Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Their Voices: African American Elementary Students’ Experiences with Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
by Mustapha, Oluwakemi, Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2019, 144; 13887100
Abstract (Summary)

African American students have historically attended schools that have proven unable to meet their needs. By the time these students reach middle and high school, their educational performance is lower than that of a majority of their peers. Evidence that teaching practices are not optimal for African American students’ learning can be observed not only by standardized test scores, but also in low graduation rates and the persistent lack of representation of African Americans in diverse job fields and college campuses.

Researchers traditionally refer to the achievement or educational outcomes gap between African American students’ and their peers as an achievement gap, an opportunity gap, or a discrepancy that arises as a direct result of an education debt. Though researchers use various terms to describe the disparity between the experiences of African American students and their peers, they all recognize a gap in the students’ level of achievement or educational outcomes. Culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP) empowers students and incorporates their cultures and relevant topics while building sociopolitical consciousness. According to Ladson-Billings, CRP may address the learning needs of African American students to narrow this gap.

This case study was conducted at one elementary school and focused on the impact that CRP can have on the school-related experiences of African American students. Methods were observations, focus groups, and interviews. The literature and findings were framed by CRP. Three themes emerged from the data analysis: strategies for academic success, cultural competence, and sociopolitical consciousness. The sub-themes were that strategies for academic success include problem solving, tools, and student choice; cultural competence includes validating and empowering students, and sociopolitical consciousness includes relationships and parent and community involvement.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Davis, Shametrice
Commitee: Slater, Charles, Howard, Tyrone C.
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, African American Studies
Keywords: African American/Black, Culturally relevant pedagogy, Culturally sustaining pedagogy, Elementary students, Social justice, Success
Publication Number: 13887100
ISBN: 9781085607322
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