Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (PhD)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


Stephen Burgin

Committee Member

Freddie Bowles

Second Committee Member

Christian Goering


Culturally Responsive Teaching, Curriculum, Multicultural, Native American


Native American students have consistently scored less than their white peers on high school academic achievement tests, have the lowest high school graduation rates, and have the lowest college enrollment rates. Research has evidenced challenges and struggles Native American children are faced with that negatively effects their success in the classroom. Native American students often encounter a disconnect between their home and school life resulting in difficulties of navigating two opposing worlds. When Native American students are associated with negative stereotype’s indicative of Native American culture as opposed to the dominant culture, this creates a conflict between their cultural identity and what is expected in the classroom; however, culture that is honored and celebrated will cultivate confidence and success. The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify culturally responsive teaching in Native American populated science classrooms in Oklahoma. Thirteen science teachers and one Native American Studies teacher from five schools in Oklahoma participated in this research study, specifically, three public schools (majority Native American student population) and two Bureau of Indian Education schools (100% majority Native American student population). Teachers were emailed a survey that provided knowledge of culturally responsive teaching, implementation of culturally responsive lessons, and degree of cultural knowledge. Each teacher was interviewed in-person so that I could observe the teacher in their natural setting and observe the cultural identity of the environment. Collected data was analyzed and organized through line-by-line coding and axial coding. Data was compiled into case studies describing and detailing culturally responsive teaching, cultural awareness, factors that influence science teaching, and strategies that engage Native American students. This research study affirms the necessity of incorporating culture into the curriculum for student academic success and teacher efficacy and is crucial to our Native American students and communities to educate the next generation of tribal leaders, health care professionals, business leaders, and to become productive citizens.