Graduate Program

Curriculum and Instruction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Semester of Degree Completion

Fall 2022

Thesis Director

Sham'ah Md-Yunus

Thesis Committee Member

Dawn M. VanGunten

Thesis Committee Member

Mona Y. Davenport


Culturally responsive teaching (CRT) can be used as a means for effectively teaching and managing students and decreases the achievement gap between students of Color and their White counterparts. This qualitative study with an ethnographic design examines the utilization of culturally responsive teaching strategies of two middle school teachers and two principals in public schools on the Southwest side of Chicago. The study is guided by one research question: What aspects of culturally responsive teaching practices are teachers using in their teaching strategies? The study has two purposes: To analyze the effectiveness of two middle school teachers’ utilization of culturally responsive teaching principles within the public school district and determine if cultural awareness contributes to the use of CRT. The data was collected using the following methods for five weeks: teacher observations, teacher interviews, self-assessment surveys, principal questionnaires, and classroom resources. The results of the study reported that the two teachers utilized validating, comprehensive and inclusive, multidimensional, empowering, and transformative from Gay’s (2018) CRT framework. The principal’s questionnaire revealed that the teachers must have ongoing professional development opportunities on CRT in order for their teaching strategies to effectively accommodate the changing demographics of their students.