Date Approved

4-16-2019

Embargo Period

4-25-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Luet, Kathryn McGinn

Second Advisor

Edwards, Nicole

Third Advisor

Bean-Folkes, Jane

Subject(s)

Academic achievement; Culturally relevant pedagogy

Disciplines

Teacher Education and Professional Development

Abstract

Student achievement is at the forefront of conversations related to education, yet culturally diverse learners continue to experience academic success much less than their White peers (Ajayi, 2011; Alviar-Martin & Ho, 2011; Aronson & Laughter, 2016; Ladson-Billings, 2009). Persistent gaps in achievement, graduation rates, and completion of college degrees indicate that educators need to reflect on how students from marginalized groups are prepared to participate in the global economy (Crouch, 2012; Ford & Moore, 2013; Frankenberg, 2009; Pennington, Brock & Ndura, 2012). The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a structured intervention program would increase in-service teachers' racial awareness. The review of literature was developed around two dominant themes: factors that influence teacher positionality, and the second theme examined teacher positionality and student success and the link between culturally responsive practices and teacher expectations. A qualitative line of inquiry was used to elicit lived experiences of the participants. The findings of this study support the disruption of the hegemonic practices as participants became self-aware of the influence of their whiteness on classroom practices. A framework for examining cultural awareness was developed from the findings and extant literature surrounding cultural awareness. The framework provides a blueprint for educational researchers and educators to use to uncover and disrupt whiteness as the normative framework for teaching which marginalizes culturally diverse learners whose culture is not valued by the system.

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