Tyra Good

Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 2013


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program for Education Leaders (IDPEL)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Gretchen Generett

Committee Member

Rodney Hopson

Committee Member

Andrew Schneider-Muno


african-american youth, afterschool programs, culturally responsive teaching, out-of-school time, school-family-community partnerships, teacher learning


This research study focused on culturally responsive teaching instruction supported and developed through less formal learning and teaching environments. Eight in-service teachers shared their beliefs, personal narratives, and culturally responsive teaching practices in educating African American youth attending a quality afterschool program in an underserved community. Three research questions guided this qualitative case study and the results were discussed according to the three themes that emerged through the theoretical frames of culturally responsive pedagogy (Erickson, 1987, Gay, 2000, 2002) and Ecological Systems Theory (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). The themes that emerged as a result of the analysis are as follows: (a) Afterschool Programs Makes a Difference: Provides Extra Learning Opportunities, Mentorship, and an Avenue to grapple with Understanding Youth's Community and Family Origins; (b) Breaking Barriers: Building Relationships with Students Through Strategies Learned via Personal Interaction and Professional Development Trainings; (c) Sharing Personal and Professional Career Path to Becoming a Teacher: Lessons Learned.

This dissertation study addresses a gap in the extant literature of afterschool programs bridging the gap between school, family, and community partnerships, in forming in-service teachers' knowledge learning development. Learning in the informal and relaxed afterschool environment allows the in-service teachers to be in the context of a community setting while given the opportunity to be creative, explore new teaching concepts, interact with parents, and to develop healthy and meaningful relationships with the youth. The narratives and themes give voice to the in-service teachers' beliefs, upbringing, and of their culturally responsive teaching instruction supported and developed through working with African American students from underserved communities in a quality afterschool program.