Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Jeannine Dingus-Eason

Second Supervisor

Jeannette Silvers Ralph


This purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship existed between the number of office disciplinary referrals (ODRs) urban middle school teachers write and a teacher’s level of cultural competence. The hypothesis was that teachers who report a lower number of ODRs will have a higher level of cultural competence. An exploratory, sequential, mixed-methods study was conducted to qualitatively analyze responses from a sample of urban middle school teachers to quantitatively score them. The Instructor Cultural Competency Questionnaire was used to capture participant responses to six scenarios based on cultural issues. The Bennett Model of Cultural Competence was used to score the responses. Qualitative analysis led to six themes, across 37 participants. Quantitative analysis was followed by using a Pearson correlation coefficient and scatter plot to compare the cultural competency score and the number of ODRs participants reported. The result of these tests was that there was no significant relationship between the number of ODRs participants reported and their cultural competency score, disproving the hypothesis. Some of the recommendations include initiating a longitudinal qualitative study on the actual reasons urban middle school students are referred. This study could also include the examination of the perceptions of teachers when it comes to appropriate behavior management, especially in diverse classrooms. Other recommendations include the implementation of school wide information system to collect ODR data and analyze it to prescribe the most appropriate behavioral interventions

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