Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Louisa Kramer-Vida


Because of the substantial gap between the performance of African American and European American students, there was a critical need to study and understand issues that may contribute to the amelioration of this achievement gap. Therefore, the aim of this study was to understand the cultural sensitivity of elementary and middle school teachers in the New York City Public Schools. This study attempted to uncover attitudes that teachers hold about teaching and learning for African American students, potentially helping to close the achievement gap. This study utilized an exploratory approach to investigate teachers’ attitudes toward culturally sensitive teaching for African-Americans. The research questions that guided this study were: 1) How do teachers perceive their preparedness for teaching African American students? 2) Do race and ethnicity play a role in the attitudes teachers hold about African American students? 3) How cognizant are teachers of issues that affect African American students? and 4) Are teachers addressing the needs of African American students with their curriculum and instruction? The findings from this study revealed whether teachers’ attitudes and beliefs were indicative of cultural sensitivity or indicative of cultural destructiveness for Black students.