Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Joel Goodin


The problem at the local site was a gap in practice in that teachers were not using culturally responsive pedagogy (CRP) in their delivery of lessons, which may have contributed to an achievement gap between European American and Asian American students and African American and Latinx students. This problem was important because local ACT results indicated that a significant achievement gap existed between these student populations. The purpose of this study was to investigate teachers’ use of CRP, which may serve to mitigate the achievement gap. The conceptual framework for this study was self-determination theory. The research questions focused on high school teachers’ perceptions of culturally responsive pedagogy at the study site and high school teachers’ understanding of their ability to implement CRP effectively. Data were collected using a case-study approach consisting of 11 semi-structured interviews and document analysis of teachers’ lesson plans. Interviews and documents were transcribed, coded, and analyzed to identify emerging themes. Results of the study indicated that most teachers believed that CRP was an effective way to mitigate the achievement gap, but they had little understanding of what CRP was. Further, training provided by the local district has been inadequate in meeting teachers’ cultural competency needs. As a result of the study, a 3-day professional development seminar was created to teach teachers effective implementation of CRP. Positive social change may result from the research and professional development as it may mitigate the achievement gap for linguistic and ethnically diverse students at the local study site.