Developing Cultural Competence and Promoting Culturally Responsive Teaching in STEM Educators of Native Hawaiian Students


TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


The purpose of this study was two-fold. The first was to determine the degree of culturally responsive teaching practices and level of cultural competence of participants who teach upper elementary (grades three through six) STEM educators of predominantly Native Hawaiian students. The second purpose was to identify differences in cultural competence and culturally responsive teaching practices of those same participants identified above. These two participant groups were from the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Education’s Keonepoko and Pāhoa Elementary Schools. Both schools are from the Keaʻau-Kaʻu-Pāhoa Complex Area. The educators from Keonepoko were afforded knowledge and experiences from a culture-based professional development program known as the Moenahā School Program, while the educators from Pāhoa were not afforded these same knowledge and experiences. Using a quantitative, quasi-experimental design, data were collected via an online survey using three instruments: the Culturally Responsive Teaching Self-Efficacy Inventory (CRTSE), the Cultural Competence Self-Assessment Questionnaire (CCSAQ), and the Cultural Competence Self-Assessment Scale Demographic Information (CCSASDI). The data were analyzed using mean scores and those mean scores were compared for differences using a Mann-Whitney U test. The findings indicated the Moenahā participants had a statistically significantly higher level of cultural competence and higher degree of culturally responsive teaching practices than the non-Moenahā participants suggesting the importance of cultural competence professional development iii opportunities. These findings are applicable for teachers in schools with an higher Native Hawaiian student population.



STEM Education, Native Hawaiian, Culture-Based Education, Indigenous Education Culturally Relevant Teaching, Cultural Competence, Cultural Identity, Cultural Sensitivity, Cultural Knowledge Belief, Self-efficacy, Professional Development