Date of Award

5-1-2003

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name

Ed.D.

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Professor Melanie Carter

Abstract

The United States is dealing with an unprecedented teacher shortage; especially in the area of minority teachers and particularly with African Americans. The purpose of this study was to examine and explore the "point of view" of knowledgeable and experienced African-American teachers and discover the factors that have effected their decisions to remain in the profession. The questions that directed this study were: What are African-American teachers' beliefs about why they remain in the teaching profession? What are African-American teachers' perceptions and views about what lead them to become teachers? The study involved two sets of focus group interviews as well as individual interviews. Participants interviewed for the study were asked questions concerning their perceptions about the teaching profession. Information obtained from the review of literature and results from the focus group were used to develop a structured, open-ended, teacher interview protocol for a second set of individual interviews. Interviews were conducted with eleven African-American teachers with five of more years of teaching experience. Data from the teacher interviews were analyzed and transcribed in order to identify categories and themes. The findings indicated that several factors contributed to African-American teacher retention in this district, which might enlighten educational leaders as they look to recruit and retain African-American teachers.

• African-American teachers who show an "ethic of care" deliver culturally relevant instruction and act as professionals in their teaching. These teachers support and encourage their students to learn and demonstrate their dedication to meeting their students' needs.

• African-American teachers who express a sense of personal responsibility feel committed to their work as teachers. These teachers understand their students and are committed to helping children become successful in school and in life.

• No matter the importance of teachers' personal commitment and care for their students, administrators and educational leaders can exercise work-related factors that encourage the recruitment and retention of African-American teachers.

• This study is meant for those in the education community to learn about the motivations and inspirations of African-American teachers specifically, and other teachers in general, involving teacher retention issues.

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