Date of Graduation

Fall 12-19-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Curriculum & Instruction

Thesis Chair

Dr. Karen L. B. Burgard


Despite extensive research indicating the importance of educators connecting with their students, a significant number of teachers fail to associate classroom curriculum with their students’ cultural backgrounds and lived experiences. Even with the best intentions, teachers frequently encounter difficulties in establishing connections with students and seamlessly integrating their diverse cultures and experiences outside of the classroom into lessons. Culturally Relevant Pedagogy is one method teachers use to incorporate their students’ culture into the classroom so that students see themselves in the lessons and become more engaged in their learning. This study was designed to explore teachers’ feelings of cultural competency and their use of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy in elementary classrooms. It investigated how utilizing this method may help teachers successfully connect to their students. It also explored support from school districts, specifically professional development, which equips teachers to deal with diverse student needs.