First Advisor

McConnell, Christy

Document Type


Date Created



This study explored the curricular decision-making and instructional practices of four Black male elementary teachers in a large suburban school district. In order to capture the intersection of their racial and gender identity with their educational practices, the researcher utilized educational connoisseurship and criticism, a methodology that examines the nuances that exist in the curricular and pedagogical choices of teachers. Critical race theory provided a framework for addressing the nuance that exists while also challenging dominant ideology regarding Black male elementary teachers. In addition to interviews and observations, this study provided space for participants to contribute directly to the data collection process using autophotography—a method that allows participants to photograph aspects of their lives. Findings from this study indicated that culturally inherited practices of advocacy and communal learning, as well as intentions of care, guided participants’ curricular decision-making and instructional practices. Additionally, findings revealed the campus culture disrupted the intentions of these teachers. Lastly, teachers in this study addressed the void in the prescribed curriculum they received by restoring the curriculum with what they felt was vital to student learning. The results of this study could influence professional learning by providing an awareness of the culturally relevant practices that are often undervalued.


198 pages

Rights Statement

Copyright is held by the author.