Theses Doctoral

Portraits of Pedagogical Promise: Rendering Visible Successful Teaching Practices for Latino Male Students in One New York City Public High School

Zuckerman, Kelly Gavin

Drawing upon a critical constructivist framework and informed by scholarship on culturally relevant, responsive, and sustaining pedagogy (CRRSP) and student voice, this qualitative study utilizes portraiture methodology to render visible successful teaching practices for Latino male secondary students in urban contexts by answering the following two research questions: 1) What are the pedagogical practices of three White male teachers in one New York City public high school that their Latino male secondary students identify as successful in supporting their educational potential?; and 2) How do these three teachers make sense of these identified practices and their success with Latino male secondary students? To achieve these goals, data was collected from four sources: 1) ethnographic observations; 2) semi-structured individual interviews; 3) semi-structured focus group interviews; and 4) written documentation, and was analyzed using constructivist grounded theory.

The final products of this work are three pedagogical portraits—written research documents that bridge science and art to lead to new or deeper understandings about teaching and learning. Findings from this study indicate the saliency of pedagogies that authentically care for Latino male students in urban areas, support their academic achievement, and explicitly draw connections between course content and students’ interests, lives, and future goals. The resulting portraits also encourage consideration of how attention to the development of Latino male students’ cultural and linguistic competence and dexterity as well as their sociopolitical awareness could further support the academic and personal growth of these young men.

These findings: 1) contribute to a limited research base on successful teaching practices of Latino male secondary students in urban communities; 2) support more tailored recommendations for educational policy aimed at leveraging the unique potential of Latino young men in our nation’s cities; and 3) can inform the professional development of both pre-service and in-service school actors who work with Latino male students. Such contributions are particularly significant given the existing patterns of underachievement and untapped promise of Latino male youth across the country.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Curriculum and Teaching
Thesis Advisors
Knight-Manuel, Michelle Georgia
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
March 2, 2018