Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Dr. Frances Wills

Second Supervisor

Dr. Jennifer Schulman


The purpose of this qualitative research study was to examine the perceptions of novice teachers' preparedness to teach culturally diverse students using Bell's (1995) critical race theory and Freire's (1970) critical pedagogy theoretical frameworks. These theoretical frameworks are consistent in sharing tenets that recognize racial and social injustices as they pertain to education. This study focused on the personal experiences of novice teachers who volunteered to participate in the study. The participants in this study completed the Graduate School of Education teacher education program located in the northeastern region in a Catholic private college. Through eight semi-structured interviews, the study was able to gauge the participants' perceptions based on their lived experiences. The data were coded and analyzed to understand the participants' experiences. The findings concluded that the perceptions by the novice teachers are that they are not fully equipped with the knowledge and experience to teach culturally diverse students. The perceptions are that their teacher education program is not thoroughly preparing teachers to educate culturally diverse students. The recommendation for this includes improving the practice of the teacher preparation program by having higher education administrators include a social justice course as a requirement in teacher preparation programs, implementing mandatory student teaching to occur in urban school districts, and instituting policies to support professional development to increase cultural competency. Understanding how to teach culturally diverse students can result in positive social change for teachers and increase the academic achievement of culturally diverse students.

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