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J. Love Benton, Ph.D. is a 2020 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Dr. J. Love Benton at her Dissertation Defense.

From L-R: Dr. Donna Ladkin, Committee Chair, Dr. Elmar Kutsch, Committee Member, Dr. Lize Booysen, Committee Member

Dissertation Committee

  • Donna Ladkin, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Lize Booysen, DBL, Committee Member
  • Elmar Kutsch, Ph.D., Committee Member


Black students, Culturally Collaborative Teaching, culturally relevant pedagogy, equitable education, inservice teacher beliefs, k-12 public education, leadership, personal construct theory, professional development, repertory grid technique

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Inservice teachers’ influence and power are vital components for academic success among Black children. Previous research has shown that when teacher/student interactions are culturally responsive, engaging, and equitable, student learning is positively impacted (Banks, 2001; Gay, 2010; Ladson-Billings, 2011; Sleeter, 2000; Warren, 2018). However, equity gaps between Black and White k-12 students continue to exist within classroom settings (Grant & Sleeter, 2012; Ladson-Billings, 2018). Using a mixed-method approach that includes Repertory Grid Technique underpinned by Personal Construct theory to identify the teaching perceptions of inservice teachers, I gathered data that indicate how k-12 teachers understand what enables Black students to learn. The findings reveal that respondents shared five key constructs as being important to Black students’ learning: “professional and skills development,” “impacts of administrative responsiveness and supports,” “caring,” “trust,” and “inclusion of lived experiences.” However, what is important to note is that my study indicates that neither Black nor White teachers held the entire picture of what enables Black students to learn. By integrating the results of both Black and White teachers’ responses, I theorize a framework which represents a path for Black student learning. I call this framework Culturally Collaborative Teaching, which takes into account both Black and White teachers’ understandings of what the critical factors are when educating Black students. Culturally Collaborative teaching is a framework in which teachers, regardless of their race and cultural background, can integrate and develop a shared set of skills and values. The inclusion of administrator support and understanding of cultural practices, serves as the foundation for positively impacting academic learning for Black students. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, and OhioLINK ETD Center,


J. Love Benton

ORCID Scholar ID #: #0000-0002-4499-5770

Dr. J. Love Benton is a current Adjunct Instructor at Columbus State Community College and a high school English Teacher.

Her background is unique, in that it intersects with several disciplines that include: education; diversity, equity, and inclusion; curriculum development; teaching and learning; nonprofit sector; sexual assault and domestic violence; trauma informed care; and LGBTQ+ communities.

In addition to earning a B.S. in Agriculture Communication from The Ohio State University; a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Ashland University; and an MA in Leadership and Change from Antioch University, Dr. Benton is a widely traveled scholar practitioner whose research, professional development training, and keynote addresses have taken her throughout the Continental U.S.

Dr. Benton’s current research focus spans race, education, and equity. Her PhD thesis explores how in-service teachers construct what constitutes teacher effectiveness and their beliefs about what enables Black students to learn.