Preferred Name

Kayla Schroeder

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Department of Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities


Stephanie Wasta

Ruth Bosch

Katya Koubek

Ashley Taylor Jaffee


Each year, elementary classrooms in the United States become increasingly culturally diverse, yet teachers of these classroom remain primarily White and female. While most teacher education programs require pre-service teachers to enroll in at least one course related to diversity education, many of these future educators do not feel adequately prepared to teach students who hold different identities or life experiences. In a qualitative analysis of class observations, participant submitted coursework, and individualized interviews, this case study sought to explore how four White cisgender female pre-service elementary teachers applied knowledge from one undergraduate diversity course to topics of identity, power, and privilege—both in relation to the self and in relation to the (future) student. Primarily through self-reflective practices, participants of this study were able to determine that identity development is a continual process; identity markers can contribute to “single story” stereotypes and different life experiences found at intersections of multiple identities; history plays a role in identity, power, and privilege; privilege and power can be complex and difficult to navigate within personal and professional identities; and there are additional factors within student identity that play a role in classrooms such as parental influence, background knowledge, and various external influences. Ultimately, this study contributes insight on the instruction of culturally responsive teaching and pedagogy in undergraduate diversity courses as well as adds to White teacher identity studies, which calls for a more complex understanding of who an individual is in terms of both self and the teacher.



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