Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Education and Organizational Leadership Development

Committee Member

Dr. Robert C. Knoeppel, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Patricia First

Committee Member

Dr. Nafees M. Khan

Committee Member

Dr. Seal Wilson


The purpose of this qualitative multi-case study was to explore the perceptions of 13 first-year teachers as it relates to their readiness to meet the academic needs of their minority students. The findings provided information on their readiness, teacher preparation programs, and support needed from school leaders during their Induction year of teaching. The study was designed to explore the academic needs of the diverse population of students in a rural county school district in the Upstate of South Carolina. A triangulated study was conducted to include face-to-face interviews and an analysis of the transcripts to explore and examine the participants' readiness. The findings revealed 12 themes aligned to three research questions. The themes based on their readiness were classroom management, culture shock, expectations, preconceptions and biases, preparedness, and relationships. The themes associated with their preparation were instructional knowledge, diversity, and communication. The themes associated with the support needed from the school leaders were professional development, ongoing support, and collaboration. The findings suggest the first-year teachers in this study do not understand and accept the cultural differences that exist between themselves and their students. Participants found it difficult to believe their values differed from their students, and this culture shock made it difficult to build relationships with students. The participants were prepared with content knowledge, but were not equipped with the skills needed to impart this knowledge to students. The findings were interpreted and situated in the context of the existing literature including the conceptual framework of culturally relevant pedagogy. The implications of the study are discussed and recommendations for future study were also provided.



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