Journal of Educational Change

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 235–258 | Cite as

Urban educators’ perceptions of culturally relevant pedagogy and school reform mandates

  • Jennifer Esposito
  • Corrie L. Davis
  • Ayanna N. Swain


In this article, we examine urban teachers’ perceptions of school reform models (SRMs) and culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP). In particular, we examined how urban educators altered mandated reform models in the best interests of their culturally and linguistically diverse students. We discuss data from a phenomenological study, which included in-depth interviews and a focus group with seven urban African-American educators. We explore three facets of the intersection of culturally relevant pedagogy and mandated school reforms: (1) Teachers’ use of CRP to empower urban students; (2) Teachers’ beliefs that SRMs hurt African American students more than help them; (3) Teachers’ adaptations of SRMs with culturally relevant practices. Finally, this article explores the implications for practice and policy when culturally relevant teachers struggle to utilize CRP in the implementation of SRMs.


Culturally relevant pedagogy Urban School reform models 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Esposito
    • 1
  • Corrie L. Davis
    • 2
  • Ayanna N. Swain
    • 1
  1. 1.Georgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Kennesaw State UniversityKennesawUSA

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