Teacher perception of multiculturalism and the use of responsive pedagogy

Kenneth P. Culpepper

Abstract

This study tested for differences in teachers' perceptions of multiculturalism in schools and instructional practices that translate into culturally responsive pedagogy on the bases of gender and grade level taught. The Multicultural Emphasis Inventory (MEI) was used to test for differences in teachers' perceptions of multiculturalism. The Teacher Instructional Practices Scale (TIPS) identified teaching practices that are culturally responsive. The study design included 5 schools (3 elementary, 1 high school, and 1 vocational-technical facility) in a rural southeastern school district. The 183 participants demonstrated that elementary teachers are more perceptive of multiculturalism in the school and use appropriate instructional practices more readily than do secondary teachers. There were no gender differences in instructional practices. However, gender differences do exist in teachers' perception of multiculturalism. Suggestions for future research are included. Research ideas include urban and suburban schools as well as the rural school setting. Recommendations are made regarding minority teachers, differences based on gender, instrumentation, English as Second Language (ESL) teacher training, and a study of administrator perceptions and practices.