Date of Award

Fall 2022

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Susi Long


This critical qualitative study documented what was learned about the process of making culturally relevant teaching foundational to the commitment of a literacy coach while working closely with a kindergarten and first grade teacher for one school year. Critical Race and Black Critical (BlackCrit) theories were the driving theoretical frameworks used to design the study, represent findings, and provide insight into the process of working to make culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP) foundational to the role of a literacy coach with a particular focus on supporting the Black child. The methods used to gain knowledge about CRP as foundational to the role of the literacy coach were through the examination of interviews with two classroom teachers, school’s principal, and the district’s literacy coach supervisor. Knowledge was also gained through classroom observations, school-wide and small group professional development, student work, and the researcher’s field journals.

Thematic coding was used to analyze data leading to findings focused on barriers experienced by and support needed for teacher participants and their literacy coach to be able to make cultural relevance foundational to the literacy coach’s position and the growth of the literacy coach over time. Barriers were found to include partial knowledge of CRP impacting decisions made about mandating programs at the district level, mixed messages received by teachers about whether or not and to what extent they were "allowed" to teach in culturally relevant ways, teachers' fears about potential reprimands for diverging from the mandated program, teachers' confidence and concerns about developing students' critical consciousness, and the need for time for professional growth and curricular preparation. Support found within the study was through one-on-one coaching and small group sessions, immediate feedback from the literacy coach after teaching observations, teachers’ excitement for teaching, student motivation, and teaching across cultural groups. The study concludes with implications for district personnel, administrators, teachers, and literacy coaches in the work to make culturally relevant pedagogy foundational to the literacy coach’s role.


© 2022, Jennipher C.K. Frazier