DEVELOPING CULTURALLY COMPETENT STAFF TO BETTER ENGAGE STUDENTS OF COLOR

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Date
2021-08-03
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Johns Hopkins University
Abstract
This dissertation explores student disengagement as a pressing issue in the United States’ educational system that may contribute to lower levels of academic achievement and higher school dropout rates. Student engagement, feelings of belongingness, and perceptions of teacher support of students of color were explored through literature and found to be disparate among student groups in one school’s fifth grade. Possible interventions to address these disparities were discussed. Professional development to address teachers’ cultural competence and responsiveness and introduce student-centered teaching practices (platforms for student voice and implementation of inquiry-based instruction) was proposed as an intervention with a small group of elementary school teachers. This intervention was developed to change the attitudes and beliefs of participants and provide strategies and opportunities to promote student engagement, feelings of belongingness, and perceptions of teacher support with their students. The effectiveness of the professional learning was analyzed and found that this intervention was successful in meeting these targets.
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Keywords
engagement, belongingness, perceptions, cultural responsiveness, professional development
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