Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation (Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Ed Psychology and Research


Educational Research

Committee Member

Rebecca S. Anderson

Committee Member

Yeh Hsueh


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore how undergraduate tutors navigate cultural differences with second grade students in an afterschool literacy tutoring setting. This study explored the following research questions 1) What cultural assumptions do tutors make throughout the tutoring process about the students they tutor? 2) How do tutors' cultural assumptions influence the tutoring process? 3) How do tutors and students navigate instances of cultural misunderstandings as they arise? 4) How do tutors perceive a change in their cultural assumptions by the end of their participation in the tutoring program? Findings revealed four themes that influenced jpw novice tutors navigated cultural differences in tutoring elementary studentsin an afterschool literacy tutoring program. These findings included: 1) Caring and respectful relationships were purposefully established; 2) Race and socioeconomic differences led to misunderstandings between the tutors and students; 3) Incorporating the student's home culture and technology bridged cultural mismatches; and 4) Discussions of racist events disrupted the normal flow of tutoring. Findings indicate that while purposefully developing caring and respectful relationships is time consuming, it is an important asset in the tutoring relationships. Finally, in addition to becoming culturally competent, tutors need to develop a racial and intersectional awareness.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

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