|About the Book|
Culturally relevant pedagogy has been identified as a viable approach to improving the academic outcomes of at risk youth (Ladson-Billings, 2000- Tate, 1995b). However, very little empirical evidence of the utility of culturally relevant teachingMoreCulturally relevant pedagogy has been identified as a viable approach to improving the academic outcomes of at risk youth (Ladson-Billings, 2000- Tate, 1995b). However, very little empirical evidence of the utility of culturally relevant teaching and learning strategies in urban education settings exists. Educational interventions and programs should be designed within a cultural context and address the unique needs and experiences of the students that they serve.-The present study explored the impact of culturally relevant teaching and learning strategies with 55 at risk youth who participated in a summer enrichment program in Memphis, TN. All participants were elementary school (i.e., 3rd, 4th and 5th grade) youth who ranged in age between 8 and 12 years old. Participants completed a battery of assessments that measured demographics, achievement in mathematics, attitudes toward online learning, and cultural identity. T-tests and Pearson correlations were used to test hypotheses.-Participants were randomly assigned to 2 conditions: ethnocentric (i.e., culturally relevant) pedagogy or traditional pedagogy. Thirty-three participants were in the ethnocentric pedagogy condition, and 22 participants were in the traditional pedagogy condition. In the ethnocentric pedagogy condition, the facilitators emphasized communal learning, interdependence, and collective achievement. Conversely, in the traditional pedagogy condition, facilitators emphasized individual learning, independence, and individual accomplishment.-The primary hypotheses concerning mathematics achievement were partially supported. Participants in the ethnocentric pedagogy condition returned their homework assignments more often than participants in the traditional learning condition. Likewise, participants in the ethnocentric pedagogy condition scored higher on homework assignments than their counterparts in the traditional pedagogy condition. Predictions of the associations between variables were also partially supported. Participants who reported higher levels of cultural identity were also likely to report higher levels of anxiety, confidence, and favorable attitudes toward computers and online learning experiences. Exploratory analyses were performed with gender and mathematics achievement variables. A one-way ANOVA revealed a significant treatment-by-gender interaction whereby female participants returned more homework assignments than male participants. Implications for educational researchers, administrators, and teachers who are interested in implementing effective practices to improve the academic achievement of students from underrepresented populations are discussed.