Date Approved

4-20-2018

Embargo Period

4-24-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Johnson, Ane Turner

Second Advisor

Luet, Kathryn

Third Advisor

Rich, Jennifer

Subject(s)

Curriculum planning; Language arts; Culturally relevant pedagogy

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Language and Literacy Education

Abstract

The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore how cultural responsiveness informed the development of and decision-making about K-12 English Language Arts curricula in New Jersey. Through the use of a survey and interviews, twelve curriculum supervisors offered an array of insight regarding their professional agency, curriculum processes, and factors that influence the areas associated with the program of study. Findings revealed that although supervisors do not have autonomy in the curriculum development process, they do have greater agency when it comes to selecting supplemental instructional resources and classroom supports. Another key theme was how a district's demographics controlled who was responsible for connective learning. Districts that considered themselves to be diverse rely on the classroom teacher to adapt the curriculum to meet student needs, whereas non-diverse districts embed cultural content into the written program of study itself. Finally, this study revealed that efforts toward a culturally responsive curriculum vary, though many districts utilize extracurricular celebrations as methods of embracing and learning about others' cultures. Ultimately, this study highlighted the importance of cultural responsiveness and its impact on the development of, decision-making about, and overall execution of the English Language Arts curriculum.

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