Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Kathryn Borman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elizabeth Bird, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Susan Greenbaum, Ph. D.


inclusive education, differentiation, whole-child instruction, teacher quality, professional development


There exists a highly charged debate about whether or not the Problem Solving/Response to Intervention (PS/RtI) model works alone in lowering the rate of special education referrals for students in an inclusive learning environment. This study seeks to explore the incorporation of a culturally responsive pedagogy (CRP) into the PS/RtI framework, with the assumption that it would assist teachers with PS/RtI implementation as well as enhance their classroom learning environment. Interviews with PS/RtI coaches and elementary school teachers implementing PS/RtI are coded using inductive and deductive strategies, using salient factors of both CRP and PS/RtI as indicators for a comparative analysis. Results suggest that PS/RtI coaches and teachers in favor of CRP incorporation have a more positive perspective about inclusive education as well as viewing PS/RtI as a successful and sustainable model that benefits all children in the classroom, in addition to lowering the rate of special education referrals. The result of a union between a pedagogical model and a problem-solving model purports to not only promote whole-child instruction, but a more holistic schoolwide learning environment.