Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education


Corine Meredith Brown, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

Sarah L. Ferguson, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2

James Coaxum, Ph.D.


Black Boys, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Disabilities, Early Career Teachers, Educator Preparation, Urban Education


African-American boys; Children with disabilities; Teachers--Training of


Special Education and Teaching


Black boys with disabilities struggle in general education classrooms throughout the United States and face challenges and barriers regarding access, success, and equity. Educators must better understand how these students learn and create equitable opportunities by leveraging students' cultures, strengths, and knowledge. The purpose of this explanatory sequential mixed methods research study is to examine teachers' knowledge and understanding of enacting culturally responsive tenets. Four theoretical frameworks are used: Culturally Responsive Teaching (Gay, 2002b, 2018), Ethic of Care (Noddings, 2012), Differentiated Instruction (Tomlinson et al., 2003; Tomlinson, 2017), and Disability Studies and Critical Race Theory (Annamma et al., 2013). The Culturally Responsive Preparedness Scale (Hsiao, 2015) (n = 138) and qualitative interviews (n = 7) are used to gather data. Chi-square, ANOVA, and descriptive statics are used with Phase 1, and thematic coding is used with Phase 2. Emerging themes from the findings included (a) Thoughts of Effectiveness and (b) Welcoming and Engaging Learning Environments. A Fictive Kinship Continuum ranks teachers' advancement towards elements of culturally responsive teaching. Findings imply teacher preparation courses with critical reflection and discourse examining Whiteness in education and understanding aspects of urban education and culture are essential.