Theses Doctoral

Culturally Relevant Teaching and Multicultural Education Across Stem Courses for Teacher Education and High School

Lark, Jite

The purpose of this research study was to examine how STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teachers incorporate culturally relevant teaching and multicultural education into their syllabi to prepare pre-service teachers (PSTs) with the expectation that this pedagogical method would result in successfully teaching diverse students. This study explored the history of K-12 STEM education as well as the access, participation, and performance of Black and Hispanic students in AP STEM courses. The final focus of the study was to examine how high school teachers of Advanced Placement (AP) STEM courses infuse culturally relevant practices into their teaching. The study examined data about the professional teaching experience, culturally relevant teaching (CRT) philosophy, and practices of teachers and how they create their syllabi to integrate culturally relevant teaching as they prepare pre-service teachers. In addition, it also examined and analyzed data from interviews with AP STEM teachers on the pedagogical and curricular materials they utilize to support the cultural diversity of students. The findings show that teacher educators and STEM in-service teachers are familiar with CRT and acknowledge its effectiveness as a strategy in reducing the achievement gaps that exist in the education of Black and Hispanic students when compared to White students. The findings also indicate that many teacher educators and in-service teachers can translate their understanding of CRT into practice as evidenced by the examination of their syllabi and lesson plans. However, teacher educators experience challenges in helping their PSTs see the relevancy of culture or culturally relevant teaching in STEM, and the AP teachers of STEM courses experienced challenges in maintaining student engagement and improving scores on the AP exams. This study suggests the necessity of supporting both STEM teacher educators and STEM in-service teachers through professional development to inform and support culturally relevant teaching in STEM education.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Thesis Advisors
Mensah, Felicia
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 22, 2020