Date of Award

Fall 2021

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, PhD


School of Educational Studies

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Robert Klitgaard

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Linda Perkins

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Thomas Luschei

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

©Copyright Rocky Blessey-Bragg, 2021


Distance learning, diversity, K-12, pedagogy, teacher education, technology of learning

Subject Categories

Secondary Education and Teaching | Teacher Education and Professional Development


This qualitative study framed in Albert Bandura’s Self-Efficacy theory involved 6 teachers from Chaffey Joint Union high School District and 8 teacher education professionals from teacher education programs in southern and central California. It examined reported pedagogical strategies in responding to specific dimensions of classroom diversity: culture, readiness and economics. Participants took Bandura’s Self-Efficacy survey prior to the first of two semi-structured interviews. In the second of those interviews, each group had the opportunity to react to findings from the first round of interviews from their own group and the opposite, as to how their perceptions of diversity have evolved and what pedagogical strategies they employ in traditional instruction, and what they did during distance learning. Teachers and teacher education professionals (TEPs) described two salient pedagogical strategies that they find valuable and effective in engaging and teaching diverse groups of students ordinarily and during distance learning: varying instruction and building strong relationships with students. Of course, in terms of the challenges brought on by my economic diversity, which were no clearer than during distance learning, both groups advocated for institutional support in equipping students with adequate technology and access to the internet. Although both groups demonstrated strong feelings in their efficacy to influence different school variables that impact student outcomes according to Bandura’s survey, a t-test revealed low significance levels between the groups, despite these feelings being reaffirmed in the interview phases of this study. The findings suggest the importance of equipping teachers with skill sets and strategies for engaging diverse groups of students and building rapport. They also demonstrate implications for ongoing dialogue between teachers and TEPs to continually inform current classroom practice, as well as optimal pre-service teaching experiences. This study suggests what teachers can do ordinarily and during times of crises to best reach their students.