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Moving White Educators from Culturally Responsive Theory to Practice

Barga, Mark (2022) Moving White Educators from Culturally Responsive Theory to Practice. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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At a diverse urban high school in Pittsburgh, PA, a nearly all-White teaching staff has struggled for years to improve culturally-responsive teaching practices. Despite attending hours of workshops, lectures and trainings on matters related to equity, social justice, culturally responsive pedagogy, and more, teachers generally reported an insignificant impact on actual practice. This research project attempted to close the gap between theory and practice, and train teachers to develop and implement culturally responsive lessons. Working with five White science educators, this study was structured around a series of in-depth professional development experiences focused on a) exploring Whiteness in society and in STEM, b) exploring scientific racial justice issues, c) studying high-quality culturally responsive social justice science curricula, and finally conceptualizing, creating, and implementing a culturally responsive science lesson. Despite some limitations particular to the relationship of the researcher to the participants, unique structure and autonomy of the school, findings suggest that White science educators are capable of making gains in their ability to understand and implement culturally science curriculum, provided their professional development is content-specific and practice-based. Further commentary addresses lack of effective teacher training, deep signs of concern about a shrinking and increasingly White teacher pipeline, and prioritizing content-specificity and practice-based professional development.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Barga, Markmsb107@pitt.edumsb107
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDancy, II, T.
Committee MemberWare Allen,
Committee MemberKokka,
Committee MemberCunningham,
Date: 31 August 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 21 June 2022
Approval Date: 31 August 2022
Submission Date: 4 August 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 123
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, Urban Education, Professional Development
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2022 18:36
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2022 18:36


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