Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Education

Department

College of Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Perry, Justin

Subject Headings

African Americans, Education, Womens Studies

Abstract

The main premise of this study is that teachers and parents (that is, single head-of-household mothers) of Black males living in urban communities should engage in collaborative, mutual, and respectful dialogue. A barrier to fostering such collaboration, however, lies in differences between the worldviews of teachers and parents based on a variety of cultural, social, economic, and individual factors. If external and/or internal barriers to developing a productive parent-teacher relationship can be overcome, Black males will have a significantly greater chance of succeeding in school. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore the perceptions of single African American mothers (N = 24), African American teachers (N = 12) and White European American teachers (N = 12) as a means of better understanding the factors that may or may not influence the parent-teacher relationship. NVivo was utilized as the data analysis program for the semi-structured interview methods employed to collect data on the perceptions of the participants. The overall arching research question is, “Do poor/working class African American female mothers who are head of households experience certain internal and external factors that influence relationships with teachers and school administrators when intervening on behalf of their adolescent sons”? The data for this study appears to support this overall question with a definitive “Yes”. However, results don’t appear to provide a high percentage of “nodes” and or language that supports concrete evidence for the underlying theories that define class consciousness as the problem. There were a few parents and teachers who specifically seemed to use language that would appear to support differences in class. In conclusion, this study appears to be indicative of past literature that supports the idea that class, not race, is a determinant when looking at how parents intervene and interact with teachers on behalf of their children’s academic progress.

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