The Process of Implementing Culturally Adapted Behavioral Strategies in the Classroom for Educators
thesisposted on 01.05.2020, 00:00 by Christerralyn Alyce Jeon Brown
By 2024, students of color (i.e., youth who are Black, Latino, Asian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, American Indian, and multiracial) are projected to represent 56% of the student enrollment in U.S. public schools (Kena et al., 2015). The diversity of our current and future student population merits differentiated strategies to best support every student’s engagement and behavior and teachers need tools for building relationships with each student. For this research project, culture was defined as the integrated pattern of human behavior (e.g., thoughts, communication, action, customs, beliefs, values, instructions) of a racial, ethnic, religious, or social group (Day-Vines et al., 2007). Some have described culture as a spectrum, ranging from surface elements (e.g., food, language, dress) to deeper components (e.g., notions of self, norms, prejudices; Hammond, 2014; Weaver, 1993). As noted by Larson et al. (2018), scholars suggest that a cultural “disconnect” between the school and home may contribute to disproportionality (Cholewa & West-Olatunji, 2008). Culturally responsive behavioral interventions that are implemented correctly can be effective in managing classroom disruptions and increasing student engagement (Cartledge & Kourea, 2008). These interventions hold great potential as preventative measures, given that a majority of teachers in the work force today are White, middle class, and female (O’Brennan, Bradshaw, & Furlong, 2014). Despite extensive literature on culturally responsive practices and a movement in the field to increase the use of such approaches in the classroom, progress toward establishing an evidence base of effective strategies has been slow (Bottiani et al., 2012). The purpose of this study was to provide teachers with professional development coaching to implement culturally adapted behavior strategies. These professional development sessions were delivered over three-months that focused on educators’ use of critical reflection to discuss biases, create a process to implement cultural adaptations effectively, and develop positive outcome expectancies of their students.