 children (X= 17.86, SD=1.97) in their kindergarten classrooms, and the childrens background were as follows: Caucasian/WhiteAmericans (60.5%), Black/African-Americans ( 13.2%), Hispanic/Latino-Americans (17.7%), Asian/Pacific Islanders (2.3%), and others ( 6.3%). Additionally, most of the teachers self reported their experience of teaching children from different background as frequently or always (80.1%), and self reported their self-efficacy of teaching such children as moderate and high (75.8%).

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52 Teachers Racial Identities The first research question was as follows: What are the racial identities of these WhiteAmerican kindergarten teachers? Is there any diff erence in these teachers (a) educational level, (b) age, (c) teaching experience, (d) self reported experience of teaching children from other backgrounds, and (e) self-efficacy of teaching chil dren from other backgrounds when compared by the racial identity status groups? For research question one, these White-American kindergarten teachers racial identities were examined through their response s to the Social Attitude Scale. Each participant got a series of numeric scores representing the characteristic s of each of the four identity statuses, and the status with the highest score was identified as on es racial identity. The re sults are as shown in Figure 4-8. As seen in Figure 4-8, this group of White-American kindergarten teachers racial identity showed positively skewed distribution am ong four identity statuses. 18.9% of the WhiteAmerican kindergarten teachers had characteristics of the co ntact status. These people are considered to have nave thoughts about racial issues and tend to ignore differences between racial groups. They typically have minimal expe riences with people of color and believe that everyone has an equal chance in this soci ety. Another 22.1% of the participants had characteristics of the reintegration status, in whic h they are considered to realize their Whiteness, feel anger and resentment toward racial minoritie s and see them as inferior to Whites themselves. 24.2% of these teachers were iden tified to be at pseudoindependence status, They usually have increased awareness and understanding of White dominance and privilege as contributing factors in racist attitudes and behaviors, and thus often make deliberate efforts to interact with other racial group members and understand racial differences. However, their consciousness remains at the intellectual domain not yet reaching th e affective domain. Last 34.7% of these WhiteAmerican kindergarten teachers ha d characteristics of autonomy st atus. They are considered to

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53 have established a non-racist White identity in which similarities and differences between racial groups are truly appreciated, and further they are no longer uncomforta ble with the racial diversity in our society. Moreover, additional analyses were conducted in order to examine whether or not any difference exists in these White-American kindergar ten teachers (a) educational level, (b) age, (c) teaching experience, (d) se lf reported experience of teaching children from other backgrounds, and (e) self-efficacy of teaching chil dren from other backgrounds when compared by the racial identity status groups. First, Pearsons chi-square an alysis was conducted in order to examine differences in these teachers educational level and racial identity st atus because both variables are categorical. As a result, there was no statistically significant di fference in these White-American kindergarten teachers educational level when compar ed by their racial identity status ( 2 = 3.608, df = 3, p = .307). Table 4-2 presents the statistical findings. Second, a series of one-way between subj ect analysis of variance (ANOVA) were conducted in order to examine differences in th ese teachers age, teaching experience, self reported experience of teaching children from different back grounds, and self-efficacy of teaching children from different backgrounds comp ared by racial identity status groups. As presented in Table 4-3 to 4, all of the variables such as age, teaching experience, self reported degree of teaching children from different b ackground, and self-efficacy of teaching children from different background were found to have no statistically significan t effect on teachers racial identities. Teachers self reported degr ee of teaching children from different background, however, was approaching statistical significance (F(3,91) =2.182, p = .096) which implies that there could be some different tendency of r acial identity among teachers with different

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54 experience of teaching children from different ba ckgrounds. Post-hoc indepe ndent sample t-tests with a Bonferroni adjustment were conducted to examine the nature of the potential relationship, and it appears that teachers with more expe rience of teaching children from different backgrounds may be in the pseudoind ependence or autonomy statuses. Teachers Beliefs about the Role of Culture in Social Competence The second research question was as fo llows: What are these White-American kindergarten teachers beliefs about the role of cu lture in social competence? To what degree are they aware about the role of culture in social competence? Do they consider cultural differences when evaluating a childs social competencies? For research question two, these White-American kindergarten teachers beliefs about the role of culture in social competence were exam ined through their response s to the Child Vignette and Teachers Beliefs Questionnaire. For questio n 2-a, White-American kindergarten teachers degree of awareness was examined through part tw o. To control for the response set bias, 9 items (items 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 13, 16, and 18) were reverse coded, and then summed up to generate the quantitative composite score. The possible ra nge was from 18 to 90, with higher scores indicating higher level of cultural awareness in so cial competence. Table 4-7 presents the range, mean, and the standard deviation for these teachers degree of awareness about the role of culture in social competence. For question 2-b, in order to find out whethe r or not these White-American kindergarten teachers consider cultural differences when evalua ting a childs social competence, a series of dependent t-tests were conducted. Teachers evaluation level for Ming (Asian) and David (White-American), Jose (Hispanic) and Chris (White-American), and Jamal (African-American) and Eric (White-American) was co mpared to see if there were any differences among teachers responses. The possible evaluation scores range from 1 to 4 with higher scores indicating the

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55 higher level of social competence. Table 4-8 pr esents the descriptive statistics and Table 4-9 presents the dependent t-test results. With the alpha level of .01, the mean differe nce between Jamal and Eric was statistically significant, such that these White-American kinde rgarten teachers evaluated Jamals level of social competence higher than Erics level of social competence, t(94) = 4.808, p < .000. This indicates that even though both Jamal and Eric had similar characteristics of social competencies, the teachers took Jamals African-A merican cultural background into account in their evaluation. In other words, it suggests that teachers were ab le to evaluate social competence differently depending on a childs background, when it was an African-American child. However, the mean differences between Ming and David, and Jose a nd Chris were not statistically significant suggesting that teachers did not take Asian and Hispanic cultur al background into account in their evaluation for Ming and Jose, respectivel y. Furthermore, examples of White-American kindergarten teachers responses regarding the reasons for their evaluation are presented in Tables 4-10 to 4. Relationship between Teachers Racial Identiti es and Beliefs about th e Role of Culture in Social Competence The third research question was as follows: What relationship exists between these WhiteAmerican kindergarten teachers r acial identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence? For research question three, the relationship between thes e White-American kindergarten teachers racial identities and th eir beliefs about the role of cu lture in social competence were examined in two different phases. First, the rela tionship between teachers racial identities and their degree of awareness about the role of culture in social competence was examined through one-way between subject analysis of varian ce (ANOVA). Teachers racial identities were

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56 entered as independent variable and their de gree of awareness were entered as dependent variable. Table 4-16 and Figure 4-9 present the results. As sh own, mean score for teachers awareness appears to be lower at reintegration and ps eudoindependence statuses than contact and autonomy statuses. However, there were no stat istically significant differences in teachers awareness about the role of cu lture in social competence amo ng teachers in different racial identity status groups (F(3, 91) = 1.075, p = .364). Second, the relationship between teachers raci al identities and th eir consideration of cultural differences in child evaluation was exam ined through one-way multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). Teachers racial identities were entered as independent variable and their evaluations about Ming, Jose, and Jamal were en tered as dependent variables for overall cultural consideration. Table 4-17 and Figure 4-10 pres ent the results. As shown, mean score for teachers child evaluation appears to be lower at reintegration and ps eudoindependence statuses than contact and autonomy statuses. However, again there was no significant effect of the teachers racial identity status on the combin ed dependent variable of overall cultural consideration (F(9,216) = 1.161, p = .322; Wilks Lambda = .892). Characteristics of Teachers Beliefs about Culture and Social Competence The fourth research question was as follows: What are the characteristics of the WhiteAmerican kindergarten teach ers beliefs about cultur e and social competence? For research question four, characteristics of these White-American kindergarten teachers beliefs about culture and social competence we re examined through the qualitative individual follow-up interviews. The participants for th e follow-up interview were 4 White-American kindergarten teachers who were characterized to be in the contact status of their racial identity development. These teachers were selected becau se it is suggested from the teacher education literatures that this group is considered to need the most a ttention and support in becoming

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57 culturally responsive teachers. Among 18 teachers in the contact status group, 4 teachers were randomly selected based upon their agreements and availabilities. Following is brief information about the teachers as well as the researcher. As the researcher, I was born in South Korea an d have been in the field of early childhood education for about 15 years. Having both my ba chelors and masters degrees in early childhood education, I am currently pursui ng the doctorate degree, also in early childhood education. I have taught young children for 5 years in both South Korea and the Un ited States. As an individual who has experienced cultural differences regardi ng social competence both in my early years and as an adult, I came to believe in the importa nce of understanding and appreciating cultural aspects of social competence. I also believe that teachers should understand culturally influenced variations of childrens social competence in order to demonstrate developmentally and culturally appropria te practices. Ms. Amy (23 years old) just graduated from college with her maste rs in education, and this is the very first year of her teaching caree r. She is currently teaching 20 children from at least 6 different backgrounds at a suburban area school. Ms. Bona (35 years old) has 10 years of teachi ng experience. She has taught in a primarily African-American school for 5 years before coming to the current school where the majority of the students are White. The school is locat ed in a very shel tered rural area. Ms. Clara (54 years old), who is originally from the Midwest region of the country, has been teaching for 25 years in 3 different stat es. Although she has been teaching for many years, she has little experience of teachi ng children from diverse backgrounds. Ms. Danielle (42 years old) worked as a nurse assistant for several years before she decided to go to college to study ea rly childhood education. This is her 7th year of teaching. Her

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58 first school was a small neighborhood Title 1 school where most of the population was Hispanic. The next school was kind of a mix, and now sh es teaching at the upper-middle class area school where most of the children are from affluent White families. For the data analyses, all the follow-up interv iews were tape recorded and transcribed by the researcher. Initially each interview was analyzed separately to capture the main ideas of each teacher. The important and/or interesting phras es were highlighted, underlined, circled, and labeled with preliminary codes. Some of the in itial codes at this stage were as follows: high verbal, low shy, medium Hispanic experience, accommodation, and neutral teaching. Then the four interviews were reanalyzed simultaneou sly once again. As the interview was led by the series of questions from the researcher, responses from four different teachers were edited under the same question and were cross checked to find any commonalities as well as differences among them. Again similar ideas were highlighted with same colors while different ideas were highlighted with different colors, and the overarc hing themes were labeled. Most of the themes were corresponding with the topics of the questi ons asked, and the following are some examples that emerged at this point: pe rsonal beliefs, degree of awarene ss, child evaluation, cultural knowledge, personal experience of diversity, professional experien ce of diversity, and beliefs about multicultural education. At this stage, in or der to pursue the thrust-worthiness of the data analyses, the researcher shared the transcript s and the potential themes with another early childhood professional who is also a doctoral can didate in early childhood education and has expertise in qualitative research methods. Ther e were few disagreements regarding the major themes. As a result, informative findings draw n from the teachers follow-up interviews are described as the following insights.

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59 Teachers personal beliefs about social co mpetence represented low-context cultural beliefs: It was found from all of the t eachers that their personal be liefs about social competence reflect the typical beliefs of so-called low-c ontext Western culture, which indeed is these teachers cultural background. Ve rbal expression was valued mo re than nonverbal expression, independence was highly emphasized, and socially withdrawn or shy behaviors made a negative impression by all the teachers. Following ar e a few examples of their narratives. Ms. Clara: I think both verbal and non-ve rbal expressions are important in social competence, but probably verbal is more important for me. I certainly think it is an asset in their development that they can feel free to express themselves I would rather want to see a child whos overly talkative than the othe r extreme whos introverted and not very verbal. And when I seen them more verbaliz ing, to me thats an indicator of growth. Ms. Bona: I think independence is the key factor in social competence. Especially when you have a child whos a follower and he ends up following the wrong crowd, I would rather want a child who is very independent, who can value his own thoughts or ideas, and who can stand up in front of other people who dont agree with them. I think its a very good thing to be independent even in very early ages, because it raises their self confidence too.I think socially withdrawn or shy behaviors hinder their peer relationships. Ive had kids who are really shy, dont get involved, and tend to be left behind in many activities. I hate to see kids too shy. Whenever I see thei r hands go up, I always tr y to give the shyest child a chance to talk because its ve ry important for them to learn that. Teachers had varying degree of awareness about the role of culture in social competence: Even though most of the teachers pe rsonal beliefs about social competence reflected the values of White-American cultura l background, their awarene ss about the role of culture in social competence had a wide range. Some of them seemed to understood and accept the idea of cultural differences in social co mpetence, whereas the others expressed only superficial understandings. The fi rst two excerpts are from the form er group of teachers and the next two excerpts are from the latter group of teachers. Ms. Amy: I dont think a child who is perceived to be socially competent in one cultural group will be the same in any other cultural group. Some culture may value a child who does speak their mind but some may not. So thats going to vary as what role a child plays inside the family or with the adults.

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60 Ms. Bona: I definitely think its true that so cialization goals and values can be different by different cultures and families. In fact, from my years of teaching, Ive seen a lot of family differences depending on schools Ive worked at. The school I worked before was 90% Black, and this school here is 90% White, and theres a huge difference in what I see and hear from parents. Ms. Clara: Im not sure about the different soci alization goals and values from families from different background. It may be true, but I dont think Ive had any experience with my parents. Maybe I was very fortunate because ev ery family Ive worked with was very easy to deal with. Again, Im not sure that some behaviors are interpreted differently by people from different cultural groups. I know what you re talking about, but nothing really stands out in my mind. This community is pretty na rrow in terms of diversity, so to speak. Ms. Danielle: I think that a child who is considered to be socially competent in one cultural group will be the same in any other group. I th ink it might vary a little bit depending upon the situation if its something brand new to th em or if they are going into the bran new group, but other than that I thi nk its pretty much even and overall no matter what culture. Once they have achieved a certain level of so cial competence, it can be easily adaptable into any other situation. In the meantime, some teachers expressed the view that children of color need to learn the culture of school and the larger society in orde r to succeed. For instance, one teacher reflected that she learned about cultural diversity through prof essional teacher trainings and is able to take that into account, but most of the lay persons may not go through those trainings. And thus, she worried that if we dont help children coming fr om different backgrounds to assimilate into the majority culture, it will be thos e children who eventually could get into trouble. Another teacher also mentioned about the role of school and teacher in encouraging the process of mutual accommodation. Their narratives are as follows. Ms. Bona: I think different cult ures do have differe nt socialization goals and values, and thats fine. But when they grow up theyll have to learn that differe nt cultures may have different values and not to take it offensively. In a lot of trainings Ive been taught about culturally differences and sensitiv ities, for example most Hispanic or Asian kids when they get in trouble they dont look in your eyes. So I try to keep th at in the back of my minds when I teach my children of color. But I do worry about that child because when they get older and they meet someone who havent had su ch training, they might take it that youre being disrespectful, and then its our children who get in trouble. Ms. Amy: I try to bring other peoples cult ure in my classroom. But they do need to assimilate in some ways to th e school culture: this is what we do and these are the rules,

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61 you can do whatever at home but this is school. I try to make sure that we are all very aware and respectful about the fact that were all different but yet we can work together to make a community. Actually, I think when peopl e move into an area from another culture, they might want to try assimilate into the new culture when they still want to maintain their own language, traditions, and stuffs. And for their child, I think th eyll want them to maintain their cultural beliefs but also to comp romise to fit into the society. I think thats part of our job as a teacher to make that ba lance because thats going to be the theme for their whole life. Teachers cultural knowledge and evalua tions about children varied widely from group to group: First, with regards to Asian cultur e, with the exception of Ms. Amy, the teachers didnt have any real experience with As ian children in their classroom, and thus most of their cultural knowledge was based on storie s they heard or multicultural sessions they attended. For instance, they believed that Asia n children tended to be smart, they dont make eye-contact, and their parents are usually well in volved in school activi ties. Moreover, all of them, except for Ms. Amy, evaluated Ming and David at the lower level of social competence. It was also found that Mings Asian cultural b ackground didnt really affect their judgments. Ms. Bona: When his ideas dont get accepted he easily backs down, and that would worry me for his poor skills. Every time hes conf ronted hell back down and become quiet, and if hell hover around you thats probably going to mean that he still wants to be accepted by the group, which I believe is not right, its scary. I would worry about him falling under peer pressure as he gets older. He might b ecome a teenager who smokes because all of his other friends are smoking. If I knew the cu ltural background of Ming, it might have made some difference as far as I understand cer tain behaviors such as why he doesnt want to make eye contact or why he chooses to back down because I know some of these behaviors are cultural traits. So it would be helpful to know where they are coming from in that regards, but it wouldnt make a difference in terms of how I would want to move them up and make them more accepted. Ms. Clara: I guess some culture thing could be involved here. But maybe I might want to say to Ming Look at me when Im speaking. Look at my face and lets talk about this. Because the little ones are so easily distracted and youve got to have that eye contact or you might just go sailing over their head. I proba bly would try to work on that to have him make eye contact with me when I have to communicate with him. Second, with regards to Hispanic culture, a ll of the teachers mentioned that they had experiences with Hispanic children and thus have more cultural know ledge about Hispanic

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62 culture. However, their evaluations regarding Jose and Chris show ed some different viewpoints, as can be seen in the following excerpts. Ms. Clara: Jose is a people pleaser. I think wi th these types of children who are so dependent on pleasing his parents, it woul d probably be a good thing to stress to him its a good thing to make decisions that will make him feel good. I once had to tell my Hispanic child Tell your parents that youre feeling mad at those times. He will need to build up some more self confidence and think about his own good not for the others. Ms. Amy: I think the thing that most sticks ou t to me between Jose and Chris is the thing about parents, what parents want. I think a lot of times in Caucasian backgrounds, we dont always follow up with what our parents want us to do, but in the Hispanic background, it is possible that the parents may wish a little more. Ms. Danielle: I dont want to put Jose in a lower end just because hes no t a leader. Not all kids are going to be leaders and thats part of our life as well. He can be still contribute good ideas and get along very well. He knows whats expected for him by the others, so guided in the right way I think he can grow up to make his own decision such as I know my parents what me to become a doctor, but I want to become a because to me it looks like he can see the difference between what others want for him and what he wants for himself. The first thing I would like to do with Jose is to do writing. When you write a journal I ask them a lot about things what they think, what they want to be when they grow up and why. In that way when they are writing something, they can get more emotions and expressions out. So instead of asking verbally it mi ght be better to ask them through writing. Third, with regards to African-American culture, all of the teachers said they had worked with African-American children and families a nd seemed to have no difficulty understanding their cultural background. Although they generall y rated Jamals level higher than Eric, they didnt explicitly mention Jamals African-Ameri can background as the main reason for their judgments. Instead, they tried to explain more about how much they tried to accept AfricanAmerican culture and use their knowledge to gu ide their teaching practi ces. Following are a few examples. Ms. Amy: Ive seen that African-American ki ds are louder. Ive seen that theyll only respond to the loud voice at first because thats all they are used to a lot of times. But as long as you are very consistent with it, and probably I have to say that 500 times, in the end they kind of tune out any kind of yelli ng and loud voices. Also I found that with a lot of my African-American students, the best wa y to win them over is by using a softer but firm voice, and setting my expectations high and not accepting anything less. I usually think I may have to start with what they are used to, but move to one more.

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63 Ms. Bona: Jamal is a natural born leader. Kids like this especially those with a leader quality, other kids just love him. And I like to see ki ds become a leader but I do think its important to think about a good leader vs. bad leader. I guess as a teacher you just need to be a mediator when he does get angry so that th e other children dont go along with what he wants to do. Well, I think hes one of those ki ds if you can get him to do right things for the right reason in the right way, hell be a wonderful role model for the class and makes things much easier for the teacher. Also, thats ve ry astute for a child in that age to be so tuned in non-verbal cues from other children. Thats pretty observant. Teachers had more professional experien ce than personal experience regarding diversity: Teachers experience regarding diversity ha s been investigated in two streams, one from a personal level and the other from a professi onal level. From a personal perspective, these teachers overall experience of diversity wa s very limited. All of them grew up in a homogeneous White environment and were not e xposed to different culture until older when they went to college or started working. Although th ey tend to say they are fairly comfortable in multicultural or multiracial relationships, their la ck of experience was frequently revealed in their narratives. The following is a typical example. Ms. Danielle: In terms of cultural diversity, I was very sheltered. I grew up in a very White Anglo-Saxon community. I lived mainly around Wh ite neighbors, and I went to school with just a few percentages of people from di fferent cultural groups. But of course when youre in middle school and high school, you tend to move toward your own cultural group. And outside the school I wa s in sports teams where typi cally White students were in my team. Actually I think it was when I was in high school that I was in a mixed culture for the first time, and I guess it was kind of a cultural shock for me. But after high school, it just became a natural common thing of our society, and now I wouldnt say that Im uncomfortable in a situation with people from other cultures. However, even now, I have to admit that Im mostly around people fr om my culture. Its ju st probably not the thing I spent most of my tim e in. I mean, besides school Im more around my culture than others and my other social circ le is predominantly White. But still I feel comfortable with it. From a professional perspective as a teacher, these teachers teaching experience regarding diversity was somewhat different from their personal experience. Even though the degree of diversity varies, they all had and/or currently have ch ildren from different backgrounds. Moreover, they all mentioned that teaching e xperience had influenced their beliefs about

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64 multicultural education the most than personal experience or college learning experience. In fact, it was found that most of them didnt have rela tionships with people fr om different backgrounds before they started teaching. These finding are described in the following excerpts. Ms. Clara: Throughout all of my teaching experi ence across different states, I wouldnt say that Ive encountered divers e children very much. I guess I had a kind of protective teaching environment in that sense. Especia lly this is a very much community based school, and we dont have a real diversified culture thing here. However, still, I just think teaching experience had helped me the most in my teaching because Ive probably encountered more different cu ltures of children and family under the teaching umbrella. Ive taken classes about multicultural teaching and weve had quite a few trainings along those line. And if I were in a different envir onment and if I had to deal with children from more different cultures than wh at I have now, I would definitely make more efforts to learn about different cultures where the children come. Ms. Amy: I would say I have a good amount of experience teaching children from different backgrounds than myself, including all my pr acticum and internship experience. I know theres definitely a lot more I can learn, but I would say for the most part I had a lot of positive experience, which is good. And I think this is going to help me when I have more families who arent as responsive in the futu re. I definitely think teaching experience had helped me the most. Spending more time in real classrooms and having as much hands-on experience with different students and parents as possible was extremely helpful. Teachers beliefs about multicultural e ducation revealed color-blind teaching: When prompted about their beliefs as well as their pr actices of multicultural education, some teachers narratives revealed ethnocentris m or color-blindness philosop hy. As seen in the following narratives, these teachers referred to childrens age level or curriculum as a shield to justify their attempts of color-blind teaching. Ms. Bona: In terms of multicultural teaching, Im not sure. Besides that Black history month, and I guess its because its Febr uary and my mind is filled up with that, but I still teach the same here (primarily White school) as I taught in the other school (primarily AfricanAmerican school). Whenever I see the kids I dont thi nk I really want to divide them into different racial groups. I mean, they are just kids, and they are only five, they are babies. Ms. Clara: I thought I was pretty knowledgeable but after talking to you, maybe I dont know as much as I should. I try to be objective in my teaching. I mean, I try to be very objective by just presenting th e facts and the basic knowledge about things which you have to teach theses little ones. Especially, when youre teaching kindergarten you know you cant really go in depth about anything. I dont want my chil dren to go back home and say

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65 Thats not right mom and dad because Ms. Clara said so and so. So I really try not to influence them with my pe rsonal thoughts about anything. Ms. Danielle: In terms of my current student ra tio, I dont even think that way to group my kids like that. Well, this year what Im newly trying to learn in terms of di fferent culture is the Arabic. I have a boy who speaks Arabic a nd hes actually having a difficult time socializing with other children. And what Ive learned is that in the Arabic culture, boys are babied. I think thats their culture, and due to that hes having a difficult time because theres no independence or re sponsibility at home and you ne ed those in school. I think there are things that I may not directly teach, but just comes out and influences the classroom community. Maybe in more older gr ades you might have to think more about those issues, but in the kindergarten I don t think theres that much. Everything is wonderful when youre five. And regardless of what grades, in the education everything is theory based and research based. Yes, I do have my own beliefs but I think my teaching more fits into what I learned as far as whats appropriate for the child or not. As describe in above insights, the character istics of these White-American kindergarten teachers were found such that they personally had low-context cultural beliefs about social competence, however, they were aw are about the role of culture in social competence to some varying degree. Their cultural knowledge and evalua tions about children also revealed to have wide range of difference from one group to anot her. In addition, teachers had limited personal experience than professional teach ing experience regarding divers ity, and claimed to be colorblind when teaching young children.

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66 Alachua 5.3% Hillsbor ough 32.6% Marion 14.7% Putnam 21.1% Seminole 26.3% Alachua Hillsbor ough Marion Putnam Seminole Figure 4-1. School dist ricts of teachers. Alachua 5.3% Hillsbor ough 32.6% Marion 14.7% Putnam 21.1% Seminole 26.3% Alachua Hillsbor ough Marion Putnam Seminole Figure 4-2. Teachers age.

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67 Bachelors 73.7% Masters 24.2% Doctoral 2.2% Bachelors Masters Doctoral Figure 4-3. Most advanced educational degree of teachers. Elementary 32.6% Elementary with Early Childhood 54.7% Age 3 to Third grade 18.9% ESOL 22.1% Others 9.4% Elementary Elementary with Early Childhood Age 3 to Third grade ESOL Others Figure 4-4. Types of teachi ng certificate of teachers. Total percentage exceeds 100% as some teach ers had more than one teaching certificate.

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68 Table 4-1. Teaching experience and number of children. Participants (n=95) Mean Standard Deviation Years of teaching experience X = 12.78 SD = 9.65 Years of kindergarten teaching experience X = 8.97 SD = 7.72 Number of children in current class X = 17.86 SD = 1.97 White 60.5% Black 13.2% Hispanic 17.7% Asian 2.3% Others 6.3% White Black Hispanic Asian Others Figure 4-5. Current childrens background.

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69 0.0% 2.1% 16.8% 49.5% 31.6% 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% 30.0% 35.0% 40.0% 45.0% 50.0% NeverRarelyOccasionallyFrequentlyAlways Figure 4-6. Experience of teaching children from different background. 0.0% 0.0% 32.6% 43.2% 24.2% 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% 30.0% 35.0% 40.0% 45.0% Very LowLowModerateHighVery High Figure 4-7. Self-efficacy of teachin g children from different background.

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70 18.9% 22.1% 24.2% 34.7% 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% 30.0% 35.0% ContactReintegrationPseudoIndependence Autonomy Figure 4-8. Racial identity status. Table 4-2. Chi-square test for educational degree. Value Df Asymp. Sig. (2-sided) Pearson Chi-Square 3.608* 3 .307 1 cell has expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 4.74. Table 4-3. Summary of ANOVA for age. SS Df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups 501.625 3 167.208 1.126 .343 Within Groups 13518.796 91 148.558 Total 14020.421 94 Table 4-4. Summary of ANO VA for teaching experience. SS df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups 562.531 3 187.510 2.082 .108 Within Groups 8193.827 91 90.042 Total 8756.358 94

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71 Table 4-5. Summary of ANOVA for self reported experience of teaching children from different backgrounds. SS df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups 3.553 3 1.184 2.182 .096 Within Groups 49.394 91 .543 Total 52.947 94 Table 4-6. Summary of ANO VA for self-efficacy of teach ing children from different backgrounds. SS df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups 1.705 3 .568 1.002 .396 Within Groups 51.621 91 .567 Total 53.326 94 Table 4-7. Descriptive statistics about degree of awareness. Min Max Mean Std. Deviation 37 85 67.54 7.742 Table 4-8. Descriptive statis tics about child evaluation. Ming David Jose Chris Jamal Eric Mean 2.49 2.57 2.68 2.60 2.65 2.34 Std. Dev. .563 .558 .623 .554 .541 .497 Table 4-9. Summary of dependent T-tests for child evaluation. Pair Mean Std. Dev. t df Sig. (2-tailed) Ming-David -.07 .733 -.980 94 .330 Jose-Chris .08 .613 1.339 94 .184 Jamal-Eric .32 .640 4.808 94 .000 p < .01

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72 Table 4-10. Reasons for evaluating Ming. Very Low or Low He needs to stand up for himself and learn to express his needs. His upbringing must have led him to believe that eye contact and questioning adults is disrespectful. He is unable to make his own d ecision and follows others lead. High or Very High He displays compliance which could be the social competence in his cultural group. He tries to blend in with the group. He fits into his class just fine. He must have been raised and taught to exhibit respect, maybe just in a slightly different way than most students. Table 4-11. Reasons for evaluating David. Very Low or Low He cant handle confrontation and has difficulty handling criticism. He easily withdraws his ideas a nd is too concerned about what others think. He becomes an observer and follower. He is too shy. High or Very High Even though he backs down, this is only to avoid argument. He doesnt want to ruffle anyone. He enjoys being a part of a gr oup, and can adapt his behaviors. Table 4-12. Reasons for evaluating Jose. Very Low or Low He is a people pleaser. He has low self esteem. He needs help with independent th inking. He needs to learn to think for himself. He doesnt have leadership. He prefers to watch others handle situations. High or Very High He works well in a group. Maybe he values others input. He lives up to the high expectati ons set for him from his parents. He maybe more comfortable following others, which is fine. Not everyone needs to be leader. Table 4-13. Reasons for evaluating Chris. Very Low or Low He is too shy and doesn t like leader role. He depends too much on adults a nd has low self esteem. Maybe he wants attention. He is extremely concerned about pleasing his parents. High or Very High He is well liked by his frie nds and works well in a group. He enjoys helping and interacting with the teacher. He wants to satisfy his parents, wh ich is very normal. Most children this age tend to value their parents opinions.

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73 Table 4-14. Reasons for evaluating Jamal. Very Low or Low He cant communicate how he feels. He cant explain when he gets into trouble. He is too egocentric and cant take others view. He wants to make all the decisions He wants his decision to be the final answer. High or Very High He has developed leadership ski lls at such a young age. Leaders occasionally have disagreements with others. He is very inquisitive. Asking lots of questions indicate his interest in others perspectives. He is very observant. He notic es and interprets social cues. Table 4-15. Reasons for evaluating Eric. Very Low or Low He needs to listen to others, lear n how to compromise, and develop cooperative play skills. He cannot verbalize his frustration. He is too sensitive about others watching him. High or Very High He is very confident and enjoys taking a leader role. He is good with nonverbal comm unication. He notices other childrens nonverbal cues. He seems friendly and well liked.

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74 Table 4-16. Summary of ANOVA for degree of awareness. SS df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups 192.896 3 64.299 1.075 .364 Within Groups 5440.725 91 59.788 Total 5633.621 94 69.28 67.9 65.17 68 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 ContactReintegrationPseudoIndependence Autonomy Racial IdentityAwareness Figure 4-9. Mean Plots for ANOV A for degree of awareness.

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75 Table 4-17. Summary of M ANOVA for child evaluation. Effect Value F Hypothesis df Error df Sig. Status Wilks Lambda .892 1.161 9 216 .322 2.5 2.432.43 2.58 2.61 2.52 2.57 2.91 2.56 2.48 2.65 2.82 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 3 ContactReintgrationPseudoindependence Autonomy Racial IdentityChild Evaluatio n Ming Jose Jamal Figure 4-10. Mean Plots for MANOVA for child evaluation.

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76 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the findings about White-American kindergarten teachers racial identities, their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence, and the relationships between them. The limitations of my study will also be discussed followed by the implications for practice as well as the implications for future research. Teachers Racial Identities, Be liefs, and the Relationships Teachers Racial Identities The nature of the positively skewed distri bution among the particip ants found in my study raises a few questions. The first di scussion is about this phenomenon that more than half of these White-American kindergarten teachers ( 58.9%) showed the ch aracteristics of psuedoindependence and autonomy statuses, and esp ecially the largest nu mber of individuals were identified as autonomy status. There are se veral potential explanatio ns for this finding. On the one hand, the sample may not be representa tive of White-American teachers of our society due to the following reasons. First, there could have been a samp ling bias which contributed to the positive skewness. The teachers in this samp le maybe exposed and/or forced to consider diversity more frequently than others. In addition, these teachers volunteered to participate in my study which implies that there could be some sy stematic differences between participants and non-participants. Perhaps those w ho agreed to participate had more positive thoughts about the issues of race, and thus have developed thei r racial identities more than average WhiteAmericans. Second, it is well know n that self reported measur es are vulnerable to social desirability attitudes by respondent s (Cone & Foster, 1993). Since th e issue of race and culture is yet a very sensitive and emotionally charged topic for so many people in our society, it could be especially true with this kind of study. Some people would show ve ry strong resistance to such

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77 topic, whereas others would show strong demand ch aracteristics. Therefore, it is feasible that these teachers could have endorsed items that suppor t the desirable social characteristics because they did not want to appear prejudiced. On the other hand, this finding could be valid due to the recent focus on multicultural teacher educati on in early childhood. A growing number of researchers are emphasizing the need and importan ce of multicultural teacher education and have been providing various professional development workshops. As a result, multicultural education could have been transferred into many pre-service or in-service teacher education programs. It is, therefore, possible to assume that such traini ngs are helping White-American teachers to reflect on themselves and eventually to develop through their White raci al identity development more readily. Furthermore, it could also be a result of combined effect of social desirability bias and multicultural teacher education such that as teach ers are more exposed to multicultural education programs, they feel more pressure to become mul ticulturally competent which in turn led them to endorse socially desirable attitudes. Another discussion could be made about White racial identity development theory and the measuring instrument. Both theories of White racial identity development (Helms, 1995) and White racial consciousness (Rowe et al., 1994) conc ur that ones identity does not necessarily develop as a hierarchical or linear stages. Both theories also ma ke the similar point that ones racial identity could be flexible and situationa lly dependent (Leach et al. 2002). The data from my study may align with those theoretical framew orks because there were a few teachers who had similar characteristics of more than one stat us, and sometimes those two statuses were not in the order of Helms theory. It may be true, th en, that not all people move fluidly through a progression of statuses. Along th is line, further questions re garding the construct of the instrument could be raised. Although Lee et al. (2 007) had provided evidence of reliability and

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78 validity of the Social Attitude Scale (originall y White Racial Consciousness Development ScaleRevised), this instrument may have failed to di stinguish the subtle diffe rences within a single status. Also, it could be deemed unclear whether this instrument is measuring the respondents accurate racial identity status or the respondents self perception of their racial identity status. Teachers Beliefs Based upon the descriptive statis tics about teachers beliefs a bout the role of culture in social competence, these White-American kinde rgarten teachers degree of awareness was higher than the medium level whereas their cons ideration was at the medium level. In other words, it appears that these White-American ki ndergarten teachers have a higher degree of awareness than perceived actual consideration with children fr om other backgrounds (i.e., Ming, Jose, and Jamal). This means that although the t eachers claim to know about the role of culture in social competence, they do not draw on th at awareness when making a judgment about the children. This is an interesting phenomenon in ma ny ways. First, it could be a typical reflection of ones self evaluation system that individuals te nd to be more generous in reporting what they know. Thus, there could be some questions regard ing these teachers degr ee of awareness such as how much they actually know versus how much they claim to know; do they know what they know or do they know what they dont know. Second, on the contrary, it coul d represent the true natural sequence of ones acquisition of multic ultural competence (Sue & Sue, 2003). The three steps often suggested by researchers in order to become multiculturally co mpetent are awareness, knowledge, and skills. The findings indicate that these White-American kindergarten teachers probably have acquired the multicultural awaren ess, but not yet acquired the multicultural knowledge particularly about chil drens social competence. Another interesting finding from my study is that teachers we re more knowledgeable about the impact of African-American culture on children s social competence than about the impact of

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79 the other cultures. According to the dependent t-test results, these White-American kindergarten teachers took into account only the African-Ameri can cultural background in their evaluation of childrens social competence, but not the Asian or Hispanic cultural background. This could be easily understandable given the historical issues of our education. Since that African-Americans have been the largest minority popu lation in this country but yet of ten marginalized, majority of the discussions about educational diversity, equi ty, and achievement gaps have been focusing on African-American students (Irvine, 2003; Tatum, 1997). In fact, it s often been a concern for some educators because of the disproportionate representation of African-American children in the child welfare system (Dennett e, Mark, & Poertner, 2005). Teacher s, therefore, are exposed to and possibly trained to become more cultura lly sensitive and knowledgeable about AfricanAmerican children compared to any other minor ity groups. This was a consistent theme found from personal interview narratives as well. Teach ers may not have explicitly mentioned knowing about African-American culture, but they did mention a lot ab out how they are doing well in accepting African-American childs (i.e., Jamal) ch aracteristics and even utilizing them as strengths. It is, however, very important to remember that Hisp anics and Asians are the fastest growing minority population in th is country. Although this could vary depending on the regional location, teachers should expect and be ready to teach more children from Hispanic or Asian cultural backgrounds. In fact, thes e particular participants were working with more Hispanic (17.7%) than African-American (13.2%) children at the time of the study. Therefore, teacher educators should make teacher preparation progr ams truly multicultural rather than focusing on one or a few minority groups. Relationships between Teachers Racial Identities and Beliefs The data revealed a distinct though not signi ficant relationship betw een these teachers racial identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence. This finding

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80 replicates that of two prior st udies done about White individual s racial iden tities (Claney & Parker, 1989; Block, Roberson, & Neuger, 1995). Cl aney and Parker (1989) found correlations between White college students racial identity statues and their perceive d comfort with AfricanAmerican individuals. The relationship was such th at White people who have had very little or no contact with African-American people are as comfortable in situations with AfricanAmerican as are the individuals who have developed a mature leve l of racial identity, whereas Whites who have had some contact but not to the same extent as those in the later status feel less comfortable. These findings led the researcher s to discuss the importance of White peoples gaining more than minimal experience and kno wledge regarding African-American people, because insufficient knowledge and experience a ppear to be correlated with a high level of prejudice. Similarly, Block et al. (1995) studied White masters level students and found that both contact and autonomy statuses have a positive relationship with their reactions to interracial relationships at work. Again, contrary to their assumptions, contact status showed a positive association toward interracial re lationship, and they concluded it reflects the navete of White individuals at the contact status. In my study, teachers whose racial identity is characterized as contact status showed the highest level of cultural awaren ess while those at pseudoindepende nce status showed the lowest level of cultural awareness. Just like the prior studies, it could be explained through Helms identity development theory that people in the c ontact status are often to o nave and do not take race or culture seriously, whereas people in the pseudoindependence status tend to have cocooned beliefs such as I already know about racial differences, and I do not need more information, even though they are still limite d in their understanding (Helms, 1995). The fact that teachers in the autonomy status regained the level of cultural awareness also supports

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81 Helms theory that when people are fully willing to redefine their Whiteness, they can confront their prejudices and can truly value th e diverse reality of our society. Additionally, teachers cultural considerat ion about Ming, Jose, and Jamal showed a similar pattern. Teachers in the reintegration status gave lower evaluation scores than those in the contact status. This finding could be explai ned through Helms theory as well because reintegration status is often ch aracterized as a regression period when people return to the basic belief of White superiority and mi nority inferiority (Helms, 1995). It is not surprising to see that teachers in the autonomy status gave the highest scores as this is when people become knowledgeable and appreciative about racial and cultural differences. Moreover, among those three children, teachers consistently evaluated Mi ngs social competence level the lowest. This could be due to their lack of cultural understanding about Asian culture and minimal experience of teaching Asian-American children, as furthe r supported from their individual interview data. The insights found from the qua litative interviews also s upport the main themes. Based upon the personal narratives from teachers who are in the contact status, is sues of ethnocentrism and color-blindness emerged. Most of them had ve ry limited experience with different cultures, had nave beliefs about racial di fferences, and claimed they were color-blind. They often referred to kindergarten childrens young age as an excuse for their color-blind teaching, and a few also mentioned the curriculum or developmentally appropriate practices as their justification. However, it is widely supported from the teacher education literature that teachers personal beliefs and identities are embedded and revealed in their everyday teach ing (Brantlinger, 2003; Irvine, 2003; Tatum, 1997). In fact, one of the te achers admitted this by saying, I think there are some things about me that just fall into the clas sroom without my realizing it, like I act that way and I do things that way. Since it would be almo st impossible to complete ly separate teachers

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82 personal beliefs and professional beliefs, teachers color-blind beliefs should be a concern no matter what age level they are teaching. Nonetheless, the findings from my study reveal that there was no statistically significant relationship between White-American kindergarten t eachers racial identities and their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence. Th is opens a door for another discussion. Rowe et al. (1994) had discussed the tran sition points between different attitudes where people are not fully committed to one type but go back and fo rth with their thoughts of race. The individual interviews with the teachers who are in the cont act status did reveal th at the teachers beliefs about different cultures were fluctuating. In fact, Helms menti oned that ones racial identity is situationlly influenced. Rowe et al. also discussed that people react differen tly to race or racial issues according to not only their own behavior s, cognitions, emotions, and attitudes but also others behaviors, cognitions, emotions, and attitude s. Thus, when a persons reaction is a result of a combination of factors, and especially when teachers were asked to think about young children, teachers personal racial disposition and identity may not be consistently reflected in their classroom interactions with young children. Moreover, ones identity is composed of not only racial identity but also gender identity and/or socio-economic identity. Given that the current theories of racial identity developmen t do not explain the inters ection of all the above identities, it would be very diffi cult to tease out the influence of racial identity itself and thus the investigation of ones ra cial identity may not provide a full explanation of their teaching beliefs as well as practices. Limitations of the Study My study has several interest ing and significant findings, how ever, its limitations must also be considered. First, ther e could be an issue of sampli ng bias. Since the samples were restricted to kindergarten teachers who were wil ling to participate in my study, the findings only

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83 reflect these participants view s and may not represent the enti re population of White-American kindergarten teachers. Second, there c ould be an issue of social desira bility bias especially due to the sensitivity of topics such as race and culture. Although survey design and self reported measures are yet one of the most frequently used indicators of personal beliefs or attitudes in educational research, the absence of observable data to accompany the self reported statements remains as another limitation of the study. Third, there could be some qu estions regarding the instruments. Teachers beliefs about the role of culture in social competence were examined through a newly developed instrument Child Vign ette and Teachers Beliefs Questionnaire, and therefore there are limited data to support its va lidity and reliability. Moreover, in spite of the authors argument, the validity of the Social Attit ude Scale is also a concern because it categories people into a single status group, wh ich is not likely to be the cas e in the real world. If this instrument is to be used as a high inference meas ure, this should be carefully reconsidered and additional research needs to be c onducted to support it as a reli able and valid measure. Fourth, my study did not investigate teachers practices. Teachers actual practices will need to be studied in order to compare the findings about th eir beliefs, because teachers practices may or may not be contingent with their beliefs. Last ly, my study is also limited to White-American kindergarten teachers. A wider ra nge of teachers in terms of r acial backgrounds (i.e., AfricanAmerican teachers, Hispanic teachers) will need to be investigated to thoroughly understand the entire early childhood teaching popu lation in the United States. Implications for Practice As one of the few empirical investigations a bout early childhood teache rs racial identities and beliefs, findings from my st udy provide several important implications for practice in the field of early childhood teacher education. Due to th e growing number of students of color in the U.S. schools and the homogeneous teaching pop ulation, an increasing number of teacher-

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84 student/parent relationships will be cross-cultural. Increased awareness of their own White racial identity for White-American teach ers is therefore crucially impor tant and helpful in improving such relationships (Carter & Goodwin, 1994) Examining White-American kindergarten teachers White racial identity status may a ssist them in gaining awareness of their own perceptions of race, culture, and multicultural ed ucation. To this end, one possible solution to take care of sampling bias among teaching popula tion is to gain institutional support. For instance, if the department of education and/or sc hool districts require that all teachers respond to such racial identity questionnaires (not necessari ly the one used for my study), then we would be able to randomize the sample and that would yield a more accurate representation of all the teachers. Furthermore, if the teachers are asked to respond to such questionnaires in a regular intervals (i.e., every year, every 3 years etc), then the results could provide the changes of teachers identities which the te acher educators could use as a springboard for any professional development program. In terms of teachers beliefs about the role of culture in social competence, it was found that teachers showed a higher level of awareness than their perceived actual consideration. This finding implies that teachers are aware that cultur al differences in social competence exist, but they are simply not yet knowledgeable enough to distinguish how exactly different they are and what needs to be done to embrace such differenc es. Teacher preparation institutions and teacher educators have to provide sufficient opportuni ties and supports for both pre-service and inservice teachers. Teachers should be equipped with accurate and appropriate knowledge and skills to understand and guide so cial competence for all students including those from culturally diverse backgrounds. They should also be able to recognize the subtle differences amongst similar cultural groups (i.e., Chinese, Indian, Mong etc) in order to be truly responsive.

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85 Furthermore, given that family environment is the most influential factor impacting childrens cultural transmission of social competence, conn ecting home and classroom could be a direction to step forward. Utilizing pare nts as funds of knowledge such as considering parents as a helpful resource, listening to parents ideas, an d finding ways to get the parents actively involved could be some potential things to do in orde r to establish home-classroom connection (Moll, Amanti, Neff, & Conzales, 2005). My study also suggests that teachers should be aware of their own racial identities and beliefs which could influence their reactions to and interactions with students, so that some children are not put at a disadvantage. This is pa rticularly important for kindergarten teachers, as kindergarten childrens experiences impact th eir long-term school adjustment (Rusher, McGrevin, & Lambiotte, 1992). If teach ers are aware of themselves, they can work to ensure that their identities and beliefs do not negatively imp act their young children. Th is can be especially important when working with children from diff erent backgrounds different from their own. To this end, in order to become aware and compet ent, reaching out for ot her available resources could be one possibility. For example, teachers ca n partner with school counselors as consultants when facing identity issues. Interdisciplinary work among co unselor educators and teacher educators could further assist su ch collaborations. Nonetheless, it is important to remember that it is often difficult to investigate such topics w ithout offending the participants or interviewees not to mention that it is very hard to examin e what exactly are their attitudes and beliefs. Therefore, teacher educators should be very careful when planning and implementing any kind of teacher education programs on these topics. They must establish an environment that is trusting and open. As much as a caring clim ate is essential for young children to learn effectively, a cooperative and supportive atmosp here is necessary for teachers too.

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86 Implications for Future Research My study provided perspectives about White -American kindergarten teachers racial identities, their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence, and some possible relationships. Although the relationships from th is particular study were not statistically significant, additional e xploration could provide further information. First, my study could be replicated to a wi der range of early childhood teachers such as teachers from different backgrounds besides Wh ite-Americans, teachers from geographically different regions, and teachers of preschool or higher elementary grades. It would also be very interesting to compare the responses of pre-se rvice teachers and in-service teachers to find commonalities and differences, since this could pr ovide directions for appropriate pre-service and in-service teacher education. Second, teachers racial identities could be examined through a different methodology. As it is well known that there are both strengths and weaknesses in any given method or instrument, it would be a good idea to try anot her approach in order to provide more in-depth information regarding teachers racial identit ies. For example, analyzing teach ers written journals could be one way since writing, instead of talking, may be a more comfortable and safe way for some people to disclose their honest thoughts. In th e meantime, more interd isciplinary studies and trainings including teachers and sc hool counselors, teacher educat ors and counselor educators are needed to augment identity development of teachers. Also, longitudinal studies that focus on the changes among teachers could be another idea to fu rther expand this topic. Nonetheless, again it would be important to remember that rapport a nd a caring climate should be established before such discourse. Finally, my study focused on teachers belief s and perceived consideration through the evaluation of a hypothetical child in the vignettes but not their actual practices. An additional

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87 implication for future research includes looki ng at teachers practices As an example, the researcher(s) might go into these teachers cla ssrooms and observe how they respond, interact, and/or intervene with children and families from cultural backgrounds different from their own. It could be the case that teachers who believe in the importance of cultural consideration fail to reflect it in their actual teaching, and there coul d be multiple reasons for it, such as goodness of fit between a teacher and a child, or more compli cated family issues. Therefore, studies that examine teachers real practices would provi de a broader perspective about teachers multicultural competencies.

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88 APPENDIX A PARTICIPANT CONSENT LETTER School of Teaching and Learning P.O. Box 117048 University of Florida Gainesville, FL 32611-7048 Dear Teacher My name is Heejeong Sophia Han and I am a do ctoral candidate in School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida. I would like to invite you to participate in a doctoral study that will explore the relationship between kindergarten teachers social attitudes and their beliefs about the role of culture in social competence. You will be asked to complete three questionnaires. First, you will be asked to read six scenarios about hypothetical children, and after each scenario yo u will be asked to respond to a series of questions about the child presented. Second, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire that will provide information about your social attitudes. Finally, you will be asked to respond to a questionnaire asking about your personal information (i.e., age, educ ational level, teaching experience). These three questionnaires should take no more than 30minutes to complete. You have been selected to participate based on your status as a kindergarten teacher upon approval from your school board. There will be no risk to you, and your refusal to give consent will not in any way affect your status at school. You are free to withdraw your permission to participate at any time without consequence. You will be assigned a confidential nu mber, and all of your personal information will be kept completely confidential. In appreciation of yo ur participation, you will receive a $20 gift card. A benefit of participation includes the opportunity to further research abou t cultural difference and children social competence. I will also share a copy of the research results with you when the study is completed upon request. Please indicate your consent to participate in my study below. If you choose to participate, please complete the attached questionnaires and return it to me in the enclosed envelope together with your consent form. Additional copy of this letter is yours to keep. If you do not choose to participate, please also let me know by simply returning the blank questionnaires in the enclosed envelope. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at (352) 392-9191, ext 249 or my advisor Dr. Kristen Kemple at (352) 392-9191, ext 250. Questions or co ncerns about research participants right may be directed to the UFIRB at (352) 392-0433 or P.O.Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250. Thank you very much in advance for your support. Sincerely Heejeong Sophia Han, M. A. College of Education University of Florida Please read the above descript ion, sign below, and return. I, ____________________, have read the procedures described above and voluntarily agree to participate in this study. I acknowledge that I have received a copy of the above description. ____________________ _______________ Signature Date THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION!

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89 APPENDIX B CHILD VIGNETTE AND TEACHERS BELIEFS QUESIONNAIRE PART 1. The following descriptions are about hypothetical children. Each child has certain characteristics in common. They are all males, from middle class socioeconomic status, physica lly healthy, and proficient English speakers given their age although it might not be their first language. Academically, they are among the upper 50% of the class, and they all live with both parents. As you read each vignette, assume that the child is one of the kindergarteners in your classroom, and it is the end of th e March grading period. Also assume that you have worked hard with each and all of these children to help their development of social competencies. Please read each vignette and answer the questions based on the information presented. There are no right or wrong answers, so please respond based on your first reaction THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION!

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90 MING Ming turned 6 years old in late October. His parents are Chinese and they moved to the United States when Ming was 1 year old. Usually Ming gets along well with other ch ildren and the teacher. He typically is a good listener, takes directions well, and works hard to complete any task he is told to do. However, when challenged by others, Ming quickly backs down in order to avoid conflicts and easily follows others directions. He becomes disa ppointed and refuses to make eye contact with you when you correct his mistakes. Also, when he is rejected by his peers he often wanders around them without words. 1. How much do you agree or disagree with ea ch of the following statements about Ming? Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 a. He avoids confrontations. 1 2 3 4 b. He is passive and socially withdrawn. 1 2 3 4 c. He is compliant. 1 2 3 4 d. He is too compliant. 1 2 3 4 e. He follows group interest over hi s own to become cooperative. 1 2 3 4 f. He lacks confidence and assertiveness. 1 2 3 4 g. He shows respect by avoiding eye contact. 1 2 3 4 h. He shows disengagement by avoiding eye contact. 1 2 3 4 2. On average, how would you evaluat e Mings level of social competence? Very low Low High Very high 1 2 3 4 3. Please describe why you think so.

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91 DAVID David celebrated his 6th birthday at the beginning of November Both of his parents are Caucasians. David is a very good listener and takes directions we ll. He is usually the first child in class to finish any task he is told to do. Also, David is verba lly expressive and enjoys interacting with other children and the teacher. However, David prefers to back down and easily takes back his words to avoid troublesome situations when confronted by an adult or a peer. Similarly, when his idea is not accepted from his peers, he often becomes quiet and chooses to hover around them. David also refuses to make eye contact with you whenever you try to correct his misbehavior. 1. How much do you agree or disagree with ea ch of the following statements about David? Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 a. He avoids confrontations. 1 2 3 4 b. He is passive and socially withdrawn. 1 2 3 4 c. He is compliant. 1 2 3 4 d. He is too compliant. 1 2 3 4 e. He follows group interest over hi s own to become cooperative. 1 2 3 4 f. He lacks confidence and assertiveness. 1 2 3 4 g. He shows respect by avoiding eye contact. 1 2 3 4 h. He shows disengagement by avoiding eye contact. 1 2 3 4 2. On average, how would you evaluat e Davids level of social competence? Very low Low High Very high 1 2 3 4 3. Please describe why you think so.

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92 JOSE Jose had his 6th birthday at the end of December. Both of his parents are Hispanics, but they moved from Mexico to the United States before Jose was born. He often hovers around you and enjoys helping you with class duties. He is very sympathe tic toward his peers, is well-liked, and has two close friends. Jose always prefers to work in a sma ll group rather than by himself. However, Jose is usually too shy to be a team leader and rarely in itiates conversation with new children or adults. When asked to choose something, he is often conc erned about satisfying his parents (for example, when you ask Jose what he wants to be in the fu ture, he answers My parent s want me to become a doctor.). 1. How much do you agree or disagree with ea ch of the following statements about Jose? Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 a. He is compliant. 1 2 3 4 b. He is too compliant. 1 2 3 4 c. He works well with a group. 1 2 3 4 d. He is not independent enough. 1 2 3 4 e. He is humble and modest. 1 2 3 4 f. He does not have good leadership skills. 1 2 3 4 g. He values his parents opinions. 1 2 3 4 h. He is too dependent on his parents. 1 2 3 4 2. On average, how would you evaluat e Joses level of social competence? Very low Low High Very high 1 2 3 4 3. Please describe why you think so.

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93 CHRIS Chris celebrated his 6th birthday at the end of November. Both of his parents are Caucasians. Chris is well-liked by his peers because he is usually very sympathetic. Chris typically wants to work with a small group of peers rather than independently. He also enjoys getting your attention. He frequently volunteers to help you with class duties. However, Chris is frequently concerned about pleasing his parents (for example, when you ask Chris what he wants to be in the future, he answers My parents want me to become a lawyer.). Moreover, Chris ra rely initiates conversation or interacts with new faces. He is often too shy to take the leader-rol e among his peers, and even reports that he feels more comfortable when playing with older children. 1. How much do you agree or disagree with ea ch of the following statements about Chris? Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 a. He is compliant. 1 2 3 4 b. He is too compliant. 1 2 3 4 c. He works well with a group. 1 2 3 4 d. He is not independent enough. 1 2 3 4 e. He is humble and modest. 1 2 3 4 f. He does not have good leadership skills. 1 2 3 4 g. He values his parents opinions. 1 2 3 4 h. He is too dependent on his parents. 1 2 3 4 2. On average, how would you evaluat e Chriss level of social competence? Very low Low High Very high 1 2 3 4 3. Please describe why you would think so.

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94 JAMAL Jamal turned 6 in mid November. Both of his pa rents are African-Americans. Jamal has several friends in the class and enjoys participating in ga mes or group activities. He is usually good at noticing and interpreting social cues during grou p activity (for example, when a group of children are playing with blocks, Jamal is always the fi rst one who notices another child who stands by them). However, Jamal likes to make decisions for the group, and occasionally gets into an argument with other children for that reason. Also, he tends to ask a lot of Why questions, both to you and his peers, and often has difficulty verba lly articulating his thoughts. When he gets extremely upset, Jamal puts his head down when you talk to him about his problem. 1. How much do you agree or disagree with ea ch of the following statements about Jamal? Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 a. He has good leadership skills. 1 2 3 4 b. He wants to be in control. 1 2 3 4 c. He is good at non-verbal communication. 1 2 3 4 d. He has a problem with verbal communication. 1 2 3 4 e. He is good at working with a group. 1 2 3 4 f. He is not good at working independently. 1 2 3 4 g. He puts his head down to show his own disappointment. 1 2 3 4 h. He puts his head down to show disinterest and resistance. 1 2 3 4 2. On average, how would you evaluat e Jamals level of social competence? Very low Low High Very high 1 2 3 4 3. Please describe why you think so.

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95 ERIC Eric had his 6th birthday in early December. Both of his parents are Caucasians. Eric is usually very sensitive about understanding others non-verbal cues (for example, Eric easily notices when another child glances at him duri ng group activity). Moreover, Eric seems to be comfortable working with most of the children in the class, and always likes to play together with them as a group. He enjoys making decisions for both himself and his peers as well. However, when challenged by others, Eric gets extremely upse t. Whenever you try to talk to him about his misbehavior, he typically puts his head down. Eric is not very skillful in verbally expressing his thoughts or problems so that he often fails to so lve conflicts verbally. He occasionally has arguments with his peers. 1. How much do you agree or disagree with ea ch of the following statements about Eric? Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 a. He has good leadership skills. 1 2 3 4 b. He wants to be in control. 1 2 3 4 c. He is good at non-verbal communication. 1 2 3 4 d. He has a problem with verbal communication. 1 2 3 4 e. He is good at working with a group. 1 2 3 4 f. He is not good at working independently. 1 2 3 4 g. He puts his head down to show his own disappointment. 1 2 3 4 h. He puts his head down to show disinterest and resistance. 1 2 3 4 2. On average, how would you evaluat e Erics level of social competence? Very low Low High Very high 1 2 3 4 3. Please describe why you think so.

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96 PART 2. Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with each of the following statements. Strongly Disagree Disagree Uncertain Agree Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 1. I think that verbal expressiveness is a prerequisite for socially competent behavior regardless of a childs culture. 1 2 3 4 5 2. I think that the value of independence varies from culture to culture. 1 2 3 4 5 3. I think that the value of obedience and assertiveness does not differ by culture. 1 2 3 4 5 4. I think that the way of becoming socially competent varies from culture to culture. 1 2 3 4 5 5. I think that socially withdrawn and shy behaviors have negative influence on peer relationships regardless of culture. 1 2 3 4 5 6. I think that approaches to promote childrens social behaviors are influenced by culture. 1 2 3 4 5 7. I think that all children should be given the same guidance and teaching for developing their social competencies. 1 2 3 4 5 8. I think that the characteristics of effective interaction do not vary by culture. 1 2 3 4 5 9. I think that families from different cultural groups have different expectations of their childrens social skills. 1 2 3 4 5 10. I think that all cultures place equal emphasis on being independent. 1 2 3 4 5 11. I think that the ability and frequenc y of using verbal expression or subtle non-verbal cues is a cultural preference. 1 2 3 4 5 12. I think that obedience and assertiveness are promoted with different emphasis among di fferent cultural groups. 1 2 3 4 5 13. I think that the way of achieving social competence is universal. 1 2 3 4 5 14. I think that the characteristics of effective interaction differs from one culture to another. 1 2 3 4 5 15. I think that some behaviors are interpreted differently by people from different cultural groups. 1 2 3 4 5 16. I think that a child who is perceived to be socially competent in one cultural group will be the same in any other cultural group. 1 2 3 4 5 17. I think that socially withdrawn and shy behaviors associate with either peer popularity or peer rejection depending on different cultural backgrounds. 1 2 3 4 5 18. I think that socialization goals and values are identical in families from all cultural groups. 1 2 3 4 5

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97 APPENDIX C SOCIAL ATTITUDE SCALE This scale is designed to understand peoples at titude about social and political issues. There are no right or wrong answers. Plea se choose the intensity that most fits you or your experience. Strongly Disagree Disagree Ne utral Agree Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 1. I have had little or no contact with Black people other than seeing them on campus. 1 2 3 4 5 2. Blacks should not be allowed to continue in school unless able to perform at the same level as Whites. 1 2 3 4 5 3. White people think they are bette r than everyone else just because they are White. 1 2 3 4 5 4. Whenever I witness it, I confront peop le who make racist comments. 1 2 3 4 5 5. I greatly enjoy cross-racial (inv olving Blacks and Whites together) activities and I try to participate in them often. 1 2 3 4 5 6. Reversed discrimination is a big pr oblem for Whites in America. 1 2 3 4 5 7. I support the idea of restitution for Blacks based on the history of slavery and oppression. 1 2 3 4 5 8. I do not understand why Blacks are so resentful of White people. 1 2 3 4 5 9. As a White person, I feel it is my responsibility to help eradicate racism and discriminati on in our society. 1 2 3 4 5 10. I am afraid that minorities are ta king over American society. 1 2 3 4 5 11. I have lived in close proximity to black people. 1 2 3 4 5 12. My family would disown me if I married a Black person. 1 2 3 4 5 13. Dominance over others is a charac teristic of White culture. 1 2 3 4 5 14. Black people have brought many of their problems on themselves. 1 2 3 4 5 15. I would feel comfortable dating a Black person. 1 2 3 4 5 16. I have Black friends. 1 2 3 4 5 17. Black people are responsible for their lot in life. 1 2 3 4 5 18. White people should provide some form of restitution to Black people. 1 2 3 4 5

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98 Strongly Disagree Disagree Ne utral Agree Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 19 Slavery stopped a long time ago, Black people should just get over it. 1 2 3 4 5 20. I have never had much contact with Black people. 1 2 3 4 5 21. Racism continues because Black people dwell on the past. 1 2 3 4 5 22. My family would support me if I married a Black person. 1 2 3 4 5 23. Throughout history, White people have been the dominant oppressor. 1 2 3 4 5 24. In America, people pretty much decide their own fate. 1 2 3 4 5 25. None of my friends would look do wn on me for having an interracial relationship. 1 2 3 4 5 26. I would feel uncomfortable living near Black people. 1 2 3 4 5 27. If Black people werent so lazy, they wouldnt be in the position theyre in. 1 2 3 4 5 28. If the media portrayed Black people more positively, racial tensions would end. 1 2 3 4 5 29. When I hear a racist joke, I say something to show my disapproval. 1 2 3 4 5 30. There are more Black people on welfare than Whites. 1 2 3 4 5 31. I do not have any Black friends. 1 2 3 4 5 32. White people are responsible for putting an end to racism. 1 2 3 4 5 33. I would feel comfortable with a Black physician. 1 2 3 4 5 34. Affirmative action is just reverse discrimination. 1 2 3 4 5 35. I am ashamed of what my Whiteness represents. 1 2 3 4 5 36. When I hear someone make raci st comments, I say something to them to show my disapproval. 1 2 3 4 5 37. If Black people wanted to chan ge things, they could take action themselves. 1 2 3 4 5 38. I feel comfortable when I am in close contact with Black people. 1 2 3 4 5 39. I think White people should work hard to give up their advantages. 1 2 3 4 5 40. Blacks must get over the issue of slavery so that we can move on. 1 2 3 4 5 THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION!

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99 APPENDIX D TEACHER INFORMATION QUESTIONNAIRE 1. What is your gender? _____ female _____ male 2. What is your age? _____ 3. What is your background? (please check one) _____ Caucasian/White-American (Non-Hispanic) _____ Black/African-American (Non-Hispanic) _____ Hispanic/Latino-American _____ Asian/Pacific Islander _____ Native American _____ Multiracial _____ Other (please specify) ____________________ 4. What is your most advanced educatio nal degree? (please check one and specify) _____ Bachelors in ____________________ _____ Masters in _____________________ _____ Specialist in ____________________ _____ Doctorate in ____________________ 5. Where did you go for your undergraduate? ______________________________ 6. Where did you go for graduate school ? ____________________ or N/A _____ 7. What type of certification do you have? (please check all that apply) _____ Elementary certification only _____ Elementary certification with an early childhood endorsement _____ Birth to age four certification _____ Age three to grade three certification _____ Pre-K handicapped endorsement _____ Other (please specify) ____________________ 8. How many years of teaching experience do you have in total? _____

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100 9. How many years of experience teaching kindergarten do you have? _____ 10. Currently how many children are in your class? _____ 11. Currently how many children in your c lass are from the following backgrounds? _____ Caucasian/White-American (Non-Hispanic) _____ Black/African-American (Non-Hispanic) _____ Hispanic/Latino-American _____ Asian/Pacific Islander _____ Native American _____ Multiracial _____ Others (please specify) ____________________ 12. Generally speaking, how much experience do you have teaching children from different backgrounds than your ow n? (see listings of Question 10) 1 2 3 4 5 Never Rarely Occasionally Frequently Always 13. Generally speaking, how much do you consider yourself to be competent when teaching children from different backgrounds than your own? 1 2 3 4 5 Very Low Low Moderate High Very High 14. If there is a need to obtain addition al ideas, can I contact you in the future? _____ Yes, I can be contacted if needed. Please provide your phone number or email which you prefer to be reached. Phone: _______________ E-mail: _______________ _____ No, I do not wish to be contacted again. 15. Please provide me with your address wher e you wish the gift card to be sent. _____________________________________________________________ THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION!

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101 APPENDIX E FOLLOW-UP INTERVIEW PROTOCOL PART 1 What are your personal thoughts about social competence? Prompted with the following phrases as necessary: verbal expressiveness independence obedience and assertiveness socially withdrawn and shy behaviors effective interaction socialization goals and values What are your thoughts about each of the following statement, and why? I think that the ability and frequency of using verbal expression or subtle non-verbal cues is a cultural preference. I think that the value of independence varies from culture to culture. I think that obedience and assertiveness are promoted with different emphasis among different cultural groups. I think that socially withdrawn and shy behavior s associate with either peer popularity or peer rejection depending on different cultural backgrounds. I think that a child who is perceived to be soci ally competent in one cultural group will be the same in any other cultural group. I think that some behaviors are interpreted di fferently by people from different cultural groups. I think that approaches to promote childrens social behaviors are influenced by culture. I think that families from different cultural groups could have different expectations of their childrens social skills. I think that the way of becoming socially competent varies from culture to culture.

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102 PART 2. Show them the scenarios of Ming, Jose, and Jamal without the information about each childs cultural background. How would you evaluate the le vel of social competence ab out this child, and why? How would you intervene with this child to promote his social competence, and why? Tell them, what if this child was Asian/Hispanic/African-Ameri can instead of White-American: How much difference would it make with your decision? How would you evaluate and intervene, and why? What kind of knowledge/ideas do yo u have for certain group of people? Asian Hispanic African-American PART 3. As a human being: How much experience do you think you have interacting with people from different cultural groups? How would you evaluate your multic ultural/interracial self-efficacy? As a kindergarten teacher: How much experience do you think you have so far teaching children from different cultural groups? How would you evaluate your multicultural teaching efficacy? In regards of your teaching efficacy, what do you think has helped you the most? (i.e., personal experience, college education, teaching experience) How much influence do you think your pers onal identity and beliefs has in your teaching? What are your thoughts about multicultural education in early childhood?

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103 APPENDIX F PILOT PARTICIPANT CONSENT LETTER 1 School of Teaching and Learning P.O. Box 117048 University of Florida Gainesville, FL 32611-7048 Dear Teacher My name is Heejeong Sophia Han and I am a doctoral candidate in School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida. I would like to invite you to participate in the prelimin ary portion of my doctoral study that will explore the kindergarten teachers beliefs about the role of culture in social competence. You will be asked to participate in a focus group to explore the appropriateness of an instrument to be used in the study. First, you will be asked to read six vignettes about hypothetical children, and after each scenario you will be asked to respon d to a series of questions about the child presented. Second, you will be asked to participate in a focus group meeting, during which we will discuss the vignettes and questionnaires. Reading the vignettes and answering the questions should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete, and the focus group meeting will take approxim ately 30 minutes on the same day. You have been selected to participate based on your status as a kindergarten teacher upon approval from your school principal. There will be no risk to you, an d your refusal to give consent will not in any way affect your status at school. You are free to withdraw your permission to participate at any time without consequence. You will be assigned a confidential number, and all of your personal information will be kept completely confidential. In appreciation of yo ur participation, you will receive a $20 Target gift card. A benefit of participation includes the opportunit y to further research about cultural difference and children social competence. I will also be happy to provide you with a summary of the research results when the study is completed upon request. Please indicate your consent to participate in my st udy by signing below, and return it to me in the enclosed envelope. If you agree to participate please let me know your availability as well. Additional copy is for yours to keep. If you have any questions please do not he sitate to contact me at (352) 392-9191, ext 249 or my advisor Dr. Kristen Kemple at (352) 392-9191, ext 250. Qu estions or concerns about research participants right may be directed to the UFIRB at (352) 392-0433 or P.O.Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250. Thank you very much in advance for your support. Sincerely Heejeong Sophia Han, M. A. College of Education University of Florida Please read the above description, sign below, and return. I, ____________________, have read the procedures descri bed above and voluntarily agree to participate in this study. I acknowledge that I have received a copy of the above description. ____________________ _______________ Signature Date ============================================================================ If you agreed to participate, please indicate when would be the best time for you to meet for this study. You will be contacted again soon with the confirme d date and place. Thank you very much! _____ Aug 30 (Wed) 3:00 4:00 _____ Sep 1 (Fri) 3:00 4:00 _____ Sep 6 (Wed) 3:00 4:00 _____ Sep 8 (Fri) 3:00 4:00 THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION!

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104 APPENDIX G PILOT PARTICIPANT CONSENT LETTER 2 School of Teaching and Learning P.O. Box 117048 University of Florida Gainesville, FL 32611-7048 Dear Pre-service Teacher My name is Heejeong Sophia Han and I am a do ctoral candidate in School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida. I would like to invite you to participate in the preliminary portion of my doctoral study that will explore kindergarten teac hers beliefs about the role of culture in social competence. You will be asked to read six vignettes about hypot hetical children, and after each scenario you will be asked to respond to a series of questions about the child presented. Reading the vignettes and answering the questions should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete. You will be asked to complete the same questionnaire twice within a two-week period. You have been selected to participate based on yo ur status as a pre-service teacher upon approval from your course instructor. There will be no risk to you, and your refusal to give consent will not in any way affect your status in your course or with your instructor. You are free to withdraw your permission to participate at any time without consequence. You will be assigned a confidential number, and all of your personal information will be kept completely conf idential. A benefit of participation includes the opportunity to further research about cultural difference and chil drens social competence. Your participation will be very appreciated. I will also be happy to provide you with a summary of the research results when the study is completed upon request. Please indicate your consent to participate in my study by signing belo w and return it to me. Additional copy is for yours to keep. If you have an y questions please do not hesitate to contact me at (352) 392-9191, ext 249 or my advis or Dr. Kristen Kemple at (352) 392-9191, ext 250. Questions or concerns about research participan ts right may be directed to the UFIRB at (352) 392-0433 or P.O.Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250. Thank yo u very much in advance for your support. Sincerely Heejeong Sophia Han, M. A. College of Education University of Florida Please read the above descript ion, sign below, and return. I, _______________, have read the procedures described above and voluntarily ag ree to participate in this study. I acknowledge that I have re ceived a copy of the above description. ____________________ _______________ Signature Date THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION!

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105 LIST OF REFERENCES American Educational Research Association, Am erican Psychological A ssociation, & National Council on Measurement in Education (1999). Standards for educational and psychological testing Washington, DC: American Edu cational Research Association. Asher, S. R., & Renshaw, P. D. (1981). Childre n without friends: Social knowledge and social skill training. In S. R. Asher & J. M. Gottman (Eds.), The development of childrens friendships (pp.273-296). New York: Cambridge University Press. Atkinson, D. R., Morten, G., & Sue, D. W (1988). Counseling American minorities: A cross cultural perspective (3rd Ed.). Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown Publishers. Banks, J. (1994). Multiethnic education: Theory and practice Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon. Batey, J. J. (2002). Development of peer competence in preschool: Preservi ce early childhood teachers beliefs about in fluence and importance Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Florida. Bennett, C. I. (1995). Preparing teachers for cultur al diversity and national standards of academic excellence. Journal of Teacher Education, 46 (4), 259-265. Bennett, J. M. (1993). Cultural ma rginality: Identity issues in in tercultural training. In R. M. Paige (Ed.), Education for the intercultural experience (2nd Ed.) (pp.109-135).Yarmouth, MA: Intercultural Press. Bennett, M. J. (1993). Toward ethnorelativism: A developmental model of intercultural sensitivity. In R. M. Paige (Ed.), Education for the intercultural experience (2nd Ed.) (pp.21-71). Yarmouth, MA: In tercultural Press. Bernard, B. (2004). School protective factors. In Resiliency: What have we learned (pp. 65-88). San Francisco: WestEd. Block, C. J., & Carter, R. T. (1996). White racial identity attitude theories: A rose by any other name is still a rose. The Counseling Psychologist, 24 (2), 326-334. Block, C. J., Roberson, L., & Neuger, D. A. (1995) White racial identity theory: A framework for understanding reactions toward interr acial situations in organizations. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 46 71-88. Brantlinger, E. (2003). Class position, social life, and school outcomes. In Dividing classes: How the middle class negotiates and rationalizes school advantage (pp.1-21). New York: Routledge/Falmer. Brown, S. P., Parham, T. A., & Yonker, R. A. ( 1996). Influence of cross-cultural training course on racial identity attitudes of White wo men and men: Preliminary perspectives. Journal of Counseling and Development, 74 510-516.

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106 Brown, W. H., & Odom, S. L., & Conroy, M. A. (2001). An intervention hierarchy for promoting young childrens peer inter actions in natural environments. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 21 (3), 162-175. Carter, R. T. (1995). The influence of race and racial iden tity in psychotherapy: Toward a racially inclusive model New York: Wiley. Carter, R. T., & Goodwin, A. L. ( 1994). Racial identity and education. Review of Research in Education, 20 (4), 291-336. Cases, J. M. & Pytluk, S. D. (1995). Hispanic iden tity development. In J. G. Ponterotto, J. M. Casas, L. A. Suzuki, & C. M. Alexander (Eds.). Handbook of Multicultural Counseling (pp.155-180). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Cassidy, D. J., Buell, M. J., Pugh-Hoese, S., & Russell, S. (1995). The effect of education on child care teachers beliefs and classroo m quality: Year one evaluation of the TEACH early childhood associate de gree scholarship program. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 10 (2), 171-183. Cassidy, D. J., & Lawerence, J. M. (2000). Teachers beliefs: The whys be hind the how tos in child care classrooms. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 14 (2), 193-204. Chang, L. (2003). Variable effects of children s aggression, social wit hdrawal, and prosocial leadership as functions of teacher beliefs and behaviors. Child Development, 74 (2) 535548. Charlesworth, R., Hart, C. H., Burts, D. C., Thomasson, R. H., Mosley, J., & Fleege, P. O. (1993). Measuring the developmental appropriate ness of kindergarten teachers beliefs and practices. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 8 (3), 255-276. Chen, X., Zappulla, C., Coco, A. L., Schneider, B ., Kaspar, V., DeOliveira, A. M. et al. (2004). Self-perceptions of competence in Brazilian, Canadian, Chinese and Italian children: Relations with social and school adjustment. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 28 (2), 129-138. Choney, S. K., & Behrens, J. T. (1996). Deve lopment of the Oklahoma Racial Attitudes Scale Preliminary Form (ORAS-P). In G. R. Sodowsky & J. C. Impara (Eds.), Multicultural assessment in counseling and clinical psychology (pp.225-240). Lincoln, NE: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements. Choney, S. K., Berryhill-Pappke, E., & Robbins, R. R. (1995). The acculturation of American Indians: Developing frameworks fo r research and practice. In J. G. Ponterotto, J. M. Casas, L. A. Suzuki, & C. M. Alexander (Eds.). Handbook of Multicultural Counseling (pp.7392). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Claney, D., & Parker, W. M. (1989). Assessi ng White racial consciousness and perceived comfort with Black indivi duals: A preliminary study. Journal of Counseling and Development, 67, 449-451.

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107 Clark, C. M. & Peterson, P. L. (1986). Teachers thought processes. In M. C. Wittrock (Ed.), Handbook of research on teaching (3rd Ed) (pp.255-296). New York: Macmillan. Cone, J. D. & Foster, S. L. (1993). Dissertations and theses from start to finish Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Corvin, S. & Wiggins, F. (1989). An antiraci sm training model for White professionals. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 17 105-114. Cross, W. E. (1995). The psychol ogy of Nigrescence: Revising the Cross model. In J. G. Ponterotto, J. M. Casas, L. A. Suzuki, & C. M. Alexander (Eds.). Handbook of Multicultural Counseling (pp.93-122). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Dennette, D., Mark, T., & Poertner, J. (2005). Race matters in child welfare: The overrepresentation of African American children in the system Washington, DC: CWLA Press. Duck, S. (1989). Socially competent communicati on and relationship development. In B. H. Schneider, G. Attili, J. Nadel, & R. P. Weissgerg (Eds.), Social competence in developmental perspectiv e (pp. 91-106). Netherlands: Kluwer Academic. Fang, Z. (1996). A review of research on teacher beliefs and practices. Educational Research, 38 (1), 47-65. File, N. K. (1993). The teacher as a guide of childrens competence with peers. Child and Youth Care Forum, 22 (5), 351-360. File, N. K. (1994). Childrens play, teacher-child interactions, and teacher beliefs in integrated early childhood programs. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 9 (2), 223-240. Ford, M. (1982). Social cognition an d social competence in adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 18 323-340. Fordham. S., & Obgu, J. U. (1986). Black student s school success: Coping with the burden of acting White. Urban Review, 18 176-206. Fox, L., Dunlap, G., Hemmeter, M. L., Joseph, G. E., & Strain, P. S. (2003). The teaching pyramid: A model for supporting social compet ence and prevailing challenging behavior in young children. Young Children, 58 (3), 48-52. Garcia Coll, C., Lamberty, G., Jenkins, R., McAdoo, H. P., Crnic, K., Wasik, B. H. et al. (1996). An integrative model for the study of devel opmental competencies in minority children. Child Development, 67 1891-1914. Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice New York: Teachers College Press.

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108 Goffin, S. G. (1989). Developing research agen da for early childhood education: What can be learned from the research on teaching? Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 4 (2), 187204. Guralnick, M. J. (1990). Social competence and early intervention. Journal of Early Intervention, 14 (1), 3-14. Hall, E. T. (1976). Beyond culture Garden City, NY: Anchor Books. Hardiman, R. (1982). White identity development: A proce ss oriented model for describing the racial consciousness of White Americans Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Hastings, P. D. & Rubin, K. H. (1999). Pred icting mothers beliefs about preschool-aged childrens social behavior: Evidence for ma ternal attitudes moderating child effects. Child Development, 70 (3), 722-741. Hazen, N., Black, B., & Fleming-Johnson, F. (1984) Social acceptance: St rategies children use and how teachers can help children learn them. Young Children, 39 (6), 26-36. Helms, J. E. (1984). Toward a theoretical explan ation of the effects of race on counseling: A Black and White model. The Counseling Psychologist, 12 153-165. Helms, J. E. (1990). Black and White racial identity: Theory, research, and practice Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Helms, J. E. (1995). An update of Helms White a nd people of color racial identity models. In J. G. Ponterotto, J. M. Casas, L. A. Suzuki, & C. M. Alexander (Eds.). Handbook of Multicultural Counseling (pp.181-191). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Helms, J. E., & Carter, R. T. (1990). Development of the White racial identity inventory. In J. E. Helms (Ed.), Black and White racial identity : Theory, research, and practice (pp.67-80). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. hooks, b. (2000). Where we stand: Class matters New York: Routledge. Howard, Gary R. (2006). We cant teach what we dont know: White teachers, multiracial schools (2nd Ed.) New York: Teachers College Press. Howes, C., & Clemente, D. (1994). Adult socializat ion of childrens play in child care. In H. Geolman & E. V. Jacobs (Eds.), Childrens play in child care settings (pp.20-36).Albany, NY: SUNY Press. Hundert, J., Mahoney, W. J., & Hopki ns, B. (1993). The relationship between the peer interaction of children with disabilities in integrated preschools and resource and classroom teacher behaviors. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 13 (3), 328-343.

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115 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Hee Jeong (Sophia) Han was born on July 11, 1973, in Seoul, South Korea, where she grew up for most of her life until she came over to the United States to pursue her doctoral study. She received both her bachelors and maters in Early Childhood Education from Ewha Womens University, and taught preschool an d kindergarten children for four years. She also taught early childhood education and child development courses at several colleges for two and a half years. She began her doctoral program at the Universi ty of Florida in 2003. Her major area of study includes early childhood teachers identities and beliefs, childrens development of social competence, and cultural/social influence in earl y education. She currently lives at Louisville, Kentucky with her husband and a daughter, and se rves as an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Louisville.