Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education Specialties (Ph.D.)


Education Specialties

First Advisor

Shirley Steinberg

Second Advisor

Olivia Stewart

Third Advisor

Brett Blake


Culturally relevant pedagogy is a core value and mindset that involves using students’ background knowledge and cultures as tools to propel academic success. CRP entails a curriculum that honors and reflects all students and a variety of perspectives. Students are inspired to become social agents, thus recognizing sociopolitical forces and inequalities within the school system, community, and the world at large. Though researchers have illustrated the positive impact of culturally relevant pedagogy on student outcomes, this practice is not consistently practiced in urban classrooms. The purpose of this study was to explore whether long-term professional development and support influence educators’ use of culturally relevant pedagogical practices, as well as the possible impact on their students. Professional development was in the form of a book study using No More Culturally Irrelevant Teaching by Souto-Manning et al. (2018). A case study design was employed to explore the phenomenon. The research question was: In what ways does engaging in a professional learning book study on culturally relevant pedagogy influence teachers’ attitudes and practices in the classroom and what impact does this have on their students? The study was conducted via Webex over a period of 6 weeks. During this time period, participants were tasked with reading 16 pages per week. At the end of each session, participants debriefed the content of the readings. They were also asked to fill out surveys and questionnaires to determine whether they were using the information and strategies from the book in their classrooms. Results yielded three main themes: (a) lack of time, (b) the challenge of translating theory into practice, and (c) comradery and connections among educators. Results indicate further development is needed in the area of sociopolitical consciousness. Ultimately, the results of the study will be used to design a professional learning series on culturally relevant teaching.

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