Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)


Early Childhood Education

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dr. Amy Malkus

Committee Members

Dr. Pam Evanshen, Dr. Arnold Nyarambi


Every child in America is entitled to a free public education; however, racial disparities in academics and discipline continue to grow in America’s school system (Glock et al., 2019; Muñiz, 2019). These racial disparities begin in preschool, following the students throughout their school years. African American students, specifically African American males, are three times more likely than their Caucasian peers to be suspended in preschool (CRDC, 2016; Musu-Gillette et al., 2016). Suspension at an early age correlates with students entering juvenile detentions, prisons and incompletion of schooling (Love, 2014; Meek & Gilliam,2016; Muñiz, 2019). Culturally responsive teaching and classroom management practices are a solution to reduce overrepresentation in exclusionary discipline practices; however, many educators remain unprepared to teach minority students (Muñiz, 2019; Taylor & Wendt, 2023).

This research study used an exploratory mixed methods design to examine the associations between culturally responsive classroom management self-efficacy scores and preschool teachers’ privilege scores. Associations between race and privilege scores and between culturally responsive classroom management self-efficacy scores and teacher demographics were also examined. Data was collected and analyzed in two phases. In Phase I, 471 teachers from public school classroom, Head Start, and private preschool classrooms completed a survey combining the Culturally Responsive Classroom Management Self-Efficacy Scale (Siwatu et al.,2017) and a Privilege Test (McIntosh, 1990). In Phase II, the researcher chose six preschool teachers (two each from public, Head Start, and private preschool classrooms) to participate in a semi-structured interview. Results indicated a significant negative correlation between teacher privilege scores and teacher culturally responsive classroom management self-efficacy scores, r(471) = -.171, p < .000. Significant associations were also found between culturally responsive self-efficacy classroom management and race, teacher work experience, educational background and educational site. Qualitative results indicated that all interviewees agreed culturally responsive practices include all children’s cultural background, values, and experiences. Interviewees said that culturally responsive classroom management should be a necessity in the classroom. They felt that the absence of minority teachers is harmful to all students and that professional development should be a requirement. Results suggest that there are benefits to including culturally responsive classroom management models in teacher education programs and professional development to prepare all teachers with the skills to aid the growing, diverse population of students.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.