Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Dr. Brad Hanson

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Michelle Brenner


Over the past two decades, K‒12 public education demographics have reflected an increase in student diversity while over 80% of the teaching population remains White (Ramirez et al., 2016). As student demographics evolve, public schools must adjust to provide all students with an education relevant to their backgrounds and experiences (Jones-Good, 2015). Teachers must prioritize and be prepared to teach diverse groups of students (Gay, 2018). This mixed-methods study included an analysis of teacher and principal perceptions of their level of preparedness for culturally responsive teaching in four southwest Missouri school districts with diverse student populations. The focus was placed on gaining an understanding of strategies and procedures in place to meet the needs of diverse students. The conceptual framework of this study included the five components of culturally responsive teaching: 1) base knowledge, 2) curriculum, 3) classroom climate, 4) cross-cultural communication, and 5) cultural congruity in instruction (Gay, 2002). Upon analysis of teacher survey and principal interview responses, several themes were developed with regard to levels of preparedness. Teachers and principals expressed agreement with the five components of culturally responsive teaching but need more supports in place to practice this pedagogy effectively. Districts must prioritize culturally responsive teaching and the work of providing equity through learning experiences. Building leaders must provide teachers with professional development centered on culturally responsive teaching. Finally, teacher support must be provided through access to a curriculum centered on culturally responsive teaching practices.


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