Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education


Research has revealed that educators are often ill-prepared to teach culturally and linguistically diverse learners. Research suggests that in order to meet the challenges of working with diverse learners, development of multicultural education must include the promotion of sensitivity towards different aspects of diversity. This study explores K-8 teachers´ knowledge and understanding of their students´ learning needs, specific to language and culture, and teachers´ perception of preparedness to effectively deliver instruction to learners of diverse linguistic and cultural background. In this study, the researcher has hypothesized that teachers are ill-prepared to teach linguistically and culturally diverse learners. The study consists of a mixed-method study design. The method chosen to collect and analyze data is a web-based survey instrument. The data for this study were drawn from a population of 89 K-12 teachers in the state of Michigan. Cross-tabulations were performed using chi-square tests to investigate the relationship between teachers´ preparedness and knowledge of their diverse learners´ learning needs. Additionally, qualitative comments were examined, organized and summarized to illustrate key themes in each question under study. Findings revealed that teachers´ perceptions of preparedness to teach linguistically and culturally diverse students were correlated with whether the classrooms were culturally diverse or not. Results from the study shows that teachers are gradually becoming culturally responsive. Nonetheless, many educators still find the task of meeting students´ academic needs to be overwhelming, specifically those needs related to language.