Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. Chris Janson

Second Advisor

Dr. Sophie Maxis

Rights Statement

Third Advisor

Dr. Harris Wallace

Fourth Advisor

Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder

Department Chair

Dr. Elizabeth Gregg

College Dean

Dr. John Kantner


This dissertation examines teacher’s perspectives regarding the classroom strategies,

behaviors, and approaches they believed best support the development of African American students. Educator perceptions are valuable to understand because perceptions and attitudes undergird behavior and practices. This study focused on perceptions of teachers toward pedagogical strategies, approaches, and teacher behaviors that perceived to best support African American students because of the persisting achievement gap between African American students and their White, middle class counterparts.

Culturally Relevant Pedagogy was used as the theoretical framework for this study as it describes approaches to teaching students from historically marginalized groups in ways that are more relevant to their cultural strengths, assets, and knowledge-bases.

Q methodology was selected for this study because it was designed to examine human subjectivity using both quantitative and qualitative techniques. Forty-two teachers sorted 36 statements, each representing a practice, strategy, or behavior identified by participants as being culturally relevant to African American students, based on their perceived effectiveness. These 42 Q sorts were then correlated. Principal component analysis and Varimax rotation were used to examine the relationships among the correlations and extract 4 factors, 1 of which was bipolar, or containing two different, but mirrored perspectives. The factor arrays of these 5 perspectives were then examined, described, and named: Responsive to Students Cultural Backgrounds, Responding through Honoring and Exploring Culture, Responding through Structure, Routines, and Direct Advocacy, Conducive and Inclusive Learning Environment, Non-responsive Culture Free Pedagogical Practices. Implications and recommendations for practice, theory, and policy were also discussed.