Theses Doctoral

A Case Study of a Charter School Seeking to Transform Toward Greater Cultural Competence for Working With Diverse Urban Students: Using Christopher Emdin’s Reality Pedagogy Approach as a Stimulus and Guide

Aiyedun, Folakemi

This case study of a Bronx, New York charter school drew upon Emdin’s (2016) book on pursuing school improvement as a secondary analysis of existing data from the school. The Principal Investigator is currently a teacher at the school and was participant-observer. The overall study can be considered an integration of qualitative fieldwork and survey methods. A strong implication from the highly significant quantitative results for 18 paired t-tests for nine Behaviors pre-/post-training is that professional development and special trainings had a strong positive effect. With Bonferroni Adjustment Significance (.05/18, p=.0003) level of .003, paired t-tests showed that staff ratings (knowledge and self-efficacy ratings) for all nine Behaviors exhibited a significant increase in mean rating from pre-training to post-training; thus, the intervention of professional development and special trainings had significant impact. Quantitative data supported the conclusion that significant progress was made toward the school’s original goal of transforming toward greater cultural competence and changing school climate to better meet the needs of urban learners from varied cultural backgrounds.

Independent t-tests on dichotomous groups found one (of three) comparisons to be statistically significant (t= -.392, df=41.55, p= .000; Bonferroni Adjustment Significance, .05/3, p=.016) when comparing the means for people of color staff (n=29) of 8.934 (SD=1.254) versus for White staff (n=18) of 7.63 (SD=1.023). People of color staff had a significantly higher post-training self-efficacy for performing all nine specified behaviors compared to White staff.

Qualitative data from five research questions produced via coding on 64 Emergent Themes, 15 Categories, and 12 Hierarchical Emergent themes—the last effectively coalescing all data into short statements to summarize all that school staff and teachers expressed about the training using Emdin’s book and other special training activities and discussions: acknowledge many book benefits; accept less ready White peers; learn bias, empathy; incomplete training, need to continue/action; impact of expanded awareness; retain many strengths to training model; plan to address barriers to success of training model; evidence of many improvements at school; ending oppression/biased discipline; training challenge of staff in different stages; expert facilitation of difficult conversations; and action for curriculum modifications.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Health and Behavior Studies
Thesis Advisors
Wallace, Barbara C.
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
August 30, 2019