Middle school teachers’ perceptions regarding culturally responsive teaching on instructional practice

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Isanda, Kepha M.
Patterson, Jean A.
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Middle school classrooms, like most US public schools, are becoming increasingly diverse and experiencing rapid growth in the number of students of color, low-income, and those from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds (Howard, 2007). In these culturally and ethnically diverse classrooms, some teachers, administrators, and parents view their schools' increasing diversity as a problem rather than an opportunity. The study examined these culturally diverse classrooms through the lens of self-efficacy to assess middle school teachers’ perceptions on Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) practices. Teachers’ perceptions largely influence and determine the instructional strategies they employ. It is important to understand what it takes for instructors to practice a CRT approach to teaching. Teachers’ perceptions was explored by the analysis of teacher’s cultural awareness, knowledge, skills, and agency. The study also examined the role of teacher self-efficacy, and the interactions of personal, behavioral, and environmental factors in teachers’ CRT instructional decisions. The study employed a qualitative approach and collected data from interviews and observations. The research questions which guided this study include: What role does teacher self-efficacy play in CRT practice? How do personal factors (i.e., awareness, knowledge, and skills), behavioral factors (i.e., differentiated practice), and environmental factors (i.e., classroom/school context) influence teachers’ application of CRT instruction? What forms of agency (personal, proxy, collective) influence teachers’ willingness to implement CRT practices? The research revealed that participants seemed to be aware of CRT and showed a desire to practice it during classroom instruction but seemed to have a limited knowledge and lacked a deep understanding of CRT practice. The study supports the need for CRT awareness for teachers to help them manage culturally diverse classrooms. Key Words: Teachers’ Perceptions, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Instructional Practice

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Thesis (Ed.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Intervention Services and Leadership in Education
Wichita State University
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