Publication Date

Spring 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)




Robert Gliner


Assets based approach to teaching and learning, Community Cultural Wealth, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, English as Foreign Language, Marginalized communities in India, Women empowerment

Subject Areas

Educational leadership


The purpose of this study was to critically evaluate the implementation of a community based English program in villages in Tamil Nadu, India and examine their model from the perceptions of students, parents, teachers, program tutors, trainers and administrators. The study using visual qualitative research methods describes the experiences of various stakeholders in the program. The data for the study was collected in video format through in-person interviews and site observations and edited to produce the documentary film “I Can!” Findings demonstrated that an asset based approach utilizing strengths in the community, culturally responsive teaching practices and a positive teacher student relationship based on empathy and care had a positive impact on student self-confidence, academic engagement and upward social mobility. The findings also indicated that the asset based approach enabled women tutors in the program to build self-confidence and social capital. Future research areas are described to extend the knowledge gained through this study to other marginalized populations across the world.