Date of Award

Winter 2-12-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Walter Buster

Second Advisor

Dr. James Cox

Third Advisor

Dr. Martinrex Kedziora


Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative study is to understand and describe the strategies and practices that exemplary teachers use to address the educational needs of Latino male students from kindergarten through third grade.

Methodology: The researcher selected a qualitative research design to describe and understand the instructional strategies and practices used by district Teachers of the Year from 2011 - 2016 in three counties in Southern California. Through in-depth semi-structured open-ended interviews, the researcher provided a detailed examination of the instructional practices and strategies exemplary primary teachers use to address the educational needs of primary Latino males. The district teachers of the year were identified based on teaching at a school with a Latino population of 50 percent or more, a population of 80 percent or more of socio-economically disadvantaged (SED) students, and were currently teaching kindergarten through third grade. The researcher analyzed data collected with the assistance of NVivo software to reveal patterns and sort these patterns into categories.

Findings: Based on the responses from the study participants, nine major findings were established for Research Questions 1-4. The findings from Research Question 5 are presented in descending order based on the frequency of references by study participants. Conclusions: The nine major findings from Research Questions 1-4 along with the findings from Research Question 5 were then summarized as five conclusions: (a) knowing their students on a personal level in order to build a trusting relationship strongly influenced their success; (b) maintaining high expectations positively impacted student achievement; (c) small group instruction created conditions for student learning and engagement; (d) using visuals and manipulatives enhanced Latino boys’ memory and ability to retain information; and (e) incorporating culturally appropriate classroom materials was successful in increasing academic achievement for Latino male students.

Recommendations: Five recommendations would expand research on this topic: (a) a similar study should be conducted using a mixed-methods design that could incorporate a questionnaire for participants to rate the instructional strategies they value most as primary teachers of Latino male students; (b) a similar study should be conducted from the administrators’ perspective to determine what qualities are most highly desired when hiring primary teachers at their site to teach primary Latino male students, which would help inform teacher credentialing programs and the training they offer; (c) a similar study should be conducted to address the needs of primary African-American male students who are at schools that serve populations that are on the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum; (d) a similar study should be conducted to extend to the middle grades to determine the most effective instructional strategies and practices for Latino males at the middle school level; and (e) a longitudinal study should be conducted following the same group of students through grade 6.