Thesis

African American educators' perspectives on contributions, challenges, and marginalization within America's public school system

The teaching force in the United States is out of balance. As our country has grown more diverse, teaching staffs have grown less diverse. The population of African Americans has increased at approximately twice the growth rate of European Americans; however, less than two percent of America’s teachers are African American. This study investigated the experiences of African American educators in the public school system. The study identified rewards, challenges, and reasons for the lack of African American presence in the school system. Five African American educators were selected to participate. Three of the participants were classroom teachers, and two participants were administrators. Four participants were female, and one participant was male. Nine interview questions were developed relevant to the topic of this study. Oral interviews were conducted to ascertain responses to interview questions. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed. The results of the study indicated that African American teachers go above and beyond the call of duty to meet the educational and social needs of African American students. This extra layer of support is vital in helping African American students make educational gains in an effort to close the achievement gap. Also, results indicated that proactive measures should be taken to insure the presence of more African American teachers in classrooms throughout the United States of America.

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