Dr. Dennisha Murff @dmurff5
Culturally Responsive Pedagogy
Promising Practices for African American Male Students
A volume in Research for Social Justice:Personal~Passionate~Participatory Inquiry Series Editors: Ming Fang He , Georgia Southern University and JoAnn Phillion, Purdue University
In Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: Promising Practices for African American Male Students, I take us on a journey into teachers’ perceptions of the impact of implementing culturally responsive pedagogical (CRP) practices on the student learning outcomes of African American male students. The book also helps to identify teachers’ perceptions of the CRP strategies needed in the elementary school setting to address the diverse needs of African American male students. I share the story of educators from a large, diverse elementary school in an urban school district, who have made it their mission to provide African American male students with culturally responsive learning environments where they can thrive. Throughout the book, I make it clear that the implementation of CRP practices has a direct impact on the student learning outcomes of African American male students.
The book provides additional research into the existing literature on CRP practices. Through a case study approach, my work allows for additional insight into the potential impact of CRP practices on the student learning outcomes of African American male students in an urban elementary school setting. The book takes us on a journey of highs and lows, ups and downs, and failures and successes. Throughout the book, rich, detailed stories and descriptions are shared based on classroom observations, interviews, and student learning outcomes collected from three elementary school teachers from diverse backgrounds and various years of experience. Classroom observations were conducted using the Culturally Responsive Instruction Observation Protocol™ (CRIOP) instrument to assess the practices being implemented in the classroom. As I focused on the hard realities that face African American male students in today’s classrooms, I identified six emerging themes, including one overarching emerging theme, and three promising practices that surfaced during my research. The CRP practices implemented proved helpful toward increasing learning outcomes for African American male students, and, ultimately, closing the achievement gap.
As an African American educator, I have been able to see how the lack of culturally responsive practices creates learning obstacles for African American male students. These learning obstacles continue to plague a group that has been historically marginalized in our society. The implementation of CRP practices provides educators with an avenue to remedy a social justice issue that has plagued our nation for years. The information shared in this book can be beneficial for all those invested in closing the achievement gap and increasing student learning outcomes through the use of culturally responsive practices, including pre-service and in-service teachers, administrators, caregivers, community advocates, educational researchers, and policy makers.
Dr. Dennisha Murff
Dennisha Murff is an educator, author, consultant, and relentless advocate for equitable educational opportunities for all. Throughout her education career, she has worked hard to incorporate equity, social justice, and culturally responsive practices into her work. Dr. Murff is also the founder of Murff Consulting Group, LLC, an educational consulting group focused on cultivating the greatness within each scholar through the Education Empowerment Movement.
Dr. Murff believes education is the great equalizer. However, this can only take place when students are provided with a diverse school setting where high expectations are the foundation for learning. This learning environment must include adults who are willing to challenge the status-quo to give students the learning opportunities they deserve.
A product of Elkhart Community Schools in Elkhart, IN, Dr. Murff completed her undergraduate work at Ball State University where she earned a dual major in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education. After graduation, she chose to immediately begin her teaching career. Her lifelong goal of teaching children brought her great joy! Within a couple of years, she decided to attend Indiana Wesleyan University and earn her Master’s degree in Education. Dr. Murff had been encouraged to obtain her administrative license, but she felt it wasn’t the right path for her and desired to continue teaching in the classroom.
Nonetheless, leadership opportunities surfaced making it clear
Dr. Murff’s calling was in administration. She believed she could impact the teaching and learning environment for students and staff members on a larger scale. With that decision in mind, Dr. Murff returned to school and received her administrative licensure from Indiana University. In 2017, Dr. Murff obtained her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Purdue University.
As Dr. Murff began her teaching journey, her eyes were opened to the variations in equitable access to learning opportunities in the school setting. Once she moved into administration, the disparities were glaring not only in school buildings, but across school districts. As Dr. Murff continued to push towards equitable opportunities, she began to heavily focus on culturally responsive practices in the school setting. Her passion for increasing student learning outcomes for all students was evident from her first day of teaching. This passion continues to drive the work Dr. Murff does at the building and district level.
Dr. Murff has over 20 years of experience in education. She feels honored to have spent the majority of her educational career in one school district, which is located in a large metropolitan city. She is currently in her 12th year as an elementary school principal. She has also served as an assistant principal and elementary school teacher. Dr. Murff and her husband, Darrell Murff, are the proud parents of three amazing children, McKenzie, Lincoln, and Averi. She strongly believes her most important role in life is being their mother. They are her greatest blessings!
Dr. Dennisha Murff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
She is active on Twitter and can be reached at @dmurff5 or @MurffConsulting