Publication Date


Document Type



Master of Arts in Education (MA)

MA Concentration

Teaching Mathematics


Achievement gap, African American adolescents, culturally responsive pedagogy, academic resilience, self-efficacy, mentorship, social cognitive theory, mathematics


Helen Hawley-Davis, Pamela A. Redmond, Jim O'Connor


The disparity in educational outcomes between African-American populations and any other significant group has come to be known as the African American achievement gap. Within this minority population, there is a growing realization that the academic status of African-American males, in particular, is most at risk. Educational research has identified culturally responsive pedagogy (CRP), a construct grounded in Bandura's (1977b) social cognitive theory, as the educational component that can change the direction of this group's academic downward spiral. Using a mixed method study, the researcher studied 69 African American male adolescents and their experiences with culturally responsive pedagogy and mentorship in the classroom setting. Findings from surveys and interviews gave voice to the students' needs as they shed light on their experiences in the classroom. This study revealed that students inconsistently experience CRP in the classroom and only some students participate in extracurricular activities some of the time. The study also revealed that even if they are academically proficient, the students only persist about half the time and that they welcome and express needs for mentorship in school and their personal lives.