Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Teacher Education and Leadership


Deborah Byrnes


This study explored the social inclusiveness of classrooms with culturally competent teachers who were identified both by their participation in in-service diversity training and by principal nomination. The design of this study was primarily quantitative using a one-way ANOVA to analyze whether fourth and fifth grade students (N = 125) in classrooms with teachers identified as culturally competent are more inclusive in their mutual friendships than students (N = 117) in classrooms with not trained teachers at the same schools. Sociometric questionnaires were used to collect data on mutual friendships. Observations of students in lunchroom settings were also conducted. Findings from the sociometric questionnaire suggest that students with culturally competent teachers, also referred to as culturally responsive teachers in the literature, have broader and more diverse social networks than students in classrooms with not trained teachers. However, in the lunchroom settings where a given student must choose a limited number of students to sit next to at the lunch table, no notable differences between the classrooms emerged. Other than training in diversity issues, teachers in the two groups were very similar.