Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education

First Advisor

Maria Salazar, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jini Puma

Third Advisor

Nicholas Cutforth


Colorblindness, Cultural competence, Culturally responsive pedagogy, Racial identity, Teach for America, Transformative


This research study examined constructs and beliefs essential to culturally responsive teachers for the purpose of understanding corps members’ needs and promoting culturally responsive pedagogy (CRP) in the Colorado region of Teach for America (TFA). This study employed a transformative, sequential mixed methods design with a theoretical lens of CRP and a corresponding framework for preparing culturally responsive educators described by Villegas and Lucas (2002). First, a quantitative phase assessed participants’ levels of intercultural competence, colorblind racial attitudes, and White racial identity attitudes at two times—upon entering TFA (n = 139) and after one year of teaching and training (n = 78). The quantitative data were used to describe corps members and to determine change over time. Next, a qualitative phase employed stratified sampling with replacement based on Time 2 levels of intercultural competence as measured by the IDI (Hammer, 2009). A total of seven corps members were grouped into three levels of intercultural competence—low (n = 3), mid (n = 3), and high (n = 1)—and were individually interviewed about beliefs regarding the role of culture in teaching and learning. The qualitative data were analyzed for emerging beliefs within groups and themes across groups. The qualitative data added richness to the quantitative profiles and furthered the understanding of corps members’ needs.

Results of this mixed methods research study indicated that TFA’s current program, selection, and training processes may result in colorblind corps members who minimize cultural differences, including the strengths and experiences of students of color, and negate the importance of CRP. Because Colorado TFA is seeking to adopt a culturally responsive approach, Colorado TFA must intentionally and explicitly shift: (1) its outcomes for students; (2) its desired teacher actions; (3) its professional development and training. Educational theory on CRP and preparing culturally responsive educators suggests that the development of intercultural competence, color-consciousness and White racial identity will produce culturally responsive educators and will ultimately result in positive and transformational outcomes for students.

Publication Statement

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

Rights Holder

Amber K. Kim


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

167 p.


Multicultural education, Teacher education, Pedagogy