Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education and Human Services


Teacher Education and Teacher Development

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Michele Knobel

Committee Member

Jeremy Price

Committee Member

Monica Taylor


This qualitative study followed four urban early childhood teachers through their participation in a teacher education program designed to enhance their linguistically responsive teaching and into the first four months of the new school year in an effort to identify what the teachers indeed “took up” from the opportunities presented to them regarding linguistically responsive teaching. The sociocultural concept of funds of knowledge was used to frame this study and to ensure that each teacher’s work was analyzed with the understanding that individuals bring to each learning moment unique knowledge and knowhow that impacts learning and practice. All was undertaken with the intent of providing research-based answers to the following question:

While following general education early childhood teachers through a formal learning program and into their classrooms, what “take-up” from the range of opportunities designed to help this small group of teachers become more linguistically responsive in their classrooms seems to be demonstrated?

By focusing on individual teacher “take-up” this research study gave proper recognition to teachers trying to teach English language learners (ELLs) more effectively. Moreover, this study aimed to add insight into what a small group of general education early childhood teachers can reasonably “take-up” after participating in teacher education opportunities that are research-based and specifically designed to help general education teachers become more effective teachers of ELLs. Findings were presented as four themes to better understand the nuances as well as the ebbs and flows of teacher take-up of linguistically responsive teaching. The four themes that emerged were as follows: (1) take-up of linguistically responsive teaching manifested as a commitment to giving prominence to home languages; (2) take-up of linguistically responsive teaching involved personal introspection; (3) take-up of linguistically responsive teaching manifested as an understanding and incorporation of home language as a learning resource; (4) and the take-up of linguistically responsive teaching evolved over time into community sense-making.