Teaching AVID: an investigation of pedagogy in a college prepatory program for traditionally underserved youth

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Lipovski, Leslie Crawford

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This dissertation describes a program designed to increase access to advanced courses and increase college attendance rated for underrepresented students. Specifically, this dissertation looks at how three practitioners implement principles of the program while still maintaining their individual identities as teachers. My study fills a void in the lack of available qualitative studies of this particular program. Chapter One situates my work within the framework of other research focused on improving the schooling experiences of students of color. Chapter Two discusses multicultural education and culturally relevant teaching as precursors to the existence of programs and teaching methodologies specific to students of color. This chapter also introduces the program I studied, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID). Chapter Three describes the methodological approaches I used to study AVID and its teachers, and provides a background of the school site where I conducted my work. Chapter Four discusses the AVID program, its history, structure, and goals, and introduces three primary principles that exist in each of its classrooms. Chapters Five, Six, and Seven introduce my research participants and demonstrate how a program functions differently within three separate classrooms. Chapter Eight further illuminates each participant’s unique pedagogical response to a tragic event that occurred on the campus. This chapter also discusses the implications of my study, ideas for future research in the area of improving school experiences for students of color.