The Learning Environment and the Reading Achievement of Middle School African American Male Students in A Suburban School Setting

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

Summer 2012


The reading achievement of African American males might be impacted by a host of variables. This study was undertaken to determine if there was a difference in the culturally responsive characteristics present in the learning environment of a middle school and the reading achievement of middle school African American males. The purpose of this study was to provide greater clarity regarding the most productive learning environment for the reading achievement of African American males in a suburban middle school setting. This study utilized a mixed method research design. Three measures were used to collect data for this study. The data collection techniques included the use of an observation protocol, focus group interviews, and the administration of the Culturally Responsive Learning Environment Rating Scale (CRLE). The CRLE Rating Scale was developed by Dr. Joyce Miller, professor in the Curriculum and Instruction Department at Texas A&M University-Commerce. The theoretical framework of James A. Banks' (2001) total school environment was used as the basis of the CRLE Rating Scale. The findings of this study revealed in schools where African American males excel, the cultural learning environment of the school is characterized by standards of excellence that assist African American males with learning. The actions and/or activities of the school are supportive of African American males' academic achievement. Culturally responsive instructional strategies and instructional materials are used to teach reading to African American males. In schools where African American males excel, the cultural learning environment is characterized by actions, activities, and technology assisting with communication between parents, students, teachers, and administrative staff regarding the African American males' school involvement.


Joyce Miller

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Leadership