Teachers’ Perceptions of Multicultural Literacy as a Means to Engage African American Males in Grades 5-8



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The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of six Language Arts teachers of the use of multicultural literacy as a way to engage young African American males in fifth through eighth grade. Emphasis was placed on factors such as the teacher’s knowledge on multicultural literacy, as well as teacher practices and beliefs on culturally relevant teaching, and authentic literacy experiences to better meet the literacy needs of young African American males. Data collection consisted of semi-structured interviews. Data were triangulated with many techniques including In Vivo coding (Saldana, 2013) and thematic analysis. The themes that emerged through data analysis were lack of time, lack of instructional resources, culturally responsive training needed, and lack of student motivation. Findings revealed that teachers are aware of the importance of multicultural literacy and engagement of young African American males, but the expectations at a local and state level may play a factor into teachers’ perceptions of implementing multicultural literacy. Implications for further research include recommendations for culturally responsive training for all teachers and teacher advocacy for multicultural literacy. Future research might investigate student and teacher perceptions of multicultural literacy as a means to engage young African American males in grades 5-8 through a mixed-methods study.



Multicultural literacy, Engagement, Young African American males, grades 5-8