Date of Award

8-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Education and Organizational Leadership Development

Committee Member

Melinda Spearman, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Suzanne Rosenblith

Committee Member

Meihua Qian

Committee Member

Mikel Cole

Committee Member

Laura Olson

Abstract

This study examines a national sample of K-12 teachers in their awareness of the educational restrictions for immigrant students, particularly students who are undocumented, as well as their attitudes towards educational rights for these students. In addition, there is an analysis of how awareness and attitudes relate to the broader beliefs about immigration and nationalism. The results show that teachers' awareness about educational restrictions is positively correlated with more inclusive attitudes towards rights for immigrant students. There is an even stronger relationship between attitudes and awareness of the broader immigration system. Support for educational rights for immigrant students is also associated with more inclusive views on borders and migration and a rejection of nationalism. Females, Hispanics, younger teachers, secondary educators, those with immigrant friends, bilingual educators, liberals, and teachers living in the Western United States had the most inclusive attitudes towards immigrant students. Key implications of this study include the need to inform both pre-service and in-service teachers about issues related to immigration and lead them in a deeper understanding of the relationship between the abstract beliefs on immigration and nationalism and attitudes towards immigrant students.

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