Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Reality Infused into Livingstone's Teacher Education Program: Early Successes Seen with African American Male Instructors

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Reality Infused into Livingstone's Teacher Education Program: Early Successes Seen with African American Male Instructors

Article excerpt

The chart below looks at student in institutions and departments offering teacher education. It is subdivided into five blocks, one comparing actual numbers, the other four comparing percentages. The chart reads as follows:

First block: 108,200 White males and 310,624 White females were enrolled in teacher education programs.

Second block: White males comprised 79 percent of all the males enrolled in teacher education programs, and White females comprised 81 percent of all females enrolled.

Third block: Whites, male and female combined, comprised 80 percent of all those enrolled in teacher education programs.

Fourth block: White males comprised 20.7 percent of all persons enrolled in teacher education programs, and White females comprised 59.7 percent of all persons enrolled.

Fifth block: Males comprised 25.8 percent of all Whites enrolled in teacher education programs, and females comprised 74.2 percent of all Whites enrolled.

(- signifies less than .1 percent)

[TABULAR DATA OMITTED]

SALISBURY, N.C. - It's no secret that there's a woeful shortage of Black teachers in school systems around the country. But also disturbing is that Black male teachers are even more scarce.

In recent years, the education field has taken a big hit as more and more Black collegians choose to pursue other careers which offer higher income and more prestige. The end result has produced a drain on what was once a plentiful supply of Black teachers.

The effect of the Black-teacher shortage is haunting African American communities everywhere. Many observers believe that the lack of Black male role models as teachers and educators is a major factor in the rising crime rate among young African American males.

Mary Dillworth, senior director for research at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, says, "It's an issue that's been with us for more than a decade now. We started to see a decline in the early eighties."

In an effort to help increase the number of Black educators, several colleges and foundations have begun programs to recruit and train African American teachers, particularly men. Some of the institutions involved in the effort include Morehouse College, Bethune-Cookman College, the Ford Foundation, and the DeWitt Wallace Reader's Digest Fund.

"Over the past eight to ten years there has been an increase in the number of programs to increase the number of African American teachers," says Dillworth. "From what we can ascertain from the data we have, they are very successful."

The Center for Teaching Excellence

Recently, Livingstone College in North Carolina created the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), which has a two-fold purpose: to supply more Black teachers for public classrooms; and to increase the number of Black males in the teaching profession.

"Every day, the media gives us stories about the tragic rise in crime, especially those crimes aided by violence," says Dr. Burnett Joiner, Livingstone's president. "All too often, the victim and suspect are young Black males. We believe our program is a pro-active way to address...serious problems.

"It at least begins to hold a candle of hope for young men and women who would aspire to teach, to know they can come to Livingstone to realize their dream of a college education," he continues. "With their education in tow, they will be symbols of light to our children."

Livingstone offers ample incentive for Blacks to pursue a career in education. CTE provides full, four-year scholarships for those who are accepted. In exchange for the scholarship, students agree to teach in North Carolina for three years after they graduate. They must also maintain a "B" academic average and carry at least a 15-hour academic load every semester.

CTE, started in 1993, is the brainchild of Harold Fleming, a retired public school administrator and Livingstone alumnus. …

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