Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Allison D. Anders

Abstract

The researcher completed a critical, descriptive, single case study about African American male students' experiences on the path to graduation at an alternative school in the southeast. Informed by scholarship on majoritarian narratives and counter narratives from Critical Race Theory (CRT), the researcher coded and analyzed data from individual interviews, a focus group, and an art-based project to answer three research questions: 1. How do African American males describe their perspectives on their placement at an alternative school? 2. How do African American male students describe their paths to graduation, including defining moments? 3. What and who do African American male students identify as important in order to succeed in the alternative school? The theme of the case was: “We are dreaming again”: A Photographer, a Mathematician, Basketball Player, and a Mechanic. There were four themes from the individual interviews and focus group: Theme 1: “I made the decision not to fail”: Refusing to Fail and Support from Important Others; Theme 2: “I believe society is designed for us to fail”: Race, Racism, African American Male Success; and Theme 3: “You have to take the opportunity to be more than any negative circumstances no matter what”: Rejecting Labels and Asking for Help; and Theme 4: “I am filled with hope, dreams, determination”: Resiliency and the Desire to Succeed.” The theme of the case was: “We are dreaming again”: A Photographer, a Mathematician, Basketball Player, and a Mechanic. The researcher provides recommendations, including adequate funding supported by local, state, and federal leaders, preparation for and investment in creating shared, positive relationships between teachers and students, leadership-faculty-staff support teams and collaboration with students, engagement with external organizations that can provide services to students in alternative education programs and engage teachers who work at alternative schools.

Share

COinS