Term of Award

Fall 2013

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Dr. Michael Moore

Committee Member 1

Dr. Daniel Chapman

Committee Member 2

Dr. Elizabeth Edwards

Committee Member 3

Dr. Lina Bell Soares

Committee Member 3 Email



The purpose of this qualitative case study was to determine if average primary (K-3) teachers were implementing best practices in literacy with culturally relevant teaching in their classroom practice. The cooperating district is located in southeastern Georgia and is a majority minority district. The school district personnel predominantly consists of White female teachers; however, the student population has become increasingly diverse. As a result, the need to teach literacy skills while incorporating the tenets of culturally relevant teaching is increasingly important. The study consisted of an online survey using the platform Survey Monkey and two focus group interviews. The survey was open to all 32 elementary and K-8 schools in the cooperating district, but only 11 principals agreed to permit their teachers participate. From a pool of approximately 250 teachers, 49 respondents completed the survey. The survey was also used to solicit participation in the focus group interviews. There were only six focus group participants, and two groups were held to accommodate everyone’s schedule. This study combined inductive coding and the principles of grounded theory to conduct a thematic analysis. From data analysis, six themes emerged that showed. Among the findings was the fact that most teachers adhere to many aspects of the best practices movement. Data analysis also revealed that half of the primary teachers in the cooperating district did not know enough about culturally relevant teaching to implement it in the classroom, with or without reconciling it to best practices.