Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Barbara Hill

Second Advisor

Dr. Sheila Gregory

Third Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner


The purpose of this study was to identify the link between culture and pedagogy through the implementation of the Common Core Standards with the goal of increasing the instructional outcomes of African-American students. This study investigated culturally relevant pedagogy implementing of Common Core Standards through the variables of teacher efficacy, instructional delivery of Common Core Standards, cultural synchronization, and cultural sensitivity. Furthermore, the research examined Ladson-Billings criterion for culturally relevant teaching and its application to the 21st century student as they encounter Common Core Standards. This research was conducted at a primary public school with a large minority population and located in the suburbs of Atlanta. The participants in this study were certified classroom teachers, support teachers, and instructional lead teachers.

Data were collected in a triangulated fashion through surveys, interviews, observations, and attitude scales. The study findings manifested how the characteristics of culturally relevant teaching aligned with regulated standards could create a connection between culture and education for African-American students. The findings and conclusions of this study suggest that cultural characteristics of teachers have an impact of culturally relevant pedagogy implementing Common Core Standards. Teachers are cultural beings and utilize their own cultural backgrounds to identify differences between themselves and African-American students. These differences manifested themselves as teachers worked to implement new standards while using culturally relevant teaching practices. Practical implications and recommendations based on findings and conclusions are offered in this study.

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