A Phenomenological Study of Teachers’ Understanding and Development of Culturally Responsive Classroom Management
The problem is new teachers often lack the support and training in culturally responsive classroom management (CRCM) during the induction period of their careers. A literature gap exists in how new teachers understand the phenomenon of CRCM and how CRCM is developed in the first few years of teaching. Kolb’s 1984 experiential learning theory provides a framework for how new teachers perceive and develop CRCM through various experiences. The purpose of the qualitative phenomenological study was to investigate perceptions and development of CRCM strategies of new teachers with less than 5 years of experience in urban high schools in a large city in Ohio. The study explored new teachers’ understanding of CRCM, new teachers’ lived experiences in developing CRCM, and the supports new teachers feel are most beneficial in developing CRCM. Teachers were selected based on the following criteria: (a) full-time teacher with under 5 years of teaching experience and (b) employment in one of four select schools with high populations of African American and economically disadvantaged students. Questionnaires, interviews, and journaling were used to collect data on new teachers’ perceptions and lived experiences. All data were analyzed and coded for themes through QDA Miner Lite software. Results of the study indicated new teachers had a deep understanding of CRCM. Many teachers reported numerous methods used to develop their CRCM strategies, also noting they needed to seek out additional resources on their own due to a lack of support from their schools and teacher preparation programs. Unofficial mentoring was classified as the most beneficial support in developing CRCM skills.