Urban and Rural Teachers' Attitudes and Adherence to Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in the Context of a Racial/ethnic Manipulation

Open Access
Author:
El-ghazal, Nelli G
Graduate Program:
School Psychology
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
October 23, 2012
Committee Members:
  • Beverly Vandiver, Committee Chair
  • Robert Leslie Hale, Committee Member
  • Barbara Schaefer, Committee Member
  • Nicole Sheree Webster, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • Culturally relevant pedagogy
  • culturally responsive teaching
  • teachers
  • multicultural attitudes
  • multicultural behaviors
Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to examine teachers’ multicultural awareness, attitudes, and self-reported behaviors in the context of culturally relevant pedagogy. The main objectives of this study were as follows: (a) to compare the cultural attitudes of teachers working in urban (i.e., culturally diverse) and rural (i.e., culturally homogeneous) school environments, (b) to compare their level of multicultural awareness in the classroom as defined by geographical location, and (c) to examine teachers’ adherence to culturally relevant teaching strategies based on the perceived race of a student. Participants were 160 teachers from 13 school districts in Pennsylvania. All teachers were regular education classroom teachers who had been teaching for more than three years. The design of this study was quasi-experimental, in which teachers were assigned to one of four conditions corresponding to the name of the student presumed to reflect a specific racial/ethnic group: (a) White, (b) African American, (c) Latino, and (d) acultural. Otherwise, all conditions contained an identical vignette about a male student, referred to by a specific name, adjusting to a new school and experiencing minor academic problems. After presenting the vignette, the teachers were asked to fill out several paper and pencil measures: (a) Teaching Pedagogy Scale (TPS); (b) Teacher Multicultural Attitude Survey (TMAS); (c) Crowne-Marlowe Social Desirability Scale short form (S-CMSDS); (d) Miville-Guzman Universality-Diversity Scale – Short (M-GUDS-S); and (e) demographic survey. Descriptive statistics, t -tests, factor analysis, ANOVAs, and MANOVAs were run to test the three hypotheses. No significant findings emerged. A major limitation of the study was the operational definition of culturally diverse or homogeneous environments as equivalent to the terms of urban and rural, respectively. This and other limitations to this study and suggestion for future direction are discussed.