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Pre-Service Teacher Beliefs and Attitudes Toward Children and Families Headed by Same-Sex Couples

Title: Pre-Service Teacher Beliefs and Attitudes Toward Children and Families Headed by Same-Sex Couples.
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Name(s): Davis, Jackie M. (Jackie Marie), author
Hanline, Mary Frances, professor directing dissertation
Akiba, Motoko, university representative
Jones, Ithel, committee member
Whalon, Kelly J., committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Education, degree granting college
School of Teacher Education, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2016
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (189 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The field of education requires professionals to respect the diversity of all families. Many professional organizations outline required practices for all teachers in regard to professional expectations in working with children and families. In the past, family diversity has typically been portrayed in terms of socioeconomic status, language, culture, family constellation, and ethnicity. The need to recognize diversity in family structures is supported by the increasing diversity in family constellations in the United States over the past few decades. The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013) reports that there are 640,000 same-sex couples residing together in the United States. With the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision (Obergefell et al. v. Hodges, Director, Ohio Department of Health et al., 2015) making same-sex marriage a right nationwide, it is likely that the number of same-sex parented households will increase. Previous research has indicated that homophobia in schools is directed toward gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender (LGBT) students as well as children and families headed by same-sex parents (Kosciw & Diaz, 2008; Kosciw, Greytak, Palmer, & Boesen, 2014). Some of the key findings of past research has shown that students and parents reported hearing biased language, including sexist remarks as well as blatantly homophobic comments from both students and school staff members. Additionally, students and parents alike have reported reported that school staff members rarely intervened upon hearing negative remarks about LGBT parents. An additional concern regarding the population of children and families headed by same-sex couples is the impact that teachers’ personal beliefs and attitudes have on classroom practices in schools. The current literature regarding teacher beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors toward children and families headed by same-sex parents is sparse and dated. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine pre-service teachers’ personal beliefs and attitudes toward working with children and families headed by same-sex parents. Additionally, the study examined the relationships between pre-service teacher background characteristics and their personal beliefs and attitudes as well as the relationship of their perceived learning in coursework to their personal beliefs and attitudes about, comfort levels in working with, and feelings of preparedness in working with children and families headed by same-sex parents. The study also investigated the correlation between pre-service teachers’ personal beliefs and attitudes about and comfort levels in working with children and families headed by same-sex parents. All undergraduate pre-service teachers in the programs of early childhood education, elementary education, visual disabilities, and exceptional student education in the School of Teacher Education at Florida State University were invited to participate in an online survey administered during face-to-face classes. A final sample of 201 pre-service teachers participated in the study which utilized a Qualtrics survey. The data were analyzed using SPSS 23.0 statistical software. Results of the study show that while pre-service teacher personal beliefs and attitudes, comfort levels, and feelings of preparedness in working with children and families headed by same-sex parents is fairly high, there are some areas worth noting. Specifically, the study found that there is a correlation between a pre-service teachers’ religious background and beliefs, geographic location, and exposure to diverse populations including LGBT people, and their personal beliefs and attitudes toward working with this population. The results of the study also suggest that although less than half of the participants reported having been exposed to coursework related to working with children and families headed by same-sex parents, pre-service teachers who were exposed to coursework related to working with children and families headed by same-sex parents had more positive personal beliefs and attitudes and higher feelings of preparedness in working with this population of students and their families. While the study had limitations related to age, gender, and geographic location, due to the survey being implemented in face-to-face classes at one university, the results indicate a need for teacher preparation coursework that includes LGBT issues along with specific tools and resources to help pre-service teachers in preparing to work with an ever expanding diverse population of students and families, including those headed by same-sex parents. The results of this study also highlight the need for continued research in the area of teacher preparation related to working with children and families headed by same-sex parents so that pre-service teachers will be prepared to create welcoming classrooms and design instruction that is inclusive of all children and families.
Identifier: FSU_2016SU_Davis_fsu_0071E_13417 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the School of Teacher Education in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester 2016.
Date of Defense: July 11, 2016.
Keywords: Same-sex parents, Teacher attitudes & beliefs, Teacher preparation
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Mary Frances Hanline, Professor Directing Dissertation; Motoko Akiba, University Representative; Ithel Jones, Committee Member; Kelly Whalon, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Teachers -- Training of
Education
Early childhood education
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_2016SU_Davis_fsu_0071E_13417
Owner Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Davis, J. M. (J. M. ). (2016). Pre-Service Teacher Beliefs and Attitudes Toward Children and Families Headed by Same-Sex Couples. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_2016SU_Davis_fsu_0071E_13417