Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Stories within Our Voices: Black Males Navigating Educational Achievement
by Green, Patricia Ann, Ph.D., University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, 2017, 296; 10607343
Abstract (Summary)

Due to societal factors of institutional racism and implicit biases, the plight of Black males across the United States has been well documented (Fitzgerald, 2015; Howard; 2010; Noguera, 2008; Steele & Aronson, 1995). These factors are often represented in the educational system and result in inequities in various achievement outcomes. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (Kena et al., 2016), there are huge gaps between Black males and their counterparts across academic outcomes for reading and mathematics. Typically, Black males experience: (a) lower graduation rates, (b) higher suspension rates, and (c) over identification in special education. Consequently, these and other factors play a role and impact the livelihoods of Black males (Howard, 2010; Noguera, 2008). Guided by the framework of critical race theory (Bell, 1995; Delgado & Stefancic, 2012; Ladson-Billings, 1998), as well as the work of scholars who identified issues of: (a) stereotype threat, (b) identity development, (c) culturally relevant pedagogy, and (d) the narrative experiences of Black males in education (Fordham & Ogbu, 1986; Gay, 2002; Steele, 2010; Tatum, 1997), this dissertation study focused on inquiry in these areas. Using a phenomenological approach, data collected from in-depth interviews was used to explore the perceptions of nine Black males in high schools in Colorado regarding their educational experiences. Five themes emerged from the study: 1) relationships matter, 2) access and opportunity, 3) hidden-curriculum, 4) racial ambiguity, and 5) parental involvement. Findings further indicated that tenets of critical race theory were present in students’ experiences, particularly the ‘centrality of race and racism’ and ‘challenge to dominant ideology.’ Findings showed that a culturally relevant pedagogy was essential in supporting the academic success of Black male students. Recommendations, implications, and future research centered upon institutions of education and their responsibility to implement culturally relevant practices. Results from this study provide school administrators and educators with a perspective from the voices of one of the major subgroup of students they want to support.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mendez, Sylvia L.
Commitee: Bingham, Andrea, Samuels, Dena R., Scott, Margaret, Thurman, Mary
School: University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
Department: Education-Leadership, Research and Foundations
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-A 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Black studies, Educational sociology, Multicultural Education, Gender studies
Keywords: Achievement, Achievement gap, Black males, Critical race theory, Culturally relevant, Opportunity and access
Publication Number: 10607343
ISBN: 978-0-355-13877-1
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