Term of Award

Fall 2012

Degree Name

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

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

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

Meca Johnson-Williams

Committee Member 1

Wendy Chambers

Committee Member 2

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 3

Saba Jallow

Committee Member 3 Email



This study examined the perceptions of parents, teachers, and students as they relate to the academic success of African American middle school males. The stories of three successful middle school male students, their mothers, and their teachers were examined to identify how school and home experiences contributed to the boys‟ academic success. A critical race theory lens was used, employing ethnographic and case study methods. The mother and teachers of each student participated. Data collection methods included three focus groups, one each for the students, mothers, and teachers. The integration and connection of various themes that emerged from the data yielded the following conclusions: Parental involvement is directly linked to successful academic outcomes; possible selves (how African American males see themselves and the possibilities for their future) promote confidence and motivate students to be successful; students are motivated by practices that involve them in their own learning; and facing challenges can help students overcome obstacles. There is a need to purposefully and deliberately look at young African American males who are successful in order to shed light on the pedagogy and strategies that have contributed to their success. The understandings gained from such exploration can then be offered as ways to improve the academic performance of other African American males.

Research Data and Supplementary Material