Perceptions of Disciplinary Practices Among Culturally Responsive Pre-Service and In-Service Teachers

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.S. in School Psychology


Department of Counselor Education and Human Services


Elana Bernstein


Disproportionate discipline rates exist for Black and African American students in the United States. These rates contribute to poorer academic outcomes and later involvement in the juvenile justice system. Current literature explores culturally competent discipline strategies such as PBIS, Restorative Justice, and Conscious Discipline but does not address implementation of such strategies. Three pre-service teachers currently enrolled in the Urban Teacher Academy and three in-service teachers who completed the Urban Teacher Academy at the University of Dayton participated in this study. A mixed methods design was utilized in this study. Participants first completed a Self-Assessment for Cultural Competence on which they scored within the culturally competent range. Participants then completed qualitative interviews to discuss classroom discipline and management strategies. Results indicated culturally competent educators implement district or building wide discipline strategies, build relationships with students, and demonstrate empathy for students. Implications for teacher training programs striving to prepare culturally responsive teachers and future research are discussed.


Educational Psychology, Education, Disproportionate discipline, school discipline, culturally competent educators, restorative justice, conscious discipline, student teacher relationships

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