Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Elizabeth Warren


Elementary African American males achieve proficiency at a lower rate than their peers in both reading and math. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to understand how elementary school teachers described their use of equitable strategies in teaching elementary African American male students, how these teachers described the experience of teaching African American male students, and how they used equitable strategies to shape the classroom environment to engage African American male students. Two theories provided the conceptual framework for this study-human development theory and critical race theory in education. Seven participants were selected through convenience sampling. Semistructured interviews were conducted. Data analysis for this case study was conducted using analytic descriptive coding and category construction. Major categories were identified in order to examine patterns, themes, and relationships. Data analysis of the responses of research participants in this study revealed: (a) nurturing teacher-to-student relationships were paramount to students' success; (b) teachers who received professional development focused on the implementation of equitable strategies struggled with monitoring the effectiveness of equitable strategies regarding student outcomes. Consideration needs to occur regarding introducing and implementing culturally relevant pedagogy and equitable strategies with preservice teachers in order for them to understand the cultural as well as academic needs of the students they will educate. The findings of this study may provide school stakeholders with the strategies needed to support and improve the academic abilities of elementary African American males, thus constructing positive social change.