Organizational Conditions for Culturally Responsive Pedagogies: Looking at African-American Schools
thesisposted on 01.05.2020, 00:00 by Fatima M Brunson
Culturally responsive pedagogy is a dynamic approach shown to be effective when attempting to increase learning opportunities for racially minoritized groups, particularly African-Americans. While there is a growing amount of evidence suggesting teachers incorporate cultural characteristics, experiences, and perspectives of ethnically diverse students as conduits for teaching them more effectively (Gay, 2002); a significant amount of evidence (e.g., Enyedy &; Mukhopadhyay, 2007; Young, 2010) points to a lack of understanding, after pre-service training, of what it means to be a culturally relevant teacher (Dixson & Dodo Seriki, 2014) or that culturally relevant pedagogy has been reduced to a set of fixed behaviors (Ladson-Billings, 1995). At the same time, theories for enhancing teachers’ instructional capacity highlights the importance of formal and informal mechanisms for improving teachers practice school-wide. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of schools in supporting and developing teachers’ cultural knowledge base and responsive teaching commitments, as necessary components of culturally responsive pedagogy. I employed qualitative research methods, using a replication case study design looking at two predominately African-American school organizations. By conducting semi-structured interviews, observations, and a document analysis, the findings highlight major influences on teachers’ knowledge and commitments for enacting culturally responsive pedagogies.