Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Mary Styslinger


Due to the sudden spread of COVID19 in March of 2020, schools in the United States were scrambling to figure out ways to educate their students and at the same time keep them safe. In many cases schools switched to online learning or at home packets. During the same school year on May 25, 2020, George Floyd was murdered by a police officer. The video tape of his murder sparked protests across the country. His death showing how racism continues to plague American society. Students and teachers across the country were trying to process all of these events and navigate the educational system with little to no guidance. At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, COVID19 and systemic racism were two issues that still permeated American society. Due to the health and safety threat of COVID19, many schools selected to remain in virtual or blended learning models. Given the context of the dramatically changing school environment and the increased visibility of systemic racism, this study sought to understand what happens when culturally relevant pedagogy was situated in a blended learning environment. In addition, the study sought to understand students’ perspectives and thoughts on their experiences using culturally relevant pedagogy within a blended learning environment. Much of the literature on culturally relevant pedagogy did not occur within in a blended learning environment and does not include students’ perceptions and thoughts on their experiences.

Guided by critical literacy theory and culturally relevant pedagogy, qualitative case study methodology was used to gather data about what happens within the context of the study and students’ perceptions of culturally relevant pedagogy and a blended learning environment. Data was collected through observations, field notes, classroom artifacts, student surveys, and semi-structured interviews. From coding analysis, six themes were developed: academic achievement, cultural competence, critical consciousness, building relationships, student voice, and blended learning. The findings of the study are presented through a detailed description of each case study. Furthermore, a detailed discussion and implications are provided to support educators, administrators, school districts, and higher educational institutes that have teaching programs in challenging them to include culturally relevant pedagogy within blended learning environments and to include youth voice in decision-making processes.