Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Aaron Thompson

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


This study was designed to examine how the teacher education program impacts preservice teacher candidates' knowledge of culturally responsive teaching and the implementation of these practices in their classroom. For the purposes of this study, a sequential explanatory mixed methods approach was utilized to collect and analyze data through semi-structured interviews, focus groups and surveys. The participants in this study were (n=82) elementary preservice teachers and (n=11) teacher educators who taught a professional education course or supervised field or clinical experiences. This mixed method study was fourfold. First, this study sought to examine preservice teacher candidates' perceptions of the teacher education program in developing culturally responsive teachers. Second, it sought to examine if preservice teacher candidates perceptions about culturally responsive teaching change as a result of their student teaching experiences. Third, it was designed to examine how teacher educators prepare preservice teachers to teach culturally diverse student populations? Finally, how are teacher educators preparing elementary preservice teacher candidates to work in urban educational settings?

The study revealed several key findings: (a) preservice teacher candidates' professional preparation has an effect on their preparedness to teach culturally diverse student populations; (b) preservice teachers believed that more diverse field experiences is one factor that has the potential to increase participant preparedness to teach in a diverse educational setting; (c) teacher educators prepared teacher candidates to differentiate instruction for diverse learners; and (d) teacher educators preparation of preservice teacher candidates to teach in a diverse educational setting is limited because of the locale of the university.