Black teachers caring for black students: intersecting identity, culturally responsive teaching and life history

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Toni Milton Williams (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Colleen Fairbanks

Abstract: This study addresses African American teachers' perspectives of Black students and the ways they pass on community through their Black pedagogical practices. Furthermore, it focuses on Black teacher identities and the ways their communities have shaped the identities of the participants. For Black teachers, ethnicity along with history, experience and home community are a major piece of who they are as classroom teachers what they bring to teaching and the relationships established with African American males. Expectations, guidance, transcending relationships are characteristics that the participants received while growing up. In the years since the Brown v. Board of Education decision that led to the integration of America's public schools, the achievement gap in areas of reading, science, mathematics, and writing continues to widen for African American students (Cooper & Jordan, 2005). Recently, the education of African American males in classrooms and the achievement gap has often been a topic of great interest to educators and administrators alike. Furthermore, Davis's (2005) research indicated that although schooling has a negative impact on both Black boys and girls, the issues facing Black boys are more severe and intense. For Black teachers, ethnicity along with history, experience and professional community are major pieces of who they are as classroom teachers and what they bring to teaching and the relationships they establish with African American males. The identities of a Black teacher and the professional and personal importance of these identities have effects on pedagogy as well as building relationships and ways of interacting with African American males. Life history as a research method provides a framework that supports the use of African American teacher's life experience to explore these teachers' understanding of African American students' learning processes. Central to the development of teacher identity are the dichotomies of African American teachers, which can include given and constructed identities as well as public and private ones. Relationships built by having role models in the participants' communities lend itself to potential mentorships and cooperative relationships between mid career and late career teachers.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
Black males, Black teachers, Caring, Culturally responsive teaching, Life history
African American boys $x Education $z United States
African American children $x Education $z United States
African American teachers $x Race identity
African American teachers and the community

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