Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)




Diversity increasingly characterizes the population of the United States. As the number of African Americans, Latina/os, and Asian populations increase, there will be drastic implications for teaching and learning in classrooms where students of color dominate. The purpose of this mixed methodological study was to examine the characteristics, practices and frequency of use of fifty -two strategies employed by two teachers in a predominately African American urban public school to determine their impact on student learning and engagement. The fifty-two effective and culturally responsive strategies used in this study were created by Dr. Johnnie McKinley, Professor in Educational Psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle. Furthermore, this study sought to deepen the understandings about the educational challenges of African American students as well as offer insights to teachers and instructional leaders detailing how culturally responsive teaching can effectively impact the level of engagement and ultimately achievement of African American students.

This study used Activity Theory as its theoretical framework to understand how culturally responsive teaching strategies and the frequency of their use impact student engagement and motivation within the classroom. The components of the 52 strategies and practices as well as the preparation of culturally responsive teaching examined in this study, is not inclusive. However, of the 52 fifty-two strategies observed by the researcher and executed by the teachers, it was those strategies where the teachers collectively developed and established clear goals and standards through planning of the lessons/activities and day; selected and used culturally relevant curriculum and materials that recognized people, events, traditions and cultural aspects of the students in their classroom; connected students' learning to prior knowledge; and engaged students in real-life, project-based, meaningful, challenging and relevant curriculum that were most effective in the instruction of the African American students within this study.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.