• Culturally Relevant Teaching Remix: A Study of Middle School Teachers' Development of Youth Cultural Competence Through Technology Integration and Application

      Smith, Michael W. (Michael William), 1954-; Brandt, Carol B.; Hall, John (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      The purpose of this study was to examine technology integration and the application of Culturally Relevant Teaching (CRT). This inquiry evolved as a result of trying to understand the unique intersectionality of student identity, which is inclusive of youth culture, and whether teachers understood this dynamic and hence leveraged it in the classrooms and school communities they taught. Given that youth culture is a “mash-up of cultures and the membership transcends ethnic and racial lines,” there was evident value in exploring how youth cultural competence is unpacked and applied by educators to both deliver content and build relationships (Keuss, 2012), Understanding that a major youth cultural referent is technology, the study observed how teacher’s Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge manifested itself in the classroom and the types of technology students shared they were exposed to, in addition to their perceptions of teacher competence of technology and/or youth culture. This exploration was further framed by using a Culturally Relevant Teaching framework to analyze teacher-student interactions, based on the principles, behaviors and mindsets outlined by Ladson-Billings in her construction of defining the characteristics of a CRT educator (2009). This was a qualitative study that included 10 teachers and 20 student participants that were members of a technology-rich middle school in an urban environment. Teachers participated in classroom observations, interviews, and CRT reflective tasks. Students participated in grade-level focus groups that leveraged interactive and reflective tasks. As a result of the data analysis, implications from the study presents school leaders with practical insights on how technology integration can be woven into the fabric of the school to strengthen teacher development, support content delivery and enhance the quality of student learning experiences. Additionally, there is evidence of a need for commitment by schools to train teachers in Culturally Relevant Teaching practices in order to attend to the whole child, operate with a more student-centered approach, and adequately prepare scholars for the digital world.