Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation in Practice

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Teaching and Learning Sciences, Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Kimberly Schmidt

Second Advisor

Norma Hafenstein

Third Advisor

Christy McConnell

Fourth Advisor

Franita Ware


Accountability, Critical race theory, Culturally responsive education, Students first, White supremacy, White teachers


This study examines the multitude of ways in which White supremacy manifests in the education system and examines how White teachers specifically are working to dismantle White supremacy in middle school classrooms through culturally responsive education. This educational criticism and connoisseurship study focuses on the interactions of White teachers in relation to their Black students, along with observations of their teaching and planning methods. The following research questions guided this research: How are White teachers implementing a culturally responsive classroom environment for Black students? How do White educators plan and enact a culturally responsive curriculum for Black students? How do White teachers’ identities influence their perceptions of and interactions with Black students? What supports and barriers do White educators experience when attempting to dismantle White supremacy in education, through their use of culturally responsive practices? Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, and collection of lesson artifacts, and were analyzed for codes and patterns. Data were interpreted through the lens of two conceptual frameworks: Critical Race Theory and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy. Findings indicated that in order to dismantle White supremacy in classrooms through culturally responsive education, teachers must focus on the following: relationships, relevance and reflection. From these findings, suggestions for White teachers working to dismantle White Supremacy are presented, including how to cultivate strong, authentic partnerships with students, along with how to create engaging and relevant curriculum and daily lessons. The findings also included how White teachers can learn to reflect upon their own identities in relation to their students.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Zion W. Gezaw


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

294 pgs


Education, Multicultural education, Curriculum development