Term of Award

Winter 2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Brenda Marina

Committee Member 1

Sonya Gaither

Committee Member 2

Chris Garretson


Student diversity in public schools has escalated dramatically, and it is a reality that must be accepted by university teacher preparation programs. Teacher candidates need to be taught the necessary skills to successfully teach diverse student populations. Children come from many different cultures and backgrounds and pre-service teachers must be equipped to effectively teach them all. Culturally relevant teacher preparation programs are crucial to preparing teachers to teach across diverse boundaries and have culturally responsive classrooms. Teacher education programs must recognize the necessity to provide learning experiences for pre-service teachers to receive different perspectives of diversity. Demographic differences between teachers and students should never be an excuse for ineffective or inequitable classroom practices. With appropriate training, teachers from any culture or racial background can successfully establish a culturally responsive classroom that celebrates all children.

This descriptive mixed methods study gathered both quantitative and qualitative data on the perspectives of novice teachers about their educational preparation to teach in a diverse school environment. Overall findings revealed that they did not feel they were adequately prepared by their institution to enter a diverse classroom and teach effectively.