Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Shannon Cleverley-Thompson, EdD

Second Supervisor

Cheryl McGruder-Holloway, EdD


The purpose of this research study was to examine the experiences of elementary school teachers who were implementing culturally responsive teaching (CRT) in urban and suburban elementary schools in New York State. Utilizing the CRT theoretical framework of Dr. Geneva Gay, this research study investigated kindergarten through sixth grade teachers’ experiences implementing CRT. In 2021, the New York State Education Department adopted a diversity, equity, and inclusion policy that requires all students are made to feel welcomed, accepted, and supported in every classroom. Thus, the importance of CRT is most significant at this time.

A combination of purposive, snowball, and criterion sampling were used to select seven participants to explore their experiences implementing CRT. Data collection included a teacher demographic survey, semi-structured interviews, and examples of lesson plans demonstrating culturally responsive strategies. Data analysis consisted of two levels of general coding resulting in six overarching themes describing the essence of CRT: (a) adapting to students’ cultural needs, (b) building relationships for community, (c) positive mindsets for success, (d) empowering and affirming students, (e) challenges navigated while implementing CRT and, (f) advantageous support beyond the classroom. The results from this study provide teachers with an entry point for implementing CRT. Recommendations were made for future research and professional practice.


Only the abstract of this dissertation is available, on the author’s request.

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