Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instr and Curr Leadership


Instruction and Curriculum

Committee Chair

Beverly Cross

Committee Member

Green Reginald L.

Committee Member

Satomi Taylor

Committee Member

Angiline Powell


The purpose of this quantitative study was to identify characteristics and establish them as key characteristics that influence leadership behavior for culturally responsive leadership. This identification clarified and attempted to offer a distinction between culturally responsive school leaders and teachers which considered synonymous. This study’s aim was to offer a clear distinction between the roles of culturally responsive teachers versus school leaders. Participants shared their academic experiences through a three round Delphi Method to identify qualities that establish the key characteristics that influence leadership behavior for culturally responsive leadership in the roles of urban school leaders. The participant leaders chosen for this study possessed seven or more years of leadership experience. Additionally, they understood the expectations and challenges of leadership working with populations that reflect cultural diversity among students served within the United States. The findings in this study suggest that each of the participants’ responses were a reflection of their separate and shared views. The fundamental agreement among participants is the fact that there were particular characteristics essential for urban school leader to be successful in culturally diverse situations. Urban school leaders who identify and participate in professional practices that improve learning is communicated could lead to genuine transformation of student outcome and understanding of cultural responsiveness. Finally, readers of this study should be able to see that there are six characteristics that describe culturally responsive leaders. The culturally responsive leader is inclusive, culturally aware, shared leadership, visionary, instructional leadership, and equitable. Lastly, when these conditions are present, culturally responsive leaders have the opportunity to restructure teaching and learning and shape the total community. School leaders are confronted with the needs and perspectives that students from diverse cultural backgrounds bring to the school within urban and suburban communities (Moll, 1992). Educators face challenges assisting children who come from diverse groups and how to navigate school verses home life (Banks, 2001). Culture, cultural competence, and proficiency are essential to understanding school (Bustamante, Nelson, & Onwuegbuzie, 2009). With increasing diversity in schools, innovative approaches are essential for leaders to have culturally responsive characteristics and capacities (Madhlangobe & Gordon, 2012).


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.