Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Julie McCann, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Corey McKenna, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Season Mussey, Ed.D.


According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) students of color, on average, perform lower than their White peers. Lived experiences and cultural influences of White educators do not match students of color in today’s schools. These differences contribute directly to students of color not experiencing rigorous and high-quality instruction relating to their world. This study used a qualitative single-topic case study research design, utilizing semistructured, individual, face-to-face interviews, and five focus group meetings to gather data. Participating teachers’ experiences, perspectives, and perceptions regarding culturally responsive teaching practices and their personal lived experiences framed this study. The conceptual framework of funds of knowledge guided this study based on the understanding all people derive their funds of knowledge from their own lived experiences. Teachers’ reflection and response to their reflection on professional practices in serving students of color influenced the constructivist theoretical framework. The gained awareness of the influences of how race and culture influence the academic success for students of color allows teachers to serve students of color best. Teachers must engage in courageous conversations centering on the belief that all students are capable of learning and achieving at high levels. The perpetuation of the discrepancies in academic achievement between students of color and White students will continue without a foundational shift in the design, implementation, and assessment of learning that ensures equitable learning for all students.

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