An Investigation of Implementing Culturally Responsive Teaching in Elementary Schools

Author: Gloria Sermersheim, Faculty Mentor: Sham'ah Md-Yunus, Department: Teaching, Learning, and Foundations Institution: Eastern Illinois University Address: 600 Lincoln Ave. Charleston, IL, 61902

The study examines elementary teachers in Central Illinois implementing culturally responsive teaching (CRT) practices in their classrooms.  CRT is defined as using the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, and performance styles of ethnically diverse students to make learning encounters more relevant to students’ background (Gay, 2000). Primarily White, rural communities and schools characterize Central Illinois. Thus, some teachers may not have the practical skills to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students.  A quantitative study utilizing survey method was designed to examine if kindergarten through fifth grade teachers are implementing CRT in Central Illinois.  The instrument for the study had a total of 35 questions. The researcher examined which CRT practices teachers are doing the most and the least and if there was a relationship between implementation and students demographics. One hundred and sixty-nine elementary teachers from 19 counties participated in the study. The results of the study revealed that teachers are doing CRT practices that are more general in nature such as on self- perception, and less specific to meeting culturally linguistically diverse students’ needs or addressing diversity. Two of highest scores were on how the teachers reflect on their teaching and how they provide a fair amount of attention to the ELLs. The two lowest were more concrete, pointing to observable practices specific to the ELLs students, such as greeting them and facilitating conversation about unpopular topics. However, there were a few significant correlations between the student demographics and the number of English language learners, including the number of Hispanic students and CRT implementation.  There was no significant correlation between teacher demographics (ethnicity, years of experience, or professional development) and implementation of CRT practices. 

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Gloria Sermersheim

Institution: Eastern Illinois University

Type: Poster

Subject: Education

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 5
Date/Time: Tue 12:30pm-1:30pm
Session Number: 4161