Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Philosophy (Ph.D)


Education Specialties

First Advisor

Olivia G Stewart

Second Advisor

Alyssa M McDowell


The present study used an explanatory-sequential mixed-methods research design to investigate the culturally responsive teaching self-efficacy of secondary teachers during the emergency online learning of 2020. Participants were all teachers in a small urban mid-Atlantic school district. Phase 1 involved the collection of primarily quantitative data, including a measure adapted from Siwatu’s (2007) Culturally Responsive Teaching Self-Efficacy (CRTSE) scale. Quantitative findings informed the selection of six teachers to participate in interviews during the qualitative Phase 2. Interview questions further probed participants’ culturally responsive teaching self-efficacy and how the teachers demonstrated these beliefs in general and specifically during the emergency online learning of 2020. Qualitative data was analyzed using a two-cycle coding process, primarily focused on four elements of culturally responsive teaching: funds of knowledge, cultural tools, broadened learning context, and social justice. Cruz et al. (2019) found that “little research has examined the extent to which teachers feel competent specifically in their ability to implement CRT practices” (p. 3). The present study aimed to address this gap by investigating the CRTSE in diverse secondary settings using a mixed-methods design. Evidence in many fields of research indicates that studying extreme situations can provide valuable insight that can be applicable in other less extreme contexts (Chen, 2016; Kreiner et al., 2009; Murtazashvili, 2019). The emergency remote teaching of 2020 constituted such an extreme situation, which the present study explored in an attempt to discover insight that would be applicable to post-COVID education. Studying the perceptions and practices of secondary teachers during this time period in terms of cultural responsiveness illuminated new perspectives on effectively reaching and teaching diverse groups of students. Although previous studies have investigated CRTSE within many contexts, none have done so within the context of emergency online learning during a global pandemic. The present study has strong implications for understanding and building CRTSE among secondary teachers, which in turn has strong implications for improving academic success for their students. The study provides insight into teaching practices that demonstrate a need for building CRTSE among secondary teachers and should inform future professional development and district policy to this end.