(In)visible Sons: Exploring the Enactment of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy with African American Adolescent Males
By: Keisha McIntosh Allen
Published: 05/20/2015
Uploaded: 03/12/2018
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: 2015 (May) Teachers College Columbia University Ed.D. Dissertations, Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: Black males

Description/Abstract: This dissertation explores a Black, male teacher's enactment of culturally relevant pedagogy (Ladson-Billings, 1995) with Black, male high school students attending a transfer high school in the Northeast. The academic underachievement of Black male youth points to the ways in which their ways of knowing and being are largely invisible to the predominately White, female teaching force who view and position them as dangerous, dumb, and deviant (Cooper & Jordan, 2003). This research contributes to the development of successful practices for working with and supporting Black male students.

This embedded case study utilizes a critical sociocultural framework (Lewis, Enciso, & Moje, 2007) to elucidate the ways in which Black male youths' social identities are figured within the culturally relevant classroom. Data collection consisted of three semi-structured interviews with the focal teacher; two-three semi-structured interviews with each of the three focal students; a focus group with two of the focal students and three additional Black male students and classroom observations. Data analysis consisted of within-case analysis for each participant, Gilligan (1982) listening method, and open coding of interview transcripts and observation field notes.

The research revealed that identity resources accessed within the culturally relevant classroom challenged dominant narratives that position Black males as oppositional and disengaged and framed them as race workers who had begun thinking about solutions for problems existing in their communities.

This dissertation utilized narrative methods to examine the identities academically vulnerable Black male students authored among discourses of promise and deficiency. Focal students contended with discourses that conflicted with the identities they were trying enact and were aware that expectations outside of their school conflicted with these identities.

Lastly, this study also argues that the ideologies guiding teachers' enactments of culturally relevant pedagogy determine desired and achieved outcomes. The focal teacher's enactment of CRP was rooted in his philosophy of education for liberation. While the literature has described the challenges and promises of CRP, this study highlights nuances in the ways it is enacted and its subsequent outcomes. This study offers implications for teacher practice, teacher education, policy, and research.