Date of Award

Summer 6-15-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Mark E. Jimenez, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Rebecca Watts, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Anthony Valley, Ed.D.


This research study focuses on positive teacher-student relationships and how these relationships influence the mathematics achievement of African American elementary male students. It identifies some of the characteristics relevant to the establishment and cultivation of the teacher-student relationship and sheds useful insights into how African American male students respond to the interactions with their teachers. Extant literature has increasingly shown that positive-teacher student relationships significantly shape academic progress in Black students. Through teacher surveys and teacher interviews, this dissertation offers a synopsis of how teachers facilitate relationships with their African American male students as well as gives a detailed account of how teacher perceptions influence the relationship. It also examines whether or how the relationship encourages mathematics achievement among African American male students. Finally and through interviews with African American male students, the doctoral research describes how Black students build relationships with their teachers and how these relationships influence their academic experience. In its final analysis, the dissertation underscores the importance of paying more attention to the teacher-student relationship amongst Black students and how different facets of the relationship shape their academic achievement in mathematics. These insights are critical in formulating relevant interventional pedagogical practices for African American students in the context of mathematics learning.

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