Date of Award



© 2021 Kristina Sterling

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Michelle Collay

Second Advisor

Catherine Stieg

Third Advisor

Charissa Govan


The purpose of this study was to document ways that Urban Teachers’ candidates enact culturally responsive teaching practices in an effort to combat the opportunity gaps in education and increase students’ achievement rate. This study focused on documenting responses to the questions: How do Urban Teachers enact culturally responsive teaching practices in their classrooms? How do teachers in the Urban Teachers program describe overcoming perceived barriers to implementing culturally responsive teaching in an urban school district? The problem of the study was a lack of evaluation of culturally responsive teaching (CRT) practices of those Urban Teachers once they entered the classroom. Teachers’ responses were described within the Culturally Responsive Teaching framework authored by Muniz and the organization New America.

The research was conducted as a pilot case study. There were five participants who volunteered. Out of those five participants, three also completed both surveys and interviews. Data were collected using a self-assessment survey and one on one interviews. Based on the data collected, the participants had the greatest confidence in their commitment to relationship building, lesson planning, and creating a student-centered environment. Lesson planning had the lowest self-efficacy scores on the survey but was strong in the interview portion.

Based on the data collected, participants described that aspects of the program provided culturally responsive training through a focus on relationship building, growth mindset, real world connections, and modeling respect for differences. They faced barriers to enacting culturally responsive teaching including a lack of resources and comprehensive implementation of the pedagogy.


Ed.D. Dissertation