Capstone/Dissertation Title

How culturally responsive teaching can foster a sense of belonging for underserved students in an elementary classroom

Term

2014

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MALED

Abstract

The research question explores the impact of culture on students' sense of belonging. This capstone draws upon the work of Dr. Sharroky Hollie to validate and affirm students' home cultures and languages in the school setting. Culturally relevant teaching addresses both the achievement gap and the need to create a safe and caring environment where students can feel like they belong. In order to drive staff development, students' insight and opinions were collected through surveys and focus groups. The humbling results indicate that the intentionality of the staff to create a caring environment has been well invested. However, more work lies ahead surrounding culturally relevant teaching. Educators must recognize that the cultures they are a part of shape their teaching.

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