Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.S. in Educational Leadership



First Advisor

Doug Davis

Second Advisor

Angus Mungal

Third Advisor

Ryan Niemeyer

Relational Format



Academic failure and achievement gaps plague high-poverty school districts with majority-minority student populations. Culturally responsive pedagogy provides an opportunity for educators to bridge the gap caused by poverty and educational disparities. This applied research aimed to create a culture of teaching and learning that impacted student behavior and growth and proficiency in English Language Arts and math at a high poverty middle school. The eighth-grade teachers and students were exposed to this pilot program to increase teacher capacity in cultural responsiveness and increase student achievement. This applied research study utilized two action plan elements, which included professional development and implementation of culturally responsive pedagogy. Four research questions guided this study. The first question inquired about teachers’ perceptions after receiving the professional development. The second question explored teachers’ usage of culturally responsive teaching strategies and program integration in their lesson plans. The third question examined student behaviors and discipline as a result of program implementation. The fourth question evaluated enCase benchmark growth and proficiency in English language arts and math. In a collaborative effort with stakeholders, the findings of this research study support the need for culturally responsive pedagogy to be utilized as a strategy to improve the success of students in high-poverty schools.


Educational Leadership, K-12



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.