Date of Award





Doctor of Education

Degree Type

Curriculum and Leadership


Teacher Education

First Advisor

Christopher Garretson

Second Advisor

Basil Conway

Third Advisor

Victor Salazar


The presence of minority students in public schools has highlighted the need for teachers and school leaders to seek and implement exclusive instructional strategies that will foster cultural diversity. The climate, culture, and vision of a school are a direct reflection of the school’s leadership. The purpose of this study was to explore the cultural readiness of elementary school leaders, as measured by the cultural readiness leadership scale (CRLS), and their beliefs and perceptions of culturally relevant and responsive practices. The foundational philosophy used to support this research was the transformational leadership theory. The research methodology entailed a mixed-method approach with a sequential explanatory design. The quantitative component consisted of collecting survey data from a sample of 35 elementary school leaders from a southeastern United States suburban school district to complete the CRLS. The qualitative component consisted of open-ended interviews with 12 elementary school leaders from the same school district. The data analysis methods were two-way ANOVA regression for quantitative data and coding and thematic analysis for the interview responses. The researcher hypothesized that there would be a relationship between factors that influence elementary school leaders and the nonexistence of culturally relevant and responsive pedagogies in schools. The culturally responsive teaching (CRT) scores were significantly higher than 3, implying that CRT was perceived to be implemented throughout the school community (p < 0.01). Thus, the null hypothesis was rejected. The implementation of CRT was associated with various benefits, such as enhancing school culture, promoting inclusivity, and creating culturally responsive leadership. The findings from the current study indicate the need for every elementary school leader to operate in a culturally responsive way, irrespective of their learners’ population.

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