Culturally Relevant Teaching Approach Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

Impact of Culturally Relevant Teaching on Literacy Development of African American Students in Urban Education

Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography

Introduction

Educational programs across the country have been characterized by reforms that seek to enhance student outcomes. Reform initiatives have contributed to the development of various educational interventions and programs. One of the interventions that have emerged as a crucial component to enhance student outcomes is culturally-relevant teaching. The inclusion of aspects of the students’ cultural environment in the arrangement and instruction of the classroom is considered essential in today’s learning environment (Ladson-Billings, 1995). According to Byrd (2016), culturally relevant teaching is a potent intervention and strategy for lessening achievement gaps and improving student engagement and achievement. Despite the significance of this teaching strategy, African-American students are still disproportionately assigned to educational opportunities in special and general education classrooms. Consequently, the academic outcomes of these students are significantly lower than those of their Latino, White, and Asian American counterparts. The proposed study seeks to examine the impact of culturally relevant teaching on literacy development of Black students in urban educational environments.

Overview of the Research Issue

The modern classroom environment comprises students from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. While the majority of student populations and teachers across the United States are Whites, the number of minorities has continued to increase rapidly in recent years. For example, the number of African American students has increased gradually in the recent past and generated new demands for teachers. As the number of African American students in the modern classroom increases, the discrepancy in academic performance continues to widen. The U.S. public system has witnessed a growing increase in the discrepancy in student academic performance as certain groups are likely to excel than others. Howard & Terry Sr. (2011) contend that African American students continue to lag behind in their academic performance compared to other student populations like Asian American, White, and Latino students. The gap in academic performance is an indicator of systematic racism existing within the school system.

The discrepancy in academic performance between different student populations is attributable to various factors. Cultural differences is seen as one of the major contributing factors towards the poor academic performance of African American students. African Americans have a unique communication pattern that is no similar to the patterns adopted in most classrooms (Paulk, Martinez & Lambeth, 2014). The unique communication patterns have contributed to the lack of communication between teachers and students, which is brought by the different cultural backgrounds of the individuals. According to Gay (2010), African American students are disproportionately assigned to special education since teachers/educators do not have knowledge regarding their socialization and cultural values. This in turn contributes to the relatively poor academic performance of these students by affecting their learning behaviors.

The relatively poor academic performance of African American students in comparison to their peers has attracted the attention of policymakers and other stakeholders within the education sector. It is believed that the educational quality of these students can be improved significantly by adopting instructional practices and programs that reflect their cultural perspectives, heritages, and experiences (Gay, 2010). Therefore, culturally responsive teaching is viewed as an approach that could help improve their learning behaviors, experiences, and outcomes. Howard & Terry Sr. (2011) contend that culturally responsive teaching has been touted to be a teaching approach…

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…Open, 6(3), 1-10.

This article examines the impact of culturally relevant pedagogy based on the perspectives of African American students. The findings of this study will help understand the views and opinions of African American students regarding the use of culturally relevant teaching practices.

Gay, G. (2010, November 25). Culturally Responsive Teaching in Special Education for Ethnically Diverse Students: Setting the Stage. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 15(6), 613-629.

The authors examine the role of culturally responsive teaching in multiethnic special education settings. Insights from this study will be used in the current research to demonstrate how culturally responsive teaching should be part of mainstream schools.

Howard, T. & Terry Sr., C.L. (2011, October 19). Culturally Responsive Pedagogy for African American Students: Promising Programs and Practices for Enhanced Academic Performance. Teaching Education, 22(4), 345-362.

The article demonstrates the findings of a three-year study on interventions used to enhance college enrollment of African American students. It demonstrates that cultural responsive pedagogy is a suitable approach to enhance student engagement and achievement of African American students. It’s findings will be used to demonstrate how culturally relevant teaching can be used to reduce the persistent achievement gaps between African American students and others.

Ladson-Billings, G. (1995). Toward a Theory of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy. American Educational Research Journal, 32(3), 465-491.

This article provides a theoretical basis for the concept of culturally relevant teaching as a suitable approach for multiethnic and multilingual classrooms. It will be used to provide an overview of the concept of culturally relevant pedagogy.

Paris, D. (2012, March 29). Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy: A Needed Change in Stance, Terminology, and Practice. Educational Researcher, 41(3), 93-97.

Sources Used in Documents:

Resources

Howard, T. & Terry Sr., C.L. (2011, October 19). Culturally Responsive Pedagogy for African American Students: Promising Programs and Practices for Enhanced Academic Performance. Teaching Education, 22(4), 345-362.

Ladson-Billings, G. (1995). Toward a Theory of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy. American Educational Research Journal, 32(3), 465-491.

Paris, D. (2012, March 29). Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy: A Needed Change in Stance, Terminology, and Practice. Educational Researcher, 41(3), 93-97.

Paulk, S.M., Martinez, J. & Lambeth, D.T. (2014). Effects of Culturally Relevant Teaching on Seventh Grade African American Students. The Journal of Middle Level Education in Texas, 1(1), 37-60.


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