Date of Award


Degree Type



Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Hampton, Frederick

Subject Headings

African American boys -- Education -- United States, African American students -- United States -- Social conditions, Education, Urban -- United States, African American males, race, gender, education


There has been no shortage of calls to improve teaching. Even the federal law, the NoChild Left Behind Act, has mandated high quality teaching in the nation's public schools.But the question still remains "What makes an effective teacher, particularly of African -American males in an urban environment?"African- American males in public schools are the hardest hit, having the lowest achievement rates on standardized tests and the highest dropout rates of approximately 50 or more. The majority comes from low social economic status and single parent families having limited learning resources and facilities at home. Their behavior leads to frequent suspensions, transfers, and eventually many of them drop out from school before graduating. Many find themselves in situations that warrant them to be placed in special education classes.There has been no greater challenge than how to improve the academic success of African - American males in public schools. All facets that affect African - American males stem from such ideas as educational inequities, denial of education, substandard inner city schools, the race and gender of teachers and finally teacher quality.The purpose of this study was to explore and describe how race, teacher gender and teacher quality impact the academic success of African-American males. It was hoped that this study explored the idea that race, the gender of teachers, and teacher quality were important factors that determined the academic success of African-American males.The methodology used was based on the grounded theory approach. Grounded theory begins with a research situation about a phenomenon. The data collection process that I used was interviews. I interviewed six (6) student participants who were African-American males. The student participants in this study were chosen from the "Hopeful Academy", a pseudonym name, which was a local high school in an urban setting. These participants are drop-outs and potential drop-outs that re-entered academia. I interviewed six (6) teachers empl

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