Graduate Student Dissertations, Theses, Capstones, and Portfolios

Date of Award


Document Type


Granting Institution

Lynn University

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)

Degree Program

Educational Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Jennifer Lesh

Second Advisor

Susie King

Third Advisor

Jaqua' Lewis


The purpose of this study was to outline the characteristics of culturally responsive and competent teachers as perceived by millennials and Gen z’s. The literature asserts that effective culturally competent practices will improve student- teacher relationships in a cross-cultural setting which should have a direct effect on the decrease in office discipline referrals, increase academic gains and subsequent post- secondary success. Culturally relevant teaching practices can also positively affect student engagement (Howard, 2001). Therefore, there is an increased demand for culturally competent teachers (Marks, 2011). Some characteristics of culturally competent teachers and culturally relevant teaching practices found in the literature are; having a caring attitude, caring about their well- being outside of the classroom, valuing diversity within the classroom, making learning fun, having high expectations for the student and strong classroom management skills. This study solicited the perspectives of millennials and Gen z’s (adults aged 18-40), to find out their perception of culturally responsive and competent teachers. The study found that the participant’s perception of culturally competent teachers supported the characteristics of culturally competent teachers found within the literature. Additionally, the overwhelming majority of participants also perceived these teachers to use culturally relevant teaching practices.



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