Black students consistently underachieve academically in comparison to White students. To minimize the achievement gap between Black students and White students, some experts advocate the use of differentiated instruction as an alternative methodology to teach underachieving students. Differentiated instruction is predicated on teaching students based on their learning abilities and/or learning preferences. The differentiated instructional model examined in this study combined traditional teaching methodology with specific Montessori stage two and stage three constructs. This exploratory qualitative study examined the impact that Montessori constructs combined with traditional teaching methods had on academic achievement of Black students in grades four and five in an inner city school in Dallas County, Texas. The study further explored the sample’s perceptions of and preferences for the combined teaching methodology. The sample group had been exposed to the differentiated teaching model evaluated in the study. Disaggregated 2007 and 2008 TAKS results from the Texas Education Agency were obtained to compare the school’s fourth and fifth grade Black students’ achievement to their cohort groups in the district and in the state. The TAKS data comparisons found variability in performance among the groups in each of the subject areas assessed by TAKS. Qualitative data from a Likert Scale, multiple choice questions, questionnaires, written essay, and interviews were obtained from the participants to examine the students’ perceptions of and preferences for the combined teaching methodology. Data responses were analyzed and themes were developed to determine black students’ preferences for teaching, learning, and factors that contribute to learning. The findings of this study imply that future use of a differentiated instructional model that combines traditional teaching methodology and specific Montessori constructs and principles might be effective in improving Black student achievement.
|Commitee:||Beazley, Jackson (Skot), Simmons, Obadiah, Jr.|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Black studies, Elementary education, Curriculum development|
|Keywords:||Academic achievement, Black students, Differentiated instructions, Minority students, Montessori, Traditional teaching|
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