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Culturally relevant approaches to fostering postsecondary readiness in the dual credit English classroom

Julia C. Duncheon (University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA)
Dustin Hornbeck (The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, USA)
Reid Sagara (University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA)

English Teaching: Practice & Critique

ISSN: 1175-8708

Article publication date: 9 June 2023

Issue publication date: 31 July 2023




This study examines how English teachers use culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP) to support postsecondary readiness for underrepresented students in the context of dual credit (DC) coursework in the USA. Postsecondary readiness, termed “college readiness” in the USA, refers to the skills and knowledge students need to succeed at a university. DC courses are university-level classes delivered to high school students through partnerships with postsecondary institutions, most often two-year community colleges. The purpose of this study is to highlight practices and institutional conditions that enable English instructors to foster postsecondary opportunity for all.


Using an interpretive approach, this qualitative study analyzes data derived from in-depth interviews with five community college English instructors who teach DC to diverse high-school students and who apply CRP in their classroom practice.


Findings reveal that instructors used culturally relevant approaches not only to help students access dominant college-ready skills, but also to reimagine what constitutes college readiness to begin with. Instructors also took advantage of their unique positioning as postsecondary instructors working with secondary students, leaning on academic freedom to push boundaries with their curriculum.


This study shows how English instructors are uniquely positioned to enhance university preparation and build a more inclusive vision of postsecondary readiness for all students. The study also highlights institutional conditions, such as teacher autonomy, pedagogical training and administrator support, that can promote culturally relevant postsecondary preparation in English classrooms.



The research reported in this article was made possible (in part) by a grant from the Spencer Foundation (#202000144). The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Spencer Foundation.


Duncheon, J.C., Hornbeck, D. and Sagara, R. (2023), "Culturally relevant approaches to fostering postsecondary readiness in the dual credit English classroom", English Teaching: Practice & Critique, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 313-326.



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