Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.
Educational Administration and Higher Education
School of Education
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
The United States has experienced an increase in the number of immigrants arriving from various countries around the world over the last several decades. In fall 2014, 30 percent of all public schools in the United States reported student populations of at least 75 percent minority compared with 24 percent in fall, 2004. The percentage of students enrolled in public schools increased from 2004 to 2014 across all racial/ethnic groups (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014-2015). The process of changing teaching and learning practices occurs through professional development. The Every Student Succeeds Act relies on the research of Desimone (2002), Garet et. al. (2001), Guskey (2003), Hirsh et. al. (2014), and Wei et. al. (2009) to develop a set of criteria describing effective professional development. The six ESSA criteria of Job-embedded, Data-driven, Classroom-focused, Sustained, Intensive, and Collaborative. Professional development also occurs in either a traditional format or a reform format (Garet et al., 2001). These data indicate that effective professional development in cultural awareness is needed for teachers to successfully teach all students in their classrooms.
The purpose of the study was to determine elementary teachers in Minnesota school districts regarding their perceptions of effective professional development experiences in cultural awareness, the effectiveness of professional development they received in cultural awareness, their desire for additional professional development in cultural awareness, and their levels of confidence in incorporating cultural awareness into their practice. The study employed a quantitative methodology; quantitative data were gathered from Minnesota elementary school teachers school districts located in urban and rural communities.
The study of Teachers’ Perceptions and Experiences in Cultural Awareness Professional Development contributes to the current body of research knowledge by providing new research supporting the need for more professional development opportunities in cultural awareness for Minnesota teachers and the types of professional development in cultural awareness that were effective within their teaching practice.
A majority of teacher participants noted that they had 0-3 courses on cultural awareness during their benefit from professional development in cultural awareness and initial teacher education, but they had some professional development opportunities within their school districts. Teachers also indicated they know they in fact, it has positively impacted their practice. Based on the findings of the study, Minnesota Elementary teachers reported that the most effective type of professional development in cultural awareness was collaborating with other educators and members of the community. They also indicated that professional development opportunities focused on their learning environments and embedded within their jobs was more effective than intensive and data driven opportunities.
Tebben, Carissa, "Teachers’ Perceptions and Experiences in Cultural Awareness Professional Development" (2021). Culminating Projects in Education Administration and Leadership. 75.