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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Culturally Responsive Teaching for Diverse Students: Inherent Dispositions and Attitudes of Effective Teachers

  • Author(s): Jackson, Josie Alberta
  • Advisor(s): Contreras, Fraces
  • et al.

The achievement gap in education has existed in our society for as long as we have chosen to pay attention to it. Certain demographic groups have always performed better on federal and state assessments compared to others. This study will focus on culturally proficient teaching, specifically, teacher dispositions and attitudes that contribute towards the successful learning of diverse students.

Teaching diverse students is a challenging feat because of the fact that the majority of our educators come from different backgrounds, compared to the diverse students they teach. These differences related to race, class, and socioeconomic status affect students’ education, as the tremendous gap we know continues to exist. The intent of this dissertation is to: (a) provide a basic understanding of culturally responsive teaching for diverse students, (b) explore why an understanding of culturally responsive teaching strategies by teachers is crucial in order for all teachers to help diverse students to be successful, (c) explore how teacher perceptions; efficacy; and expectations of and towards students affect the learning of diverse students, (d) suggest ideas related to professional development and culturally responsive teaching that support teachers in successfully teaching diverse students. The literature presented here regarding culturally responsive teaching will focus on a number of methods with a specific concentration on social justice and the known barriers and solutions for successful use of culturally responsive teaching. Studies emphasize the importance of implementing culturally responsive teaching to help diverse students to be successful throughout their educational careers (Anderson, 2012; Bales & Saffold, 2011; Bergeron, 2008; Bui & Fagan, 2013; Gay, 2002 & 2010; Hynds, Sleeter, Hindle, Savage, Penetito, & Meyer, 2011; Bennett, 2012; Santamaria, 2009; and Siwatu, 2011). For these reasons, it is crucial for all teachers to know that culturally responsive teaching strategies, along with their inherent dispositions and positive perceptions will help diverse students the most to be academically successful. This is why this proposed study is so important to add to this body of research.

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