Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Cathryn W. White


School administrators at a middle school in the northeastern United States lacked understanding regarding reading services and teaching strategies to improve African American middle school (AA MS) males' performance on standardized state reading assessments. English language arts (ELA) teachers' perspectives on and experiences of teaching reading to AA MS males at the target site were explored using Kolb's model of experiential learning. A qualitative intrinsic case study with an anonymous survey was used to collect data at the target site. Fifteen individuals who met inclusion criteria of being 6th- or 7th-grade ELA teachers at the target site were recruited using purposeful sampling. First-cycle data analysis with initial coding was followed by second-cycle analysis using axial coding. Through the process of iterative categorization, key themes emerged. Findings based on themes indicate that when teaching AA males, teachers need to develop a positive relationship, demonstrate an understanding of cultural responsiveness, show understanding and patience when issues or problems arise, develop agreement on clear expectations, and use relevant topics and a variety of resources. A project study was developed that led to recommendations to support ELA teachers instructing AA MS male students and to use targeted professional development to improve teachers' knowledge and skills. Adoption of the recommendations could improve teachers' knowledge, skills, and understanding, resulting in more effective reading instruction for AA males and better supports for their academic success.