Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education and Human Services


Teacher Education and Teacher Development

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Douglas Larkin

Committee Member

Emily Klein

Committee Member

Jeremy Price


Good science teaching within an urban middle school context was examined in this qualitative methods study. This research also examined what middle school science teachers prioritized in an urban science classroom and uncovered ways in which culturally responsive teaching showcased itself among inservice teachers. Good science teaching and culturally responsive teaching strategies have been investigated, but its impact on urban middle school science classrooms with marginalized students is where the research is minute.

The data from the study revealed that the following culturally responsive teaching strategies are prioritized to have an impact on marginalized students in urban middle school classrooms: a) Belief System, b) Academic Success, c) Learning about students, d) Understanding students ‘ways of knowing, and e) Providing a sense of equity. Core to these strategies was a belief system that all students are capable learners regardless of students’ learning ability, disposition toward science, and motivational ability. Additional findings revealed that middle school science teachers focused on their students’ academic identity in order to construct a students’ science identity.

The frameworks used for the analysis and interpretation of this research study was through the theories of Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, Drs. Ana Marie Villegas & Tamara Lucas, and Dr. Angela Calabrese-Barton.

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