Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Maryanne H. Longo


AbstractU.S. schools are diverse due to an increasing number of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) learners. Researchers recommend using culturally responsive teaching (CRT) that connects race and literacy, culture, and language with CLD learners. If K-3 teachers do not use CRT practices, CLD students’ English proficiency will be delayed, which may negatively influence self-esteem, academic achievement, social skills, and mobility through society. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore Title1 K-3 primary and resource teachers’ perspectives of CRT practices used with CLD learners. Gay’s theory of CRT, featuring teacher attitudes, culturally diverse curriculum content, culturally congruent instruction, pedagogical skills, and tenacity in ensuring quality education, was used to frame this study. A purposeful sample of 8 K-3 participants, including 6 primary teachers and 2 resource teachers with experience working in schools with a high population of CLD learners, volunteered and participated in semistructured interviews. Data were analyzed through coding and theme development. The results showed that participants supplemented the existing CLD curriculum with visual aids and literacy resources, used vocabulary, language, and student-centered techniques for instruction, and integrated parent involvement activities to develop home/school relationships and increase student academic performance. Teachers shared a need for more CRT training; thus, it is recommended that K-3 teachers receive training on new knowledge, strategies, and skills that prepare them to meet the needs of their CLD students. This endeavor may lead to positive social change when district administrators provide K-3 teachers with professional development to learn and apply new CRT practices in the classroom to increase CLD learners’ English proficiency.