Term of Award

Fall 2007

Degree Name

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

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 1

John Weaver

Committee Member 2

Saundra Nettles

Committee Member 3

Ronald Bailey

Abstract

Using critical race theory (Crenshaw, Gotanda, Peller, & Thomas, 1995; Delgado & Stefancic, 1995, 2001; Ladson-Billings, 1998) as the theoretical framework and narrative inquiry (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000) as the research methodology, this study explored the stories of 4 African American males to discover how race, class, and tracking affected their higher education opportunities. Participants were selected based upon their chosen curriculum; 2 participants represented a college preparatory curriculum, and represented a technical preparatory curriculum. Stories were collected via individual and focus group interviews in a predominantly Black high school in middle Georgia. Additional methods included school portraiture, participant profiles, and a researcher journal. Participants stories and counternarratives to the dominant metanarrative (i.e., the narrative that prescribes either failure or mere athletic success for this population) were explored for implications regarding the elimination of current tracking practices. In addition to a discussion of the historical development of the critical race theory framework and the historical development of Black education, the literature review includes an overview of race, social class, and tracking issues that impact educational opportunities. Informative research concerning middle school math as a predictor of university enrollment concludes the review of literature. For parents of African American males, this study demonstrates the need to participate carefully in a childs educational curriculum, emphasizing that a college prep curriculum keeps childrens options open and sets high expectations for them. The study helps teachers understand the need to be sensitive to these students. This research highlights the need for teachers to raise levels of expectations and educate themselves about the culture of their African American students. The importance of establishing a relationship with students is emphasized. The study also aimed to help administrators function more effectively in overseeing, guiding, and educating teachers who may be operating according to dominant metanarratives concerning African American males. Finally, policymakers benefit from this study by considering its discussion of the implications of removing the practice of tracking African American males from the curriculum (Siddle-Walker & Thompkins, 2004). Educational and social justice does not prevail when students are unfairly robbed of opportunities that could foster their success.

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