Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

McIntyre, John


AN ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION OF SHEILA LONG, for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION, presented on April 4, 2017, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: African American Males’ Achievement in Literacy at a Medium-sized School District MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. John McIntyre, Examination Committee Chair The purpose of this mixed methods study was to determine how culturally relevant pedagogy affects African American males’ academic achievement in literacy. The study examined the perceptions of third grade teachers and third grade African American male students about the use of culturally relevant pedagogy in their classrooms. Culturally relevant pedagogy is defined operationally as “student-centered approach to teaching in which the students' unique cultural strengths are identified and nurtured to promote student achievement and a sense of well-being about the student's cultural place in the world.” Culturally relevant pedagogy is consistent with students’ values and culture that ensures academic achievement while still meeting the expectations of the school district and state requirements. This study was a sequential explanatory mixed method study. Phase one of the study was a quantitative survey of 20 questions that was completed by 8 3rd grade teachers. A small sample size. The data was analyzed using matched pair T-Test of teachers’ perceptions of culturally responsive literacy use in the classrooms and African American males’ vocabulary. In addition to the surveys, Pre- and Post-Vocabulary Tests were collected from 47 3rd grade African American males who attend school in this predominantly white school district. Phase II of the study was a convenience sample of 9 3rd grade teachers and 19 African American males 3rd grade students. I investigated the students’ perceptions of culturally responsive pedagogy through the use of the Journeys (2013) basal series in classrooms. The data was collected and analyzed using interviews and observations. The following questions were addressed to explore the research topic: First, how does the use of culturally responsive pedagogy increase African American males’ achievement in literacy as measured by I-Ready assessment? Second, what perceptions do teachers have about the use of culturally responsive pedagogy in their classrooms? Third, what perceptions do third grade African American male students have about the use of culturally responsive pedagogy in their classrooms? The findings of the study showed that African American males’ literacy scores increased with the implementation of culturally responsive pedagogy using the Journeys’ (2013) Basal series.




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