Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Education Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Susan Cantrell


Teacher professional development (PD) on culturally responsive practices (CRP) provides teachers the opportunity to increase their knowledge and change their practices to better support students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. This study sampled from a year-long intensive PD on effective instructional practices for English learners (ELs). Grounded in transformative and situated learning theories, this study was designed to understand teachers’ sustained CRP and their experiences four years after participating in a CRP PD. Several questions were investigated in this study: What CRP do teachers sustain? What are factors and supports related to teachers’ sustained implementation? What challenges do teachers experience in sustaining implementation?

This research was an intrinsic case study that provided a better understanding of teachers’ sustained CRP three years after participating in a CRP PD. The qualitative case study included classroom observations and teacher interviews. Qualitative data analysis included open and pattern coding as well as a thematic organization of the codes based on their relation to the research questions. This methodology enabled a comprehensive analysis of teachers’ sustained CRP four years after they participated in a CRP PD.

Findings from classroom observations showed that two of the three teachers sustained CRP implementation. Findings pertaining to teachers reported or observed sustained CRP that emerged from the classroom observation data can be categorized into three themes: teachers had an asset-based mindset when it came to their approach and inclusion of families of their students, teachers expanded their classroom literature to include multicultural content that reflects multiple perspectives and lastly, teachers implemented several instructional practices learned in the CRP PD. Findings from teacher interviews concerning supports and factors related to teachers’ sustained CRP can be categorized under four overarching themes: aspects of the CRP PD, teachers’ school context, teachers seeing themselves as experts and educating other teachers of CRP, and higher student engagement and growth when CRP is implemented. Although the data revealed variation across the three teachers, they all showed similarities with factors and supports related to these four themes. Furthermore, findings from teacher interviews concerning challenges experienced in sustaining CRP implementation can be categorized into two themes: implementation of Critical Consciousness and teachers’ school context. Although the data presented variation across the three teachers related to these two themes, they all showed similarities in the challenges they experienced.

Implications of this study include more focus on Critical Consciousness across school contexts for PD facilitators and allowing teachers autonomy to implement CRP for school stakeholders. This research fills a gap in the limited research conducted on the sustainability of CRP after participation in a PD. This research study provides educators, administrators, and PD facilitators with knowledge on how to best educate and support teachers when implementing CRP. Teachers have unlimited responsibilities and understanding their supports and challenges in implementing CRP is essential when considering how educate teachers through PD and help them best meet the needs of all their students.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)