The Ohio State University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN19 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 8799-8809
ISBN: 978-84-09-12031-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2019.2191
Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain
Many principal licensure students leave their preparation programs lacking knowledge of how to serve U.S. schools’ increasing diversity. This study presents a modest beginning toward unveiling what may be essential for creating conditions for marginalized students to flourish in response to the fact that optimal conditions for student learning seem more elusive as gaps in achievement continue to persist and are widening (Beard, 2018; Darling-Hammond, 2015; Weinstein, 2011). Extending Csikszentmihalyi’s (1990) flow theory to include what we know about Steele and Aronson's (1995) stereotype threat, the study was conceived with the understanding that stereotype threat has the potential to impede or interrupt flow, which Csikszentmihalyi understood to be “the best manifestation of engagement” (Beard, 2015 p. 375). Specifically, assumed was that marginalized students might have difficulty entering into the deep concentration required for engagement because stereotype threat thwarts one’s ability to lose self-consciousness, a fundamental tenet of flow (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975). Purpose: This purpose of this study purpose was two-fold: first to sensitize principal candidates to marginalized students’ stereotype threat experiences, then to determine if that experience could inform the creation of learning conditions for greater potential engagement for marginalized students. Methods and Data Source: Denzin and Lincoln (2000) described qualitative research as “a situated activity that locates the observer in the world” (p. 3). It is inherently multi-method, complex, interconnecting terms, concepts, and assumptions. The participants came from seven cohorts (135 students) of principal licensure students who underwent an intentional marginalization experience and were willing to subject their reflections for analysis. One hundred twenty-one (121) responses out of 135 students (90%) granted informed consent to use their data for analysis. The multi-method analysis employed included template analysis (Crabtree & Miller, 1999) and narrative analysis (Riessman,1993) concerning the guiding questions of the study. Student reflections were first analyzed through template analysis which uses a set of a priori codes based on the findings from prior research. This analysis involved using a priori codebook (Constas, 1992) developed from the elements of stereotype threat and the nine-faceted lens of flow to analyze, describe, and interpret the data relevant to both the marginalization experience and the research questions. The field notes were then analyzed using narrative analysis. Narrative analysis relies on approaching narratives analytically to determine how the participants made meaning and understood their experience. Findings: Template Analysis yielded the five a-priori experience themes: Social identity awareness, concern for safety, lack of self-control, self-consciousness, and empathy. Four separate themes reflecting what was helpful in context emerged: Care, appreciation, empathy and support. Significantly, the findings informed a new conceptual model, Flow Under Threat, which extends flow theory and incorporates what is needed in situations and climates prone to stereotype threat. This conceptual model should be useful for school leaders seeking to optimize learner engagement. Helping future administrators empathize with student experiences may help them prioritize organizational culture and climate decisions relative to student wellbeing.
Principal preparation, Marginalization, Flow theory, stereotype threat, School leadership, School culture and climate, Flow Under Threat, Conceptual model.