Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, Ed.D.



First Advisor

Dr. Jacqueline Waggoner

LC Subjects

Education, Elementary; Multicultural education; School children;Teachers--Attitudes


As elementary classrooms are becoming more diverse, school staffs remain predominantly White, with a perspective of mainstream sociocultural norms. Additionally, research has shown a disproportionate number of minority students receiving behavioral referrals. The cultural mismatch between teachers and students combined with the disproportionality seen in discipline data indicate that change is needed. The purpose of this quantitative study is to investigate the development of educators’ capacity to foster their own identity development and use culturally responsive classroom management practices that meet the needs of diverse students through a series of professional learning experiences. Additionally, this study will examine the relationship between educator self-reported perceptions of their capacity to meet the needs of diverse students and the number of discipline referrals retrieved from School-Wide Information System (SWIS). The study included 35 certified staff members from a Pre-K through fifth grade elementary school in Oregon. Pre- and post-survey data were collected using the Teacher Multicultural Attitude Survey (TMAS) and the Survey of Behaviour Management Practices (SOBMP). A pairedsample t-test indicated a statistically significantly higher mean scores on the post TMAS (p = .036). A Pearson’s r indicated there was not a statistically significant relationship at the p < .05 probability level between the number of disciplinary referrals and either survey. There were statistically significantly higher mean scores on the SOBMP for those who participated in the Circles book study than those who did not (p = .037). These findings supported the importance of understanding how privilege and bias impact how individuals interact with others and how learning about other cultures can change how a person then interacts with/or understands those different than himself. Additionally, it highlighted the effectiveness of the Circles book study on increasing capacity for culturally responsive classroom management practices. A lack of findings in regard to the relationship between behavioral referrals and a change in teacher capacity could be due to the length of the study. Additional results, opportunities for future study, and program recommendations are presented.


Copyright for this work is retained by the author.

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