Date of Award

Spring 2-28-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Transformational Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Dr. Helen Hamlet

Second Advisor

Dr. Catherine McGeehan

Third Advisor

Katie Sames


Over the last decade, public schools in the United States have seen an increase in the number of Multilingual Learner (ML) students, a majority of whom speak Spanish as their first language. The academic gap between ML and their English-speaking peers persists due to various factors, including limited professional development opportunities for teachers to enhance their skills in educating ML. This action research study utilized a mixed-methods design to investigate teachers' understanding and perception of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy based on two of Pennslyvania's Culturally-Relevant and Sustaining Education competencies and the potential impact when teaching Multilingual Learner students. Utilizing a ten-question Likert scale survey and book club discussions, the researcher collected quantitative and qualitative data from eight participants, focusing on lived experiences and cultural awareness. The results showed that all participants' scores increased in at least one competency area. The discussions highlight the importance of understanding students' backgrounds and cultures and the continued need for professional development to best meet the needs of ML students.



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