Honors Theses


Novea McIntosh


Teacher Education

Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis


Within the education system and society, Black girls face higher levels of discipline and criminalization than students of other races or genders. The African American Policy Forum found that during the 2011-2012 school year in Boston, Black girls made up only 28% of enrollment, but faced 61% of all discipline, while white females made up 15% of enrollment and only 5% of all discipline (Crenshaw 19). This inequity can be credited to higher expectations for young black girls due to societal adultification. In her book Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, Monique W. Morris defines adultification as “Black girls being likened more to adults than to children and are treated as if they are willfully engaging in behaviors typically expected of Black women- sexual involvement, parenting or primary caregiving, workforce participation, and other adult behaviors and responsibilities” (Morris 34). One way to address these issues within schools is by incorporating culturally relevant pedagogy into the curriculum and addressing black girls' social, emotional, and behavioral needs. This research will further analyze the role of culturally responsive pedagogy and literature within schools with respect to the development of Black girls. The research will be conducted in two main phases; first, a literature review that explores data from other researchers focused on the adultification and criminalization of black girls. It will also provide culturally responsive pedagogical strategies in the empowerment of black girls as they face these issues in society. Second, research will be conducted in an urban setting gathering data through a focus group and survey with students at two urban high schools. Through these phases, this research should identify the role and impact of culturally responsive pedagogy in empowering adolescent girls.

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This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes.


Undergraduate research


Education | Elementary Education and Teaching | Teacher Education and Professional Development