Experienced Special Education Teachers' Knowledge and Use of Culturally Responsive Practices
thesisposted on 29.10.2016, 00:00 by Peggy A. Snowden
The increase in diversity of the school population and the push of federal mandates such as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and the implementation of standards-based curriculum has increased the pressure on educators to meet the needs of all students but in particular CLD students with and without disabilities. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine experienced special education teachers knowledge and use of culturally responsive teaching practices with students from diverse ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. Nine experienced special education teachers teaching elementary grade students in large Midwestern city and suburban school districts engaged in two semi-structured, face-to-face interviews and one phone interview to describe their knowledge and use of culturally responsive practices in their culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms. Data were analyzed using the grounded theory orientation to qualitative inquiry and were framed by the commonalities across the research on culturally responsive teaching. When using grounded theory, data analysis involves coding data, constantly comparing the data to develop categories, and generating theory. All of these processes occur simultaneously from the start of data collection. The questions for this study were: 1) What are experienced special education teachers knowledge and understanding of culturally responsive teaching?, and 2) How do experienced special education teachers use their knowledge and understanding about culturally responsive teaching and their knowledge and understanding about their students to inform their planning and instruction? The study results are presented in two sections as they relate to the research questions and the discussion is organized around five common ideas or principles of culturally responsive teaching. Implications for future research and practice are also discussed.