Term of Award

Fall 2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Grigory Dmitriyev

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

Patricia Coberly-Holt

Committee Member 3

Sabrina Ross

Committee Member 3 Email



In this study the African American childcare provider’s life experiences are heard through the use of narrative inquiry and oral history. Often perceived as individuals who could not become teachers in the K-12 system, the women presented tell the reader in their own words what factors lead them to becoming childcare providers. By focusing on oral history, the stories told solidify the idea of the past creating the present. Education, religion, socioeconomics, culture and racial issues play an important part in each person’s life. Therefore, these factors were the main focus when participants were asked to describe their lives. The results were cross-referenced in order to gain a sense of similarities or differences among those questioned. Interviews and dialogue with each participant resulted in similarities across all factors. Hearing the participants words in the form of a fictional narrative, begs the reader to become better prepared to understand what leads African American women into childcare.

Educators and students of education normally focus on children’s needs once they enter kindergarten. There is an abundance of research on teachers and students in the K-12 system. Few results on childcare providers or their children are found in the literature. Therefore the present inquiry was conducted to investigate the hypothesis that education

of children begins with the childcare provider. Due to this supposition, her reasons for caring for young children was researched in order to further the field of early childcare.

The study resulted in the conclusion that African American women are in childcare due to their strong beliefs in religion and the desire to help further educate and care for their own race. Further conclusions were seen as to the fact that these women feel the need to become successful business entrepreneurs. Entering the field of childcare provided easier access to this goal. Other determinations identified were that African American women want to help the families within their communities obtain the fundamentals of early education while in a safe, loving environment. Therefore, beginning in early childcare, their placement in a career with young children extends the families’ strength. Cultural identification also presented itself as a strong condition for working within the field. Finally, results showed a deep love for children, including, but not limited to, wishing to prepare them for success in life. These results were seen by all those who participated in this research despite obstacles such as low socioeconomics, stereotyping, or lack of higher education.

INDEX WORDS: Narrative Inquiry, Oral history, African American women, Childcare, Providers, Race, Culture, Education, Religion,

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material