The Micropolitics of Educational Policy: The Intersection of Policy, Practice, and Ontology of White English-Speaking Elementary Teachers In Multilingual Classrooms




Henderson, Karon

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This study examines the micropolitics of current educational policy implementation regarding the education of English Language Learners (ELLs) in multicultural classrooms which are taught by White monolingual-English speaking teachers. By examining and interrogating current educational policy which directly or indirectly affects the achievement of ELLs, teachers may begin to pave the way for policy reforms which are informed by what occurs at the classroom or micro level. This study sought to examine how White female educators whose only language is English, negotiate the political space of the policy mandates in elementary classrooms. The context for this study is conceptually framed through a critical lens as the effects of policy mandates, policy as practice, and the impact of policy on self was co-constructed with a group of monolingual English-speaking elementary teachers who work in multicultural environments. An examination of assumptions and beliefs about teaching in a multicultural settings and understandings of situations and conditions of policy, practice, and the political nature of the work at the micro level was explored. An interrogation of policy at the micro level was executed through the implementation of an archeology of policy as a framework for analysis. The findings of this qualitative research study were represented utilizing creative nonfiction to tell the story of the micropolitics of educational policy. Two major themes emerged from this investigation: (a) policy as practice at the micro level is informed by an understanding of self, cultural competency, and critical pedagogy, and (b) critical conversation is the impetus for instructional change as teachers work to deliver culturally relevant practice of policy. Recommendations presented in this study include creating and sustaining sacred time towards developing an understanding of self, developing targeted and focused critical conversation sessions, and finding and creating opportunities for future political action.



Cultural proficiency, Educational policy, Micropolitics, Teacher agency, Teacher identity, Awareness of self, Cultural awareness, Cultural competency, Critical pedagogy, Critical approach to teaching, Critical conversations, Critical reflection, Policy as practice


Henderson, K. (2012). <i>The micropolitics of educational policy: The intersection of policy, practice, and ontology of white English-speaking elementary teachers in multilingual classrooms</i> (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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