Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Walter L. Burt


This phenomenology examines rural economically poor school teachers' beliefs, belief origins, and their expectations of and for their students. Data analysis employed two lenses. The proposed lens examined participants as either indigenous or external utilizing Banks' (2001) cross-cultural teaching experiences. In this study, the indigenous participants experienced childhoods in poor rural towns, while external participants experienced childhoods in urban/suburban areas. A second emergent lens examined participants as experiencing working-class or middle-class childhoods. Findings utilizing lens one were mixed and varied with no definitive pattern. The emergent lens utilizing economic class of participants' childhoods found a number of consistent differences between the groups. An emergent finding about teacher practices provided reinforcing data regarding the differences between working- and middle-class childhood experiences. The differences in beliefs about rural poor students coincided with the expectations of and for the students as well as the espoused practices.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access