Supporting the Reading Comprehension of Black Students Labeled with a Learning Disability

Dana Andrae Gathers, Fordham University

Abstract

This case study investigated the culturally responsive and reading comprehension instructional strategies used by one teacher who successfully supported the reading achievement of Black students labeled with a learning disability. The study explored the relationship between research-based reading comprehension instruction and culturally responsive instructional practices to support the reading development of Black students labeled with a learning disability. Data were collected through classroom observations, teacher semi-structured interviews, stimulated-recall interviews with the teacher as well as student interviews, student focus group interviews, and informal conversations with both teacher and students. The constant comparative method and the co-occurrence feature of a qualitative analysis application were used to analyze the data. Findings showed that the teacher incorporated evidenced-based reading practices and culturally relevant approaches to support the reading achievement of Black students labeled with a learning disability. The study also explored instances when the teacher did not effectively incorporate reading comprehension instructional practices. Moreover, the teacher incorporated practices of expert special education teachers including the creation of an inclusive classroom community that supported student participation throughout the learning process. The teacher incorporated culturally responsive instructional approaches into instruction. These included valuing student experiences, incorporating culturally responsive literature into lessons, and developing student cultural competence. The study found that there were nuanced overlaps between culturally responsive instruction and reading comprehension strategy instruction. Lastly, student perspectives and response to teaching practices provided useful insight into the techniques and approaches that supported or, in some instances, did not support reading achievement.

Subject Area

Black studies|Elementary education|Special education|Reading instruction

Recommended Citation

Gathers, Dana Andrae, "Supporting the Reading Comprehension of Black Students Labeled with a Learning Disability" (2018). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10973010.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI10973010

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