Amia Dixon

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Leigh D’Amico


The purpose of this action study was to determine the impact the use of culturally relevant instructional methods (researcher created term) would have on student achievement and student motivation. The use of culturally relevant teaching methods is rooted in culturally relevant pedagogy first introduced by Gloria Ladson-Billings and culturally responsive teaching practices first introduced by Geneva Gay. The study implemented an intervention cycle that modified the fourth-grade curriculum by differentiating lessons based on learning style, incorporating an “activator” that connects to the students’ culture and builds background knowledge, allowing student choice for instructional text, increasing the use of culturally relevant material, and offering direct and immediate feedback. Data were collected through observations, surveys, grade reports, and STAR reports. The data was analyzed to determine a positive, negative, or no impact to the use of culturally relevant instructional methods. The study included 19 student participants and two teacher participants from a Title 1 school in a rural county.


© 2023, Amia Dixon