Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
National assessments have revealed that African American students do not demonstrate proficiency in mathematics to the same degree as their White counterparts; however, some teachers are able to guide their African American students to mathematics success. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to determine the instructional strategies of teachers who have been successful in promoting mathematics achievement in African American students. This study was guided by a single research question that focused on the instructional strategies used by teachers whose African American upper elementary students demonstrated proficiency in mathematics on a state standardized test. Feuerstein's mediated learning experience theory formed the conceptual framework for this study. Data were collected through interviews, document analysis, and observations of 6 upper elementary teachers from 3 different schools in a single school district. Open coding was used to note emergent themes that formed the basis for the findings. This study identified 7 effective strategies for teaching mathematics to African American students: employing repetition and review, using specific teaching tools, grouping for instruction, applying assessment and reteaching, engaging student discourse, using word problems, and making real life connections. The strategies that emerged from the study displayed characteristics of the traditional and reform approaches to teaching mathematics as well as culturally relevant pedagogy. These strategies may be useful in helping teachers to increase African American students' achievement in mathematics as well as their feelings of self-efficacy. The findings of this study may improve the pedagogical practices of mathematics teachers of African American students.