Staff development: Mainstream teachers in linguistically mixed classrooms

Elma L Azurdia, Fordham University


This inquiry presents an exploratory case study. It identifies staff development models which were used by mainstream teachers to instruct an ethnolinguistically diverse student population. A major component of the staff development process is the active participation of teachers and administrators. Demographic shifts exhibited in public schools call attention to new patterns of staff development. Thus, a new paradigm of staff development was postulated, namely, a model that would integrate language and content instruction, which would require a reconceptualization of staff development for mainstream teachers. In order to effectively meet the new demands of linguistically diverse students, changes in staff development programs would require teachers and administrators to address present educational needs of minority students. The research of this dissertation explored the initiation, implementation, and maintenance of staff development in a public school in New York City. The study examined whether and in what way staff development practices served to support teaching and instructional strategies. This study examined different models of staff development in use and the roles these play in improved instructional practices for language minority students in mainstream classrooms. The research questions which guided this study were: How are these staff development programs initiated, implemented, and maintained? In what different models of staff development do mainstream elementary school teachers who are teaching in linguistically mixed classrooms participate? What teaching and instructional strategies can be identified in mainstream classrooms where there are language minority students? What are the social, cultural, and linguistic challenges of linguistically mixed classrooms? How will staff development be sustained over time? An examination of staff development reflects emphasis on curricular issues for mainstream students. Information was collected through active participation, interview, questionnaire, observation, and document review. Analysis of the data collected revealed that four factors were related to how staff development models evolved at this site. These four factors are: collaboration with participating universities, district staff developers, annual retreat, and in-house staff development.

Subject Area

Teacher education|School administration|Bilingual education|Multicultural education

Recommended Citation

Azurdia, Elma L, "Staff development: Mainstream teachers in linguistically mixed classrooms" (1996). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9631021.