Dissertation

The Relationship Between Teacher and Administrator Perceptions and the Performance and Well-Being of African-American Males in Third Grade Through Eighth Grade in a Suburban School District

Underrepresentation of African-American males as grade level rises is a major concern in education (Duggins & Acosta, 2017; Howard, 2010; Husband, 2012; Tatum, 2006; Washington, Patton-Terry, & Siedenberg, 2013). Prior studies have placed the blame on African-American males in grades k-12 for their lack of academic progress. In an effort to understand why slow achievement still exists with this subgroup, research on the struggle experienced by African American male students lacks a critical analysis of the quality of educational practices and the perceptions of teachers. Teacher expectations and perceptions can shape the engagement and self-esteem of students. Many African-American male students have been negatively impacted by unjust criticism and treatment based on teacher biases and assumed stereotypes. This case study utilized qualitative methods to examine the relationship between teacher and administrator perceptions and the performance and well-being of African-American males in third through eighth grade in a suburban school district. The goal of this study was to encourage educators in this small, southwestern school district to make well-informed decisions that promote academic growth by recognizing perceived factors that may impact overall student performance and well-being. Triangulation of participant interviews, survey results, and archival data was accompanied by a six-phase analysis method. The results of this study revealed a possible relationship between educator perceptions and the performance and well-being of African-American males in third through eighth grade in this suburban district.

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