Graduate Program

Elementary Education

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Sham'ah Md-Yunus


The purpose of this research is to examine if elementary teachers in Central Illinois are implementing culturally responsive teaching (CRT) practices, since the United States and Central Illinois are becoming more diverse. Central Illinois is characterized by primarily White, rural communities and schools. Thus, some teachers may not have the theoretical or practical skills to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students. A quantitative study utilizing a survey-questionnaire method was designed to examine if kindergarten through fifth grade teachers are implementing CRT in Central Illinois. The researcher examined which CRT practices teachers are doing the most and least, and if there was a relationship between implementation and student demographics, or implementation and teacher characteristics. Within 39 counties, 469 elementary teachers participated in the study. The results of the study revealed that teachers are doing CRT practices that are more general in nature and less specific to meeting CLD students' needs or addressing diversity. There were a few significant correlations between the student demographics of "number of English language learners," "number of Hispanic students," and "number of non- Christian students" and CRT implementation. There was no significant correlation between teacher demographics, such as ethnicity, years of experience, or professional development and implementation of CRT practices.