Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Mary Clisbee

Committee Member

Gloria Kieley

Abstract

The problem that will be explored within this research is that many African American students lack the opportunity to be taught by African American teachers. Research shows that students taught by teachers with whom they identify as having similar or the same experiences may result in meaningful learning for the student. Given, African American teachers represent only 18% of all teachers, there is not an abundance of African American teachers within the school system to serve as role models for African American students.

The literature review explored included critical race theory and highlighted how race in education does not yield to African Americans. Additionally, the literature addressed the effect that African American teachers may have on African American students and their identification and understanding of the challenges they face. African American teachers are being trained to, specifically, address the needs of African American students given their personal experiences with the challenges faced. This research is grounded in Dewey’s 1938 theory of experience and education.

This study utilized a qualitative phenomenological research approach. The researcher interviewed five male and five female students at the research site regarding their perception of African American teachers. The data was analyzed utilizing an interpretative phenomenological analysis. The data collected revealed the central themes of relatability and teaching style. The students participating in the survey believed they relate to African American teachers more than non-African American teachers. They believed African American teachers understood them better. The relatability of African American teachers and student underscored the central themes teaching style. The students reported that African American teachers use teaching styles and methodologies that they can relate to and understand. The students stated the African American teachers exhaust the teaching lesson to ensure they are successful opposed to non-African American teachers.

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