Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Linda Samek, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Scot Headley, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Matt Gehrett, Ed.D.


The gap in achievement between White students and their African American and Latinx peers has been documented since the 1960s. Since that time, the federal government, scholars, researchers, and educators have worked to remedy this achievement gap, often with programs labeled as educational alternative services (EAS). Yet, despite programs like EAS showing some successes over the last fifty years, the gap in achievement persists. However, in the 1990s a plausible educational framework emerged, one that has presented educators with the opportunity to understand and teach their students by building strong relationships from a cultural perspective. This set of teaching practices is referred to as “culturally relevant,” or “culturally responsive.” Emdin (2016) offered a more specific pedagogical approach, which uses what he terms the “7 Cs” to develop relationships and create a classroom environment in which students feel safe and comfortable enough to achieve at a higher level. This study measured the experience of a veteran teacher who implemented the 7 Cs into an EAS high school English classroom for the first time. After nine weeks of implementing the 7 Cs within the EAS high school English class, the students reacted positively to each of the Cs. However, the challenges surrounding the structure of the school, and inconsistent attendance made it challenging for me (teacher/researcher) to stay encouraged. Despite the discouraging effects, I completed the nine weeks feeling as if I had laid a solid foundation for a strong teacher-student relationship with many of my students.

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