Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2012

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Fehn, Bruce

First Committee Member

Colvin, Carolyn

Second Committee Member

Hlebowitsh, Peter

Third Committee Member

Moroye, Christy

Fourth Committee Member

Haack, Marcus


Curriculum standards in social studies encourage a curriculum that helps students understand how minority groups and women have historically sought access to equality of opportunity through organization and struggle, as well as a curriculum that supports democratic dialogue and mutual understanding among groups from diverse backgrounds. This study investigated how preservice social studies teachers have experienced efforts to help them understand dimensions of diversity and how these dimensions implicate classroom practices. Their pedagogical intentions were explored using educational criticism and connoisseurship, a humanities-based qualitative methodology that describes, interprets, and evaluates the various dimensions of educational experiences. This investigation followed four preservice social studies teachers and their instructors as they shared their encounters with difference and a diversity education course. Their experiences were rendered as written portraits of their intentions for teaching and learning. These portraits revealed themes of "earnest impotence" and structural obstacles that made truly transformative multicultural education difficult to achieve. Recommendations for curricular enhancements that attend to the "commonplaces" of curriculum are suggested.


Diversity Education, Educational Criticism, Eisner, Preservice Teachers, Schwab, Social Studies


ix, 162 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 153-162).


Copyright 2012 Kathryn Michele Kauper

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