Date of Award

Fall 2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Christopher Bogiages


This action research study describes the influence of culturally relevant literacy instruction on an urban preschool classroom and its effect on an educator-researcher. This research study was grounded in a theoretical framework that involved culturally responsive teaching pedagogy (Ladson-Billings, 1995), reality pedagogy (Emdin, 2012), and early literacy instruction (Algozzine, O’Shea, & Obiakor, 2009). The study was assembled as a case study bounded by one classroom in a federally funded daycare in a southern coastal city. It sought to answer the question: What are the important factors to consider when designing a culturally responsive reading curriculum for pre-kindergarten urban youth? The research question was further divided into two supporting questions:

(a) Can culturally responsive teaching be used to increase preschool literacy skills? and

(b) What is the influence of a culturally responsive literacy curriculum on urban preschool students? The study participants in this research included seven 4- and 5-year- old children: one Hispanic American male, four African American males, and two African American females. The data collection methods used in this study were a pre- post assessment on concepts of print, concepts of writing, early emergent literacy, and phonics, along with a narrative research journal. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and qualitative data was analyzed using a coding system of indicators consistent with culturally responsive teaching.


© 2018, Jacqueline E. Kennedy