Graduation Year


Document Type

Master's Thesis


Master of Science



Program Director

Jennifer Lucko, PhD

First Reader

Jennifer Lucko, PhD

Second Reader

Rosemarie Michaels, EdD


Culturally responsive pedagogy (CRP) is a teaching approach that can be utilized to improve academic outcomes among diverse student populations. Currently, however, there is a lack of research examining why some teachers struggle to implement CRP, particularly in educational contexts beyond the U.S. This study examined why there is a lack of implementation of CRP within combined schools in the Kavango East region of Namibia. More specifically, this study assessed the role of CRP within Namibian English Second Language (ESL) classrooms and examined how the experiences of ESL teachers affected their ability to implement CRP. In addition, this study explored the ways in which Namibian ESL teachers might ultimately leverage existing assets in their schools and communities to assist in the implementation of CRP.

This study implemented a mix methods approach to data collection which included: questionnaires, interviews and focus group discussions. Purposeful selection of ESL teachers were chosen to participate in this study to highlight awareness, implementation and challenges in using a CRT model of teaching The findings of this study call attention to the lack of knowledge and implementation surrounding CRP, as well as the many challenges that either shape or restrict teachers’ approaches to teaching. Common challenges included the low/varied academic level(s) of their learners, lack of resources, and overcrowding in classrooms. However, findings from the study also suggest that many of the challenges faced by Namibian teachers could be mitigated by the leveraging of previously unidentified and under-utilized assets. In a similar way, these assets could also be leveraged to support the development of CRP in Namibia.

IRB Number