Cultural Disproportionality in American Classrooms: The Lived Experiences of Non-Hispanic, White, Female Teachers With Their Students of Color
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Cultural disproportionality in today’s classrooms is the basis for this phenomenological qualitative study. The purpose of this study was to understand how the lived experiences of teachers affect relationships with their diverse learners. Purposeful sampling along with the snowball method was used to find 7 Non-Hispanic, White, female teachers who have been teaching for more than 1 year, work within the same Southwestern school district, and have more than 50% of students of color in their classrooms for multiple open-ended individual interviews. Interview data were systematically coded using Hycner’s (1995) explication process for phenomenological studies. Cultural identity, cultural intelligence (CQ), teacher preparedness, along with Gloria Ladson-Billing’s work on culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP), and Geneva Gay’s insight on culturally responsive teaching (CRT) were fundamental components of the study. Findings indicate that only 14% of the teachers (one of seven) in this study were specifically trained in cultural competence and none of the teachers were familiar with global leadership. Recommendations for practical application of the results of this study include more training in teacher education programs focused on cultural competence and global leadership. Recommendations for future related research include longitudinal studies with teachers of color, exploring the culture gap between students and their teachers, and understanding student experiences with their teachers. Benefits of this study may include an increase in cultural awareness, a better understanding of the cultural disparities in today’s classrooms, and a keener interest in culturally responsive teaching and culturally relevant pedagogy.