Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Higher Education Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Ignacio Lopez

Second Advisor

Dr. Seema Iman

Third Advisor

Dr. Karen Galea


In colleges and universities all across the United States, the amount of culturally and linguistically diverse students has increased significantly. Research has shown that when educators can develop educational practices and curricula that account for and incorporate students’ cultural frameworks, outcomes improve for culturally and linguistically diverse students. Culturally responsive teaching is a pedagogical approach that does just that. This research project aimed to bring to light the various ways that general education professors define and enact culturally responsive teaching practices. It further illustrates how students receive and interpret these culturally responsive approaches. Using the general education college within a mid-sized Midwestern University, data was collected through interviews with professors, classroom observations, and a student focus group. Findings show that professors define culturally responsive teaching in a variety of ways with students at the center. The focus on students shows that building relationships with students is the most common way culturally responsive teaching is practiced. Students were receptive to these approaches and responded affirmatively to the practice of relationship building. Other themes emerged, indicating that, for professors, culturally responsive teaching is an iterative and self-reflective practice. They also felt limited support from their programs and institutions to enhance their culturally responsive teaching practices. The study shows what is effective culturally responsive teaching and what may need refinement, leading to potential improvements and professional development in culturally responsive teaching.