Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Ruby Burgess


A long-standing, race-based academic achievement gap between Black and White students has existed in a local district in the southwest United States for more than 5 years. The purpose of this qualitative, descriptive case study was to explore teachers’ perceptions and experiences related to the use of culturally relevant or responsive (CRR) teaching strategies. The study was guided by Hale’s theory explaining how culture shapes a child’s cognition and learning styles, indicating benefits when the teacher used the students’ cultural assets during instruction. Research questions were written to address teachers’ perceptions of, experiences with, and the value of using CRR teaching strategies. To meet the selection criteria, each participant had at least 3 years of K-12 teaching experience in the district and had taught multiple classes with at least two Black students. Six teachers chose to participate, and data were collected through interviews and a self-audit of how the teacher’s environment, instruction, strategies, and assessment aligned with their use of research-based, culturally relevant teaching (CRT) approaches. The interview data were analyzed through inductive coding, resulting in the following emergent themes: culturally responsive perspectives, PD/training, and instructional strategies combined with content knowledge. The participants expressed the need for professional development (PD) in utilizing CRR strategies, so a PD module was developed as the project. The results may promote positive social change by helping teachers address race-based achievement issues and contributing to the body of scholarly research related to the use of culturally relevant pedagogy and teaching strategies.