Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Camille Sutton-Brown

Committee Chair

Dr. Raynice Jean-Sigur

Second Committee Member

Dr. Lateefah Id-Deen


Research suggests increased enrollment of students with diverse cultural, racial, linguistic, and social backgrounds will continue in schools across the United States over the coming years; thereby, imposing a challenge for some teachers with differing backgrounds to instruct culturally and linguistically diverse students. Without adequate professional development focused on culturally responsive teaching, it has been purported teachers will continue to adopt deficit perceptions and subpar practices that negatively impact students of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Thus, this study aimed to explore how a series of in-service professional development focused on culture, race, and pedagogy may influence teacher perceptions and practices regarding culturally and linguistically diverse students served in a suburban Title I elementary school. The study was also conducted to determine beneficial components of the professional development. A collective case study involving interviews, questionnaire surveys, and reflective journaling was conducted over a 6-week period to gain insight into eight teacher participants’ perceptions and practices before, during, and after engaging in the professional development designed to promote transformation of their thoughts and actions through the processes of critical reflection and rational discourse. The study revealed how the reflective nature of the professional development fostered notable changes in the participants’ perceptions and practices. The findings also yielded implications and recommendations for stakeholders – teachers, teacher leaders, school leaders, district leaders, teacher preparation programs, and policymakers – regarding the significance of prioritizing the learning needs of all students by maximizing opportunities for ongoing professional development intended to cultivate and sustain a culturally responsive teacher workforce.