Exploring why African American males choose to teach in elementary schools: three portraits

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Julius Monk (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Craig Peck

Abstract: If you attend a public elementary school in the United States, chances are you will not experience being taught by an African American male. Yet, research about African American male elementary teachers is rare and usually focuses on a pathology of their absence, rather than the experiences that drew and retain them in the profession. In order to add to the scholarly discourse of why African American males choose to become and remain elementary teachers, this study utilizes portraits to delve into the lived experiences of three African American male elementary teachers. During the study, participants shared their life stories, which were recorded across a series of in-person interviews. The study found that African American male elementary teachers are scholarly pedagogists who are beneficial for educating all students regardless of race or gender, but who are also sometimes perceived as behavioral specialists. What is more, sometimes African American males’ desire to serve as role models for their students reinforces stereotypes of them as ideal stand-in fathers, primarily for African American students and particularly African American boys. Additionally, the study reveals the various nontraditional pathways by which African American males enter the teaching profession, as well as strategies universities and school districts can use to increase the number of African American males who become highly effective elementary teachers. Lastly, the study explores the social, emotional, and financial challenges African American male elementary teachers face and why some refuse to let fear and other’s misconceptions keep them out of the classroom.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
African American Male, African American Male Elementary Teacher, Critical Race Theory, Elementary, Male Elementary Teacher, Portraiture
African American teachers
Male elementary school teachers

Email this document to