Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis


Master of Science



Program Director

Jennifer Lucko, PhD

First Reader

Matthew E. Davis, PhD

Second Reader

Katherine Lewis, PhD


Elementary school classrooms are becoming more diverse and there is a growing need for educators to be culturally responsive to students and to understand what that means. The challenge we face is to support educators in implementing strategies to acknowledge student names, welcome students into the classroom and create an environment in which students want to be a part. Studies have shown that naming practices are an important topic in diverse classrooms, as some students with Non-Eurocentric names are being “renamed”, and as a result, lose a part of their identity. To best support these students, researchers recommend student-centered teaching strategies, called “Culturally Responsive Teaching” (CRT). Schools should be a safe environment for students and one that is welcoming to who they are inside and outside of the classroom. The research conducted in this study focused on three questions, which examined the perspectives of one principal, three elementary teachers, and six third-grade students. The researcher used data from the three participant groups to examine the strategies implemented by educators and the students’ perceptions of said strategies. The findings of this project considered the ways in which students were affected by naming practices and the ways in which educators supported these practices. The implications for this research support the engagement of self-reflection for educators and learning with students to acknowledge naming practices

Available for download on Friday, April 28, 2023