Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dr. Kimberley Alkins


The problem was the low reading level and language arts performance of Hispanic American and African American elementary school students, compared to European American students. The problem was addressed because it affects students’ academic achievement and overall education as they progress further in school. Teachers, administrators, and district leaders will benefit from this study as it provides an insight on what could be changed to alleviate the problem. The purpose of this study was understanding teachers’ perceptions regarding factors that may be influencing African American and Hispanic American students’ low reading and language arts performance and the effectiveness of current instructional strategies in improving students’ performance. Guided by culturally responsive pedagogy theory, which holds that cultural backgrounds, prior experiences, and learning styles of students from diverse groups can lead to improved academic performance, I examined teachers’ perceptions of factors they think affect the reading and language arts achievement of African American and Hispanic American students and the instructional strategies that teachers use with these students. A basic qualitative design was conducted with 10 elementary teachers who teach third to fifth grade. Data were collected through individual interviews and analyzed by locating themes and patterns among the data gathered. The study findings could contribute to positive social change by providing educators in the research district with insight on instructional strategies that promote reading and language arts academic success for racial minority students, leading to the development of various professional development and guided training that would support educators in using the instructional strategies with fidelity.