Culturally Responsive Practices that Benefit African American Males
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Abstract Background: The National Center for Education Statistics in 2009 and 2011 showed that African American and Hispanic students scored relatively lower than their white peers by an average of more than 20 test-score points on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for 4th and 8th grade mathematics and reading assessments. Resulting from this disparity in achievement, many educators are dedicated to closing the gap between minority students and their white peers. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of culturally responsive practices in leadership, learning environments, pedagogy and parental/mentor involvement. This study posed the following research questions: 1) How are educators addressing the academic and social needs of African American male students? 2) What is the impact of the strategies used on the literacy achievement of African American male students? and 3) What do the administrators of these students believe it means to achieve in school settings? Methods: Administrators from one suburban school in Southeast Texas served as participants for this qualitative research study. Culturally responsive data from interviews of administrators was used to answer the research questions. To assess the impact of culturally responsive strategies on student achievement, interview data was analyzed utilizing a constant comparative method. Themes revealing what it means to achieve in school settings emerged. Results: The culturally responsive practices of the campus were effective at meeting the academic and social needs of African American male students. Conclusion: Results suggested that the campus administration set high expectations for all students, including the African American male population. Significant parental supports influenced the success of African American male student achievement. Additionally, results suggest that a focus on diversity and opportunity served as a bridge to facilitate improved social relationships between teachers and students.