Date of Award

Fall 12-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


Curriculum and Instruction

Committee Director

Kristine Sunday

Committee Member

Michael Cromartie

Committee Member

Melva Grant

Committee Member

Steve Myran

Committee Member

Janice Underwood


Extensive research has been conducted on the disproportionate amount of suspensions that occur among Black boys, however, there is an emerging body of research that suggests that the rate of suspensions among Black girls is increasing. The most common behaviors that Black girls receive office referrals for, are subjective behaviors such as being disruptive, defiant, and disrespectful. (Nunn, 2018). The purpose of this study was to examine how Culturally Responsive Classroom Management (CRCM) strategies reduce the disproportionate amount of suspensions that Black girls received. This qualitative study conducted through case studies focused on how the teachers’ culturally responsive and sustaining classroom management practices impacted the discipline outcomes for Black girls. Grounded in the theoretical framework of culturally responsive pedagogy, CRCM brings social justice into school discipline and suggests that teachers’ perceived stereotypes, implicit bias, color blindness, and lack of cultural competency foster negative relationships between them and Black girls (Weinstein, Curran & Tomlinson-Clarke, 2003). The emerging findings from the study were teachers who were successful in employing CRCM possessed an intrinsic awareness about their students, built relationships with their students, code switched, and felt the responsibility of having a level of social consciousness about their students. The recommendations from this study to decrease the discipline gap that exists between children of color, especially Black girls, and their white peers are 1) provide continuous professional development on building cultural competence 2) provide continuous training on culturally responsive classroom management strategies and monitor them with fidelity and 3) make PBIS expectations culturally responsive & sustaining to fit the specific demographics of the school.


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