Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Sue Robb

Abstract

This research explores the vast possibilities and benefits offered to students by teachers utilizing culturally relevant teaching practices, materials, and language in the classroom. The purpose of this research is to demonstrate the positive affect culturally aware teaching practices and pedagogy can have on students of non-dominant minority backgrounds, as well as those of dominant cultural backgrounds. The purpose of this research also, is to explore how discussing sensitive subject matter in the classroom should be handled and executed when it is approached by a child or teacher. Data were recorded for this study over the course of six weeks using transcribed audio-recorded interviews with staff members, and observational field notes recorded in follow up observations of each staff member. Data were analyzed for what strategies and methods veteran instructors have chosen to use in their classrooms relevant to cultural sensitivity, and how the use of those methods and strategies affected classroom rapport, respect, and successes.

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