Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Floralba A. Marrero, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Alecia Eubanks, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Lisa Foster, Ph.D.


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to explore the perspectives of nine bilingual Latino English Learner (EL) sophomore undergraduate students on their engagement in the higher education classroom. Using Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (CRP) as a theoretical framework, this study focused on how participants describe their classroom engagement, the factors that influence their engagement, and the significance of culture in teaching and learning for this population. To examine the perspectives of the EL participants on their engagement, data was collected to explore the lived experiences of this group using a demographic survey, two in-depth interviews, and reflective journaling. The study revealed the emergence of six main themes that influence Latino ELs’ classroom engagement: (a) recognition of culture in the classroom, (b) respect for diversity, (c) having a voice in the classroom, (d) support for understanding the course content, (e) interacting with other students, and (f) use of primary language. In addition, there are also 29 subthemes that support the themes. The findings of the study offer considerable insight into how the role of CRP influences Latino ELs’ perspectives on their classroom experiences that include the aspects of recognition, respect, and support.

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