AbstractThe purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the factors affecting elementary teacher’s ability to understand the academic needs of their racially, culturally, and ethnically diverse special education students and the ways in which their values and beliefs influenced their use of culturally responsive practices in the special education classroom. The findings from this study are significant because they could add to the knowledge base of strategies to close or eliminate the achievement gap of racially, culturally, and ethnically diverse students in special education programs. Furthermore, these experiences may provide an additional opportunity for local educational agencies (LEAS) to examine the impact of culturally responsive teaching practices on the achievement of RCED students in the special education classroom.
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