Graduate Student Dissertations, Theses, Capstones, and Portfolios

Date of Award

Spring 2-2023

Document Type


Granting Institution

Lynn University

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)

Degree Program

Educational Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Jennifer J. Lesh

Second Advisor

Brittany E. Kiser

Third Advisor

Elise Ecoff


The world language curriculum is not representative of the diversity of the world and therefore, not preparing students to face a culturally diverse work environment. There is a need to build an intentional curriculum about diversity and inclusivity in the world language curriculum and the sense of belonging and the impact on students’ outcomes. Considering that the majority of teachers in Independent private schools are not Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) faculty members, there is a need to increase the number of BIPOC students in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate level world language courses and decrease the underrepresentation by increasing the cross-cultural competence of teachers.

This mixed-methods action research followed Gibson and Dembo’s three-phase theoretical framework to construct validation of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (CRP) teacher efficacy using Dr. Siwatu’s Culturally Responsive Teaching Self-Efficacy Scale. Phase one included a pre-survey with questions related to teachers’ ability to meet the needs of students and obtain information about their academic strengths and learning preferences, provide a variety of assessments, and identify students’ home cultures. The first phase also included pre-observations followed by audio-taped one-on-one interviews with questions related to the teachers’ experiences in navigating different cultural and racial backgrounds in the classroom. The second phase was composed of the intervention of a professional development workshop on culturally responsive pedagogy while the third phase included the same instruments used in the first phase: post-observations, audio-taped one-on-one interviews with the same set of questions as the pre-interviews, and a post-survey identical to the pre-survey.

The research confirmed that self-efficacy is important when making a change in practices and indicated teachers’ learning and implementation of new practices gained through the model. The research concluded that private independent middle and upper world language teachers are not always aware of racially diverse, equitable, and inclusive curriculum gaps in the world language curriculum and this research helped the participants become more aware of their own biases as they felt more comfortable with CRP after the professional development session.

Every student is deserving of an education that is equitable and representative of both their own identity as well as the identity of the people around them. There is a sense of urgency to revolutionize education so that every child can be seen, heard, and have their needs met so they can have the same opportunities in life.



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