Perceptions of Five Middle School Science Teachers: A Suburban Success Story on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Achievement for Eighth Grade African American Students
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The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine a problem of practice present in an actual school district. The study examined the achievement gap that existed between African American and European American students in eighth grade science. Over the course of one school year, the perceptions of five eighth grade science teachers and an administrative team’s series of strategies were explored in a suburban middle school in Southeast Texas. Since the enactment of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (2001), the achievement gap has been discussed and studied. However, few studies have investigated the strategies used by teachers to close the achievement gap for African American students who attend suburban schools. This study examined the perceptions of five science teachers about the achievement gap at one suburban middle school, and identified and described the teaching methods and practices, aimed at closing the achievement gap as measured by the performance of African American students on the eighth grade Science Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. Participants were the eighth grade science teachers at the chosen school. The results yielded a reduction in the achievement gap for African American students in eighth grade science on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills; 90% of the African American students passed the Science TAKS test in comparison to the 77% pass rate the previous school year. Member checking and peer debriefing were used to establish trustworthiness. Recommendations for future study include a comparison of culturally responsive teaching and Quantum Learning (2008) strategies, as well as areplication of the identified strategies in the study to other suburban and urban schools, and districts.
African American Students
Culturally Responsive Teaching
Henry, Cheryl Turner (2011). Perceptions of Five Middle School Science Teachers: A Suburban Success Story on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Achievement for Eighth Grade African American Students. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from