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In this mixed methods descriptive study, we explicitly connected the key concepts of diversity from course readings in a senior capstone course to culturally responsive pedagogy (CRP) to meet curricular goals through the provision of service in a project that takes place in an elementary school where the students are placed for their final student teaching internships.

Research questions:

How do pre-service teachers:

● characterize the amount and importance of culturally relevant pedagogy in their coursework, internship, and future classrooms/teaching?

● characterize the amount and importance of service learning projects in their coursework, internship, and future classrooms/teaching?

● who engage in service learning describe the likelihood of incorporating service learning in their own future classrooms?

● describe their perceptions of students with diverse backgrounds and characteristics after engaging in service learning?

● describe service learning and culturally relevant pedagogy after implementing a service learning project?


● Seniors (n=66; Female = 63 )

● Race/Ethnicity: Cau= 59, Hisp/LatinX= 5, Asian/PI = 2, Black/AA = 1

● Median age = 22 [range= 20 - 36]

● Enrolled in elementary & special education dual certification teacher preparation program, regional, accredited state university, southeast US


● Cultural Competence Self Assessment Questionnaire (Mason, J. L., 1995)

● Culturally Responsive Practices COE Course Inventory (Researcher-Created)

● Implicit Bias Tests (Greenwald, T., Mahzarin, B., & Nosek, B., 2011)

● Semi-Structured Interviews/ Coded Transcripts (Researcher-Created)


The service learning projects had mutual benefits for both pre-service teachers and students. In addition, the pre-service teachers indicated that they wanted to implement service learning projects in their own future classrooms. The connection of SLP to CRP helped students think about and decide on instructional strategies and methods to utilize that would best meet the needs of participants


As a next step, we would like to implement virtual service learning projects that expand out into the greater community and add a student-led symposium to the course to share their findings. Inviting key stakeholders, such as teachers and administrators from the internship schools, to a student-led symposium provides our students with an opportunity to increase the impact of this project by sharing their findings with a wider audience.


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Subject
    • Education

  • Department
    • Elementary and Special Education, College of Education

  • Institution
    • Gainesville

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • License
  • Keywords
  • Additional information
    • Author Biography:

      Sarah Williams received a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning with a concentration in Language and Literacy from Georgia State University in 2018. Her research interests are literacy practices, culturally relevant pedagogy, and service learning projects. Kim Davidson received a Ph.D. in Special Education with concentrations in Literacy and Research Methodology from Vanderbilt University in 2017. Her research interests include using interdisciplinary literacy, assessment data, and culturally responsive practices to develop personalized, differentiated instruction for diverse students, especially those with significant and persistent reading disabilities. She is in her fourth year of teaching courses as an Assistant Professor in literacy, diversity, and differentiated instruction on the Oakwood Campus of UNG in the Department of Elementary and Special Education. She also supervises junior and senior pre-service teacher interns in the Gainesville City Professional Development Community.

      Title of Award Granted:

      LEAP into Action Grant

      Name of Institution that Granted the Award:

      Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)