Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


Mary Clisbee

Committee Member

John Kellmayer


Black students, Black teachers (2004), education, curriculum, culturally relevant education


This study utilized a phenomenological photovoice approach to understand the lived experiences of veteran Black high school teachers. Black teachers are positioned to serve as cultural brokers to support the academic identity of Black students. The prevalence of symbolic violence in the Eurocentric curriculum and other curricular practices continues to hinder successful outcomes for Black students. The study leverages the experiences of Black teachers to understand how their positionalities influence their decision-making and pedagogical practices.

The literature review explored research on the social and political implications of Black education, Black identity development, cultural brokering, and academic identity. More specifically, the literature focused on a long history of inequity in Black education and the fight of Black learners to find their place in schooling. Using Ladson-Billings’ tenets on culturally relevant pedagogy as the guiding theoretical framework, I investigated and analyzed the phenomenon experienced by the participants and gained indepth insight into the social contexts surrounding the participants. The data from the interview and photographs were coded and analyzed into themes.

Data analysis revealed that Black teachers’ contribution to strengthening the academic identity of Black students is marked by their life histories outside of the classroom. Additionally, adversity and instances of exposure in the lives of Black teachers fueled their commitment to support by any means necessary through motivation and encouragement. Teachers held high expectations and viewed the role of teaching Black students as a personal endeavor.

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