Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education/Leadership in Urban Schools

First Advisor

Wenfan Yan

Second Advisor

Peter Kiang

Third Advisor

Tricia Kress


Very few urban elementary African American and Hispanic students have access to foreign language programs. Thus, students of color have historically been under-represented in foreign language study. At the same time, urban elementary foreign language programs for economically disadvantaged African American and Hispanic students might level the playing field for these students and help prepare them to participate more fully in a global economy and community in the future. The present case study is based on a mixed methods approach using logic model and overlapping spheres of influence theory to examine the impact of the Boston Renaissance Charter Public School (BRCPS) Chinese language and culture program on its stakeholders (students, parents, school teachers, administrators, and board members). A sequential explanatory strategy is used to investigate stakeholders' perceptions and attitudes toward the BRCPS Chinese language and culture program. It further reveals discrepancies between the stakeholders' perceptions/attitudes and their racial backgrounds, working length of time and involvement with BRCPS, SES (Socioeconomic Status), grade connection, and gender. It also identifies the factors that influence BRCPS students' motivation and interest in learning Chinese. This study, therefore, finds out that the majority of the BRCPS stakeholders are satisfied with BRCPS Chinese language and culture program. The biggest challenge identified is Chinese teachers' lack of classroom control and the difficulty in maintaining positive student discipline in Chinese class. Stakeholders suggest Chinese language should be taught as a core curriculum rather than as a specialist subject. They also suggest that all the stakeholders should work together to value Chinese learning.