Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Todd Lilly

Abstract

The presence of the achievement gap has plagued our education system for decades. One of the most astonishing trends has resulted in the racial achievement gap as White students drastically outperform minority groups with African American males being the most affected population. Educators have studied and implemented Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (CRP) to increase the achievement of African American males. CRP contends that all students are capable of learning and should be held to high expectations while using students’ culture and interests to drive instruction. This action research study examines the impact of culturally relevant teaching on the self-efficacy and engagement of African American males in social studies. Three African American males were used as focal students in this 7-week study. This action research suggests the use of culturally relevant practices can positively impact student engagement. Such practices include holding students to high expectations while creating a classroom environment that helps students develop a sense of belonging and care.

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