Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)


Teacher Leadership for Learning

First Advisor

Dr. Corrie Davis

Second Advisor

Dr. Reta Ugena Whitlock

Third Advisor

Dr. Dawn Kirby


Racial minority students in American public schools learn in environments that are antithetical to their cultural and familial backgrounds. Because the majority of the teacher workforce is comprised of white teachers, the institution of school places racial minority students at risk. These students drop out or are labeled as failures at alarming rates. This qualitative study explored the teaching behaviors of white veteran teachers through a design that mixed both multicase study and autoethnography. The data sources for this study included interviews, focus groups, teacher journals, and teacher-authored documents. The data in this study was member checked and peer reviewed as well as triangulated to increase accuracy. Three findings were gleaned from the data: (1) white teachers in this study teach from a worldview that demonstrates a monolithic cultural gaze; (2) when white teachers are inclusive of other cultures, they inadvertently impede the progress that might occur from such inclusiveness by poor planning or by other life events; (3) the subtle relationship between power and assessment allows white teachers to unintentionally impact their racial minority students. Recommendations for teachers of English include culturally relevant pedagogy and reflective pedagogy as a means to provide racial minority students a voice in the classroom. Further research is needed to evaluate racial minority student perceptions of white teachers and their myopic instructional strategies for the diverse students within their classrooms.