Term of Award

Summer 2010

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

Barbara J. Mallory

Committee Member 1

James E. Green

Committee Member 2

Russell O. Mays

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the lived experiences of African American teachers who remained in the teaching profession through integration of schools in the rural South. Providing a voice to three African American teachers in this collective case study, the researcher studied their challenges and inspirations to understand their career longevity. Participants of this study, three African American teachers and nine key informants, were selected and interviewed because they yielded an insight into the experiences of African American teachers who endured the integration mandates after Brown v. Board of Education. The researcher also gathered information from newspapers and yearbooks referencing integration of public schools and the African American teacher's tenure in the teaching profession. Using the major themes that emerged from the interview responses and documents examined, the researcher constructed a narrative to document the lived experiences of the three African American teachers. From the narrative the researcher found that African American teachers remained in the profession for many reasons, including to nurture and protect African American students in the integrated school system; to be model citizens by complying with the norms of the segregated community and modeling the way to advance; to connect with community events and parents of their students; and to impact student lives. They were able to do so because of their strong self-efficacy, given that they were in control of their lives and decisions that shaped their lives. The researcher also reported three lessons learned from the African American teachers which maybe applicable for African American teachers today and recommendations for future study. Finally, for school administrators to reflect on the current recruitment, hiring, and retention practices and facilitate necessary improvements in practices, the researcher provided the following implications as a result of this study: administrators should gain a better understanding and appreciation of the achievements and challenges of African American teacher, attain a better retention rate among African American teachers during challenging times, and realize that the effort to educate and create productive citizens of society is a responsibility for all to share.

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