Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Sheila Gregory

Second Advisor

Dr. Moses Norman

Third Advisor

Dr. Darrell Groves


This study examined expectations teachers have of African-American male student behavior in the classroom. Responses to open-ended questions were analyzed according to the theoretical framework. Five dominant themes emerged from the individual interviews and focus group: Expectations, Experience, Teacher Preparation Programs, African-American Male Student Behavior and Perceptions. After gathering the data on the dominant theme, "Expectations," it was revealed that teachers are fully aware of the definitions of appropriate and inappropriate behaviors however when asked to reflect, it appears that some have never thought about whether they call on more males than females. Others realized that they call on males for different reasons including a strategy to control behavior. Some felt as though their expectations were the same according to gender but others felt that there are different expectations according to race. According to the dominant theme, "Experience," it was found there may be a link into the cultural connection or lack thereof, since some participants stated they were raised in predominantly white cultures and had limited experiences and interactions with African-Americans. The most significant dominant theme, "Teacher Preparation Programs," revealed how prepared teachers were after growing up in predominantly white cultures, and teaching African-American students. They did not feel prepared at all. The African-American teachers did not feel well prepared either. The dominant theme, "African-American Male Student Behavior," yielded results that male students are active, hyper, needs to be engaged and performs well behaviorally when given hands-on type activities. Lastly, the dominant theme, "Perceptions," revealed the frustrations teachers had due to lack of connection with the curriculum, teaching practices and lesson plans. The findings of this study suggest there is a great need for not only preparation programs but quality preparation programs beginning at the college level which take into account one's background and experience to use as a determining factor of what teachers expect from African-American male student behavior in the urban classroom.

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