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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name



Educational Leadership and Policy

First Advisor

Ben Pogodzinski


African American male teachers make up 1% of teachers nationwide. Many educational experts assert that African American male teachers are in extreme need in schools, especially urban schools that have large populations of African American students. However, the extreme need has not facilitated a massive influx of African American male teachers into schools. This study will explore the teacher experiences and perspectives of African American males in order to improve their teaching experiences. The improvement of the teaching experiences of African American male teachers will hopefully lead to African American males extending their teaching careers.

Data will be collected through semi-structured interviews of African American males in order to provide the participants’ opportunities to reflect on their challenges, perspectives, outlook on the teaching profession, and the reasons they stayed or left the teaching profession. A total of twelve participants, were recruited to participate in this study through purposeful sampling.

The interviews focused on teaching motivation, purpose, and philosophy; actual experiences in their schools; and how their teaching experiences impact their retention. The open-ended structure of the interview provides the participants with the flexibility to provide insight and expand on their teaching experiences on their own terms.

Despite the structural, cultural, and gender-based issues that the participants identified, they remained dedicated to their students and remained in the teaching profession.

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