Browsing College of Education by Subject "Learning environment."
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How do Principals' Behaviors Facilitate or Inhibit the Development of a Culturally Relevant Learning Community?The primary purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the question: “How do principals facilitate or inhibit the development of a culturally responsive learning environment?” A second question asked, “What is the principal’s role in developing a culturally relevant learning community?” The criteria for purposely selecting the 12 principals chosen for the study included finding principals who served in schools with a 50% or greater non-White population and who also had served a minimum of three years as the school’s leader at the time of the study. Additionally, the schools chosen from various districts around the state showed an upward trend in student performance and growth model data for all of their ethnic groups. Based on a literature review, which provided a cursory view of topics related to understanding cultural competency, questions were formulated that explored what creating a culturally responsive learning community looked like. The interviews revealed many practices that described effective schools and what effective principals do. Five themes emerged in the findings. Linked to each of the findings is a range of five to 11 subthemes. With varying degrees of understanding and implementation, principals in the study demonstrated practices that included (a) having high expectations for all, (b) developing a sense of community, (c) using analysis of data and monitoring/evaluation of staff, (d) providing professional development that addressed cultural competency issues, and (e) promoting awareness and knowledge about cultural proficiency practices. Noting their current progress, all of the principals expressed their desire for their staffs to have more training to increase their levels of cultural proficiency.