• THE DEVELOPMENT OF CULTURAL COMPETENCE IN WHITE TEACHERS AND HOW IT IMPACTS CONNECTIONS WITH STUDENTS WHO ARE CULTURALLY DIVERSE

      Brooks, Wanda M., 1969-; Sanford-DeShields, Jayminn; Fergus, Edward, 1974- (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)
      Racially diverse populations have risen over the course of the last decade in public schools while the population of teachers continues to be dominated by white teachers. Cultural competence becomes an important component for white teachers as they seek to educate racially diverse students. This qualitative study used interviews, observations, lesson plan reviews and a student focus group to learn from white teachers and racially diverse students in an urban environment. The study focused on answering one primary question and two sub-questions that centered around learning how white teachers develop their cultural competence and develop connections with racially diverse students. The primary question focused on how white teachers develop their cultural competence to implement culturally responsive practices in the classroom with the first sub-question focusing on the beliefs and teaching strategies they employ to bridge the gap between their culture and the students’ cultures. The second sub-question focused on whether students felt connected to the teachers that use cultural knowledge and culturally responsive strategies in the classroom. Four themes arose after the data collection and analysis process: (1) Teachers acknowledge and appreciate racially diverse backgrounds; (2) Teachers value a sociopolitical consciousness by reflecting on, assessing, and overcoming biases pertaining to cultural differences, oppressive practices, and privilege; (3) Teachers implement student focused instructional approaches that involve student discourse, collaboration, and engagement at various levels; (4) Teachers care and develop trusting, respectful relational relationship with their students.