Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Lynda Leavitt

Second Advisor

Erin Gruntman

Third Advisor

Jeffrey Deckelbaum


The dissertation in practice focused on addressing the issue of inadequate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) competencies among teachers in a Title I school. The problem of practice emerged within the context of an increasingly diverse educational landscape, necessitating educators to possess robust DEI skills. The proposed solution was a professional development (PD) program, crafted using a design thinking approach, which included an asynchronous learning module supplemented by a book study. The comprehensive PD program was aimed at enhancing the teachers' understanding and application of DEI principles, making the prototype relevant to the demands of multicultural education in today’s diverse classrooms. Quantitative analysis, employing bootstrap paired sample t-tests, demonstrated significant improvements in the DEI competencies among the participating teachers. Qualitative data, gleaned from reflective journal entries and feedback from the book study, provided deeper insights into how the DEI concepts were applied in educational settings. Teachers reported an increased readiness to teach in multicultural classrooms and a more positive attitude towards professional development in diversity and multicultural education. The findings were consistent with literature underscoring the importance of targeted professional development in enhancing teachers' preparedness and attitudes towards diversity. The intervention’s design and outcomes were closely aligned with one or more domains in the Leadership, Ed.D. conceptual framework, particularly in fostering organizational change. The intervention exemplified transformational leadership by inspiring and motivating staff, creating an innovative and creative environment, and clearly communicating the vision for change. The researcher’s study underscored the importance of well-crafted professional development programs in elevating educators' competencies, contributing to organizational change, and fostering more inclusive and equitable learning environments.