Semester of Graduation

Spring 2019

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Diversity in school settings is continuously changing with an increase of minority students in the United States school systems. The present study uses a phenomenological approach to gain parents’ experiences related to culturally responsive and competent practices in their child(ren)’s schools. Interviews were conducted with 10 culturally diverse parents with children in preschool and/or elementary school. The interviews were transcribed verbatim, coded for common themes and analyzed for the frequency and prevalence of the themes in preschool vs. elementary school settings. An analysis of the interviews revealed 6 themes related to culturally competent and responsive practices in school settings. The prevalence of the themes varied between parents with children in preschool settings and elementary school settings. Schools and parents should use the information from this study as a foundation for improving culturally competent and responsive practices in schools. Future research will continue the development of the Culturally Competent School Community Scale to further assess parents’ perspectives on a larger scale in schools and address gaps in the cultural competence literature. Additional implications for the findings in school settings include the improvement of diversity training and professional development for school staff.

Committee Chair

Long, Anna

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