Date of Award

Fall 1-7-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Middle and Secondary Education

First Advisor

Patrick James Enderle, Ph.D

Second Advisor

Natalie S. King, Ph.D

Third Advisor

Gail Sue Kasun, Ph.D


The number of diverse students within the American school system Is growing vastly. Researchers predict that "language minority students" will comprise over 40 percent of elementary and secondary students by 2030 (Thomas. Collier, & National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education, 1997). English language learners are the fastest-growing learner population, with 60% within the last 15years (Breiseth, 2015). However, the school setting does not adequately serve the needs of diverse students and. more so, those that are Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLO), such as ELLs. This study intends to examine how science teachers are creating equitable learning spaces and experiences within their classrooms for English Language learners and other diverse learners. The main research question that was studied is 'In what ways do science teachers conceptualize equitable learning spaces and experiences within their classrooms for diverse language learners?'. The research question was examined through Interviews and focus groups. The significant findings of this study are that teachers play an essential role In creating equitable learning environments. It is challenging and complex for teachers to build these environments for students without the support of equity-focused professional development. Teachers can develop their pedagogical design to exceed Banks' (1998} multicultural approaches past level two through equity-focused professional development. Students are essential, their backgrounds are Important. and their cultural differences are an asset to their learning. In the classroom, students should not feel like the inaccessible curriculum is penalizing them because of their cultural background. We cannot change our backgrounds or ethnicities, and they should not be held against us, especially in schools


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