Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Glenn Penny


Poor scores on standardized tests on the part of African American students are a problem at an urban high school in the U.S. Midwest. A factor potentially contributing to this problem is that teachers' cultural beliefs may not be well matched to those of students. This gap is important because cultural beliefs have an influence on the academic achievement of students. The cultural mismatch may be reduced as teachers gain experience with students' cultures and diversity, but it is not known the extent to which experience is beneficial in the Midwest urban high school setting. The purpose of this quantitative cross-sectional survey study was to compare novice and veteran teachers' cultural beliefs using the Cultural Awareness Belief Inventory (CABI). Bennett's intercultural sensitivity developmental model was used as the framework to interpret findings. The overarching research question addressed the difference in cultural beliefs between novice and veteran teachers; there were 28 hypotheses referencing each item on the CABI survey. The sample drawn from a pool of volunteer teachers included 138 novice teachers with less than 5 years of experience and 261 veteran teachers with 5 or more years of experience. Mann Whitney U tests were employed as the inferential statistical test to compare differences between the two groups among 28 dependent variables. There was a significant difference in beliefs of novice and veteran teachers relating to classroom management but not in other areas. This study may promote social change by providing school leaders with the understanding that classroom management is associated with different cultural beliefs among novice and veteran teachers. Leaders can use study findings to develop a training program on cultural aspects of classroom management for novice teachers and in-service workshops to enhance cultural teaching practices for veteran teachers.