Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Karen Buchanan, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Carrie Hall, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Frank Luzaich, Ed.D.


This multiple case study investigated the experiences of majority culture teachers at the beginning of their careers as they navigated enacting culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP) in their literacy instruction. The study explored how the new teachers described and enacted CRP in their classrooms, what they described as formative to their work as culturally relevant educators, what they identified as challenging, and what they found to be sustaining. The study shares case reports of each participant followed by a cross case analysis. Several themes were noteworthy from the analysis: 1) participants viewed an event or time period as formative, 2) participants felt their agency as teachers to incorporate CRP into their literacy instruction was limited; 3) participants persisted in enacting CRP within and beyond the curriculum and 4) participants held certain dispositions requisite for culturally relevant educators. Implications for teacher preparation programs include calls to prioritize cultural relevance in recruitment and hiring practices as well as ongoing professional development for instructors. Implications for school districts include recognizing that new teachers bring fresh ideas and resources regarding CRP. Ultimately, CRP requires nuanced and context dependent perspectives as well as ongoing reflexivity and collaboration.

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