Date of Award

Summer July 2013

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Magaly C. Lavadenz

Second Advisor

Marta Sanchez

Third Advisor

Maulana Karenga


This mixed-methods study analyzed the effectiveness of the practices and attitudes of selected African American teachers who use culturally relevant and responsive Afrocentric pedagogies as the instructional foundation for improved academic outcomes with their African American students. The theory of Afrocentricity was used as the philosophical framework to study their pedagogy. Afrocentricity is a mode of thought and practice in which in African people are placed at the center of their own history and culture; engages them as subjects rather than objects; and approaches them with respect for their interests, values, and perspectives (Asante 1980, 2003). Concepts employed from this theoretical framework provided a lens for the triangulation of qualitative and quantitative data collected and analyzed. The setting for this study was a private Afrocentric prekindergarten through 8th-grade school. The participants in this study were 3 African American teachers. Data collected and analyzed supported using culturally relevant and responsive pedagogy to produce improved academic outcomes for students of color (Boykin, 1984, 1994; Hale-Benson, 1986; King, 1991; Ladson-Billings, 1994; Shujaa, 1995; Villegas, 1991).

Findings suggested that in selected academic settings improved academic performance occurred for African American students when teachers used culture relevant and responsive pedagogy. The following themes were embedded in the pedagogy: self-determination, academic empowerment, cultural empowerment, and family/community empowerment. The findings implied a need for teachers and teacher-training institutions to re-examine, recommit, and reinstitute culturally relevant and responsive pedagogy that respects and addresses the culture, education, and social improvement for positive academic outcomes for all children.