Term of Award

Fall 2008

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Cordelia Zinskie

Committee Member 1

Leon Spencer

Committee Member 2

Linda Arthur

Abstract

The supply and demand of teachers is constantly changing in the United States because they are steadily flowing in, through, and out of the educational profession (Ingersoll, 2002). Many educators and administrators are concerned about the shortage and underrepresentation of minority teachers in the profession such as African- Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, and even males (Pytel, 2006). There is also an underrepresentation of African-American male elementary teachers. African- American male elementary teachers, a unique minority, are needed in the education profession to serve as role models earlier in the schooling process of young children, as well as to increase teacher diversity, which will represent the more diverse student population. A qualitative research design was used to explore the lived experiences of selected African-American male elementary teachers in Georgia. Qualitative interviews were conducted with six African-American male elementary teachers who had taught at least five consecutive years at the elementary level in Georgia. Prior to the interviews, a pilot study was conducted to field test the interview protocol. In addition to the interviews, the six participants submitted a demographic profile instrument that was used - 2 - to gather other data. The interview responses were coded to find common themes and patterns. The researcher's findings in the study noted common themes and patterns within the African-American males' lived experiences. Features that attracted African-American male elementary teachers to elementary education included: (1) service as role models, (2) opportunity to change careers, (3) the influence of family/friends/programs, and (4) the ability to make an early impact in students' lives. Barriers to becoming an African- American male elementary teacher included: (1) salary; (2) standardized testing; (3) students (academics/behavior); (4) acceptance/expectations; and (5) travel time/distance. Finally, contributions that African-American male elementary teachers perceived they were providing within the schools and their communities were comprised of: (1) role modeling; (2) mentoring; (3) relating/male talk; and (4) supporting.

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