Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Learning, Leadership and Change

First Advisor

Thomas Nelson

First Committee Member

Rod P. Githens

Second Committee Member

Larry Boese

Third Committee Member

Martin Martinez


This study represents findings of a case study focused on the connections between balanced literacy and the reading development of African American students in first and second grade. Utilizing a conceptual framework of culturally relevant pedagogy, this study investigated: (a) the ways in which teachers understood and implemented balanced literacy; (b) the role culturally relevant pedagogy played in balanced literacy instruction; and (c) how teachers utilized balanced literacy to support the reading development of African American students. Data from multiple observations of instruction and interviews resulted in the identification of three factors that contributed to the implementation of balanced literacy and the reading development of African American students – a sense of community, emphasis on reading strategies to decipher unknown words, and assessment as a tool to guide instruction and gain a deeper understanding of students’ reading ability. The findings of this study build on current literature and also contribute to new knowledge of the factors that play a role in developing the reading abilities of African American children.



To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid email address and log-in to Scholarly Commons.

Find in ProQuest



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).