Elementary and Early Childhood Education

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As elementary and middle school children of color continue to score poorly on science standardized tests, culturally relevant teaching has been shown to be an effective approach to addressing the social and academic needs of students from diverse backgrounds. This article illustrates how the theory of culturally relevant pedagogy is embraced in the teaching beliefs of a sixth grade science teacher in a rural, low socioeconomic, predominantly African American school. The findings from a qualitative case study reveal beliefs and teaching practices consistent with three major tenets of culturally relevant pedagogy: conceptions of self and students; social relations; and perceptions of knowledge (Ladson-Billings, 2009). This study builds upon the culturally relevant pedagogy knowledge base by illustrating the tenets of this theory in the beliefs and teaching practices of a sixth grade science teacher.