Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Stephen Thornton, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Howard Johnston, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Phil Smith, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Karl Jung, Ph.D.


Cultural Competence, Self-efficacy, Teacher Preparation Programs


The purpose of this study was to explore preservice teachers’ sense of confidence working with English Learners, and the ability to transfer that confidence to self-efficacy in cultural competence. Specifically, the study evaluated an infused ESOL endorsement program integrated into a teacher preparation program at a local Florida state college. The qualitative study derived information from retrospective data from past assignments in two ESOL specific courses required for students in two different programs, Elementary Education, and Exceptional Student Education. Additionally, data were analyzed from semi-structured interviews in which five preservice teachers participated.

Findings uncovered four major themes and multiple subthemes. 1. Cultural reflection provides a lens into diverse students’ varying perspectives and the importance of knowing yourself and your learners. 2. Cultural reflection leads to associating classroom culture with incorporating students’ varied cultures into the classroom, helping to build a sense of cultural competence. Two subthemes of this are: a. Considering diversity within curriculum for effective teaching and learning and b. Promoting student learning by creating a safe environment of respect that cultivates belonging and acceptance. 3. School-based experiences foster confidence in cultural competence that begins to lead students toward self-efficacy. This theme produced numerous subthemes: a. Social interactions and b. Academic interactions. These two subthemes can also each be broken down into two more sub sections each: i. Experiences with K12 ESOL students, and ii. Experiences with CCTs and colleagues. 4. Reflecting about successes and challenges after instruction fosters cultural competence and nurtures self-efficacy.