Committee Chair

Bernard, Hinsdale

Committee Member

Kelly, Kirk; Rutledge, Valerie; Tucker, James


Dept. of Education


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


This study was conducted to determine teachers’ perceptions of culturally responsive policies and practices in sixteen elementary schools in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Participants completed a survey called the C.A.R.E. (Culturally Aware and Responsive Education) tool, which was developed by the researcher. The survey was administered in two sets of schools with contrasting populations and a comparative analysis between the two sets of schools was conducted. The purpose of this study was to measure teachers’ perceptions regarding the level of cultural responsiveness of their school’s policies and practices. An additional purpose was to validate the C.A.R.E. The sample of subjects consisted of educators from two sets of schools (referred to as Benwood Phase I schools and Benwood Phase II schools). These two groups were in differing stages of development of the same reform effort. The Cronbach’s alpha was used to determine the reliability of the C.A.R.E. The C.A.R.E was determined to have an overall reliability of .928. Construct validity was established throughout the initial phases of the study by utilizing subject matter experts, including members of the dissertation committee. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics (means and standard deviations), t-tests, and chi-square. The results of this study indicate that teachers in Benwood Phase I schools perceive the policies and practices at their schools to be more culturally responsive in 28 of 33 indicators identified in the C.A.R.E. instrument. Likewise, the results also indicate that teachers in Benwood II schools scored themselves higher in 5 of 33 areas listed in the C.A.R.E. The results show that in addition to the fact that there is a significant difference in teachers’ perceptions of level s of culturally responsive policies and practices in their schools, there is also a significant difference in the amount of professional development related to culturally responsive teaching among the two sets of schools. Educators in Benwood Phase I schools have had more professional development geared toward culturally responsive teaching. Lastly, this research determined that there was no significant difference in the socioeconomic backgrounds of educators in Benwood Phase I and Benwood Phase II schools, but that there is a difference between the socioeconomic backgrounds of teachers as compared to their students in both sets of schools.


Ed. D.; A dissertation submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Education.




Multicultural education -- United States -- Evaluation


Educational Leadership

Document Type

Doctoral dissertations




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