The Relationship of Teacher Use of Critical Sociocultural Practices with Student Achievement

Annela Teemant, Charles S. Hausman


This exploratory study examined whether teacher use of critical sociocultural practices improved student performance on a criterion-referenced English/Language Arts exam or the LAS Links assessments of English language proficiency for English Language Learners. Fifteen urban elementary teachers participated in a year of professional development, which used an instructional coaching model to increase teacher use of critical sociocultural practices. Using a new scale called Critical Stance, observers measured the degree of fidelity teachers exhibited in using critical practices. Teachers’ Critical Stance post-intervention and growth scores were significantly and positively correlated with increased student performance on the English/Language Arts exam as well as on five LAS Links assessments. Both native and non-native English speakers benefited from increased teacher use of Critical Stance. Teacher use of Critical Stance was also a stronger predictor of ELLs’ gains in English proficiency than teacher use of higher order thinking.


Critical Pedagogy; Sociocultural Pedagogy; Instructional Coaching; Student Achievement; Teacher Improvement; Diverse Learners; Correlational Design; ESL; English as a Second Language; Teacher Education; Pedagogy; Teaching; Instructional Practices

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ISSN 1920-4175 Critical Education