Schools across the country are becoming more racially, ethnically and socio-economically diverse. According to the National Education Association, 2014 marked the milestone year where racial and ethnic minority groups of students became the majority of students in the U.S. education system (Hawkins, D., National Education Association, Apr. 2019). Most of our teachers come from white, middle class backgrounds, and often lack an understanding of different cultural norms and values, and this undermines the academic potential of diverse groups of students (Nelson & Guerra, 2014). When teachers focus on the differences between their own beliefs and culture and the culture of the students they serve, they often form a deficit point of view, where the student’s culture is something to be overcome, not valued, the achievement gap often widens (Terrell & Lindsey, 2009).
A well-informed citizenry is a key component of our democracy. Opportunity and achievement gaps persist disproportionately for diverse groups of students, including but not limited to, African American, Latino, and American Indian, gay and lesbian students, English
language learners, and students who live in poverty (Ladson-Billings, 1995). Building principals are the instructional leaders of their buildings and are responsible for the educational outcomes of all students (Leithwood et al. 2004). One component to ensuring that all students have high quality instruction, lies in making sure that cultural differences are respected and appreciated. In addition, the principal must provide professional development support to teachers in areas that are needed in order to close the achievement gap between minority students, students in poverty and white students (Ladson-Billings, 2006).
The purpose of this quantitative study is to explore the role of the building principal in providing professional development to teachers in culturally responsive teaching practices and which principal actions are necessary to encourage teachers to use these practices in their classrooms. It also explores teacher’s self-reported use of culturally responsive classroom practices that are designed to meet the needs of racially and ethnically diverse groups of students and students who live in poverty (Ebersol, Kanahele-Mossman & Kawakami, 2015; Terrell & Lindsey, 2009).
This study is using the lens of cultural responsiveness (Terrell & Lindsey, 2009). The researcher conducted a survey to elementary school teachers in three BOCES in upstate New York. The findings of this study reveal that professional development is needed to increase educators’ knowledge and understanding of culturally responsive practices and that there are multiple practices that building principals can do to help facilitate the use of those culturally responsive practices.
|School:||Sage Graduate School|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Multicultural Education, Educational administration|
|Keywords:||Building principals, Teachers , Culturally responsive practices, Classroom , Improve student achievement|
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