Date of Award

6-30-2016

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Gloria Boutte

Abstract

Given the one-dimensional, essentialist view of Black male teachers as social change agents (i.e., role models and father figures) (Brown, 2012b; Rezai-Rashti, 2008), the purpose of this study was to examine the identities, the ability to support Black male students’ success, and pedagogical styles of Black male kindergarten teachers in the South. Using a multidimensional conceptual framework including Black masculinity, Fictive Kinship Network, Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, and Critical Race Theory, this study captured counterstories of culturally relevant Black male kindergarten teachers. The counterstories were used as a methodological tool to convey major themes which demonstrated Black male kindergarten teachers’ ability to positively influence Black male kindergarteners academically using culturally relevant teaching.

Findings revealed that Black male kindergarten teachers perceived themselves to be fictive brothers/fathers who fostered collaboration and built solidarity with the Black community to academically and socially support Black male kindergarteners in early childhood classrooms. Black male kindergarten teachers were also found to be pedagogues of culturally relevant classroom management practices. Black male kindergartners reported that their Black male teachers used hip-hop, sports, and mathematics literacies as instructional approaches. Black family members perceived Black male kindergarten teachers as Role Models who represented positive images of Black manhood for their Black male kindergarteners. They also regarded Black male kindergarten teachers as Role Models who minimized Black parents’ distrust for White female teachers and other White educational professionals. The findings of this study may be useful for: (a) understanding the need for the recruitment and retention of culturally relevant Black male teachers to early childhood classrooms; (b) further understanding the need for specific preparation in using hip-hop, sports, and critical literacies as instructional tools in early childhood classrooms; and (c) drawing from the wisdom and wealth of Black family members to inform pedagogical practices in early childhood classrooms.

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