Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions of Culturally Responsive Teaching And Their Sense of Belonging And Academic Self-Efficacy In Higher Education
To address the U.S. labor shortage in the fields of agriculture and STEM, higher education needs to recruit, retain, and prepare more underrepresented minority students into agricultural and STEM disciplines. Teachers play important roles in student learning, which can lead to student academic and professional success. With university classrooms becoming more diverse, faculty need to adopt inclusive teaching methods in order to accommodate the needs and expectations of diverse students. Culturally responsive teaching embraces and integrates students’ culture into the teaching and learning process. As a result, culturally responsive teaching can offer a more engaging learning experience for all students; however, in the context of higher education, there is a lack of understanding and application of culturally responsive teaching by faculty. This study examined students’ perceptions of culturally responsive teaching practices in their first college mathematics course through a developed and modified instrument for higher education. Further, this study used a structural equation model to predict the relationships among students’ perceptions of culturally responsive teaching, sense of belonging and academic self-efficacy. Data were collected through the anonymous questionnaire administrated through Qualtrics. Participants of this study were undergraduate students enrolled in the college of agriculture, college of science and college of liberal arts at a predominately white institution (PWI) and an Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Five conclusions were generated from the study. First, the scale developed to measure students’ perceptions of culturally responsive teaching in higher education was a valid instrument. Second, college students observed and sensed different types of culturally responsive teaching differently. Third, students’ perceptions of culturally responsive teaching predicted students’ academic self-efficacy and sense of belonging. Fourth, students who had a higher sense of belonging were more confident as college students. Finally, African American students at an HBCU had higher perceptions of culturally responsive teaching. Implications for practice were provided to help promote the application of culturally responsive teaching in higher education. Recommendations for future research were also discussed to inform future studies regarding culturally responsive teaching in university settings.