Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Harrington Gibson


The enduring gap between White and Black student achievement has challenged our educational systems for decades. This study evaluates an instructional pedagogy that values and embraces students’ culture and experiences. Participants in this study include one teacher trained to implement culturally relevant instruction, her middle school students, and teacher leaders at the school where I served as principal during the time of the study.

The results of this study reveal the positive impact that a culturally relevant teacher yields for students and teacher. Students receiving an affirming instructional pedagogy benefit from improved academic outcomes. Teachers embracing this method of teaching are affirmed in their careers through the success of their students. Through policy, planning, and creating an environment that embraces a culturally relevant pedagogy, there is an opportunity to prepare a future generation of students to be ready for the challenges and ever-changing demands in college and careers.