Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Studies

Committee Chair

Marilyn A. Hirth

Committee Member 1

James H. Freeland

Committee Member 2

Joann I. Phillion

Committee Member 3

Richard Olenchak


The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore teachers’ perceptions of the impact of implementing culturally responsive pedagogical practices on the student learning outcomes of African-American male students. The secondary purpose was to identify teachers’ perceptions of the culturally responsive pedagogy strategies needed in the classroom to address the diverse needs of African-American male students. The case study approach allowed for additional insight into the potential impact of culturally responsive pedagogical practices on the student learning outcomes of African-American male students in the elementary school setting. Data were collected from a large, diverse elementary school in an urban school district. Classroom observations, interviews, and student learning outcomes were collected from three elementary school teachers from diverse backgrounds and various years of experience. Classroom observations were conducted using the Culturally Responsive Instruction Observation Protocol™ (CRIOP) instrument to assess the practices being implemented in the classroom. There were six emerging themes, including one overarching emerging theme, and three assertions that surfaced during the research. During the data analysis process, it became clear that the emerging themes and assertions were interrelated. When looking at CRP practices, the emerging themes of high expectations, motivation to learn, student engagement, relationship building, empowerment, and parent/community partnerships transpired as practices necessary for student learning to take place. Looking at the emerging themes, it was evident that the three assertions of (a) holding high expectations for all students, especially African-American male students; (b) developing positive and strong relationships with African-American male students; and (c) developing curriculum and instructional practices that motivate and empower African-American male students to actively learn and participate in the classroom setting, are directly connected to the themes. The results of this study may prove helpful towards increasing learning outcomes for African-American male students, and ultimately closing the achievement gap.