"I Don't Think Black Men Teach Because How They Get Treated as Students": High-Achieving African American Boys' Perceptions of Teaching as a Career Option

By Graham, Anthony; Erwin, Kimberly D. | The Journal of Negro Education, Summer 2011 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

"I Don't Think Black Men Teach Because How They Get Treated as Students": High-Achieving African American Boys' Perceptions of Teaching as a Career Option


Graham, Anthony, Erwin, Kimberly D., The Journal of Negro Education


This phenomenological investigation examines the perceptions of the teaching profession as a viable career option by high-achieving high school-aged African American boys. Researchers used random sampling to identify high schools in one large urban school district and criterion sampling to examine the perceptions of 63 African American 11th-grade boys. Participants completed a perceptual analysis inventory, constructed a circle map, stetched an artistic drawing of a classroom teacher, and participated in focus group sessions. Using an explicitation analysis process, three themes emerged as factors that dissuaded participants from considering teaching as a career option: (a) Negative Perceptions of Teachers and Teaching, (b) Schools as Oppressive Institutions, and (c) African American Males as Nonconformists. Recommendations for practice and future research are offered.

Keywords: Teacher education, Race, ethnicity, and class, African American studies

INTRODUCTION

African American male teachers are disproportionately represented in K-12 public schools. According to the National Center for Education Statistics in 2010, African American men teachers compose approximately 7.5 percent of all male teachers nationwide and make up approximately 2 percent of all teachers. United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (2010) called attention to this issue at a historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) symposium at North Carolina Central University when he stated,

It is especially troubling that less than 2 percent of our nation's 3.2 million teachers are AfricanAmerican males. On average, roughly 300,000 new teachers are hired a year in America - and just 4,500 of them are Black males. It is not good for any of our country's children that only one in 50 teachers is a Black man.

In June 2009, the White House Initiative on HBCUs and National Board for Professional Teaching Standards hosted the HBCU Teaching and Teacher Education Forum where Irvine and Fenwick (2009) presented recommendations focused on the recruitment, preparation, induction, retention, and professional development of African American teachers in the new millennium. One critical recommendation focused on the need to recruit more African American men into the teaching profession. Few institutions of higher education currently offer financial incentives specifically for African American males to pursue teaching as a career. However, several innovative programs are engaged in this endeavor, including the "Real Men Teach" program at Winston-Salem State University, the "Call Me Mister" program, a collaborative effort between Clemson University and three historically Black universities, and the "Ready to Teach" program at Howard University.

Scholars (Brown & Butty, 1999; Irvine & Fenwick, 2009; Vegas, Murnane, & Willett, 2001) have asserted that the number of African American males who enter the teaching profession is impacted by die decreasing number of African American males who complete high school requirements to attend coUege. They contended that African American students are not taking rigorous coursework in high school that would prepare tiiem to become teachers. A report from the Schott Foundation for PubUc Education titled, Black Boys: The Litmus Test for Public School Education (2004), substantiates diese claims as it concluded, "Up to 70 percent of black boys who enter 9tii grade do not graduate four years later with their peers" (p. 2). Further analysis of high school graduation rates of tiie 2005-06 cohort by this Foundation found a 28% gap between Black males (47%) and White males (75%). Witti a smaller number of Black males entering coUege, the pool of potential future classroom teachers dwindles substantiaUy.

However, there are tiiose African American boys who perform weU academicaUy and who Ulustrate their abtiity to handle higher-order dunking skills in rigorous coursework eitiier in Advanced Placement (AP) courses, International Baccalaureate programs, or early coUege programs.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

"I Don't Think Black Men Teach Because How They Get Treated as Students": High-Achieving African American Boys' Perceptions of Teaching as a Career Option
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.