Author(s)

Laura JonesFollow

Date

5-2016

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Lucinda S. Spaulding

Keywords

Attitudes, Grounded Theory, Roma, Romania, Self-Efficacy, Transformation

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Leadership | Educational Psychology | Other Education

Abstract

The purpose of this systematic grounded theory study was to explore the process of change in teacher attitudes toward including Roma (“Gypsy”) students in non-segregated schools in Romania. The theories guiding this study included Mezirow’s (1991, 2000) theory of transformation, Gay’s (2002, 2013) theory of culturally responsive teaching, and Bandura’s (1977, 1997) theory of self-efficacy. These three theories guided this research inquiry into how attitudes change, how teacher attitudes affect beliefs and actions, and how self-efficacy affects teacher attitudes. This study sought to answer the following questions: What is the process of transforming Romanian teacher attitudes toward including Roma students? What factors influence attitude change of Romanian teachers toward the Roma? How do Romanian teachers use their transformed attitudes in working with Roma students? What role does self-efficacy play in developing Romanian teacher attitudes toward Roma students? Interviews, observations, and timelines of 23 current teachers took place in Romania. The Model of Transformation: Awakening to Empowering was constructed to show the process of transformation that was revealed during this study. The greatest influences discovered for affecting attitude change were personal reflection, childhood experiences, role models, and ongoing education courses. Teachers who chose to see their classroom as a familial unit, becoming like a foster parent for their students, and incorporated new teaching strategies, worked most successfully with their Roma students. Based on the data, self-efficacy was important for empowering the teachers and helping them to empower others in working with the Roma.