Date of Award


Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Antonia Darder

Second Advisor

Rebecca Herr Stephenson

Third Advisor

Reginald Sample


African American males have performed near the bottom of the educational hierarchy in America for centuries. Though some improvements have been noted in the last several decades, educational statistics illustrate the achievement gap still persists between African American and White students (Hanushek, 2016). Disaggregated data show disparities in academic performance, high school drop-out rates, and college completion rates. African American males as early as kindergarten are also facing harsher discipline in schools and Black boys are often excluded from gifted and advanced placement courses and other educational opportunities (Howard, 2010). Yet, this population is over-referred and overrepresented in special education, particularly in eligibility categories like emotional disturbance and intellectual disability. Researchers state White, monolingual females make up the majority of the teacher workforce across the country. Theorists also posited the teacher is the single most important factor in school success and their beliefs about students have a tremendous impact on efficacy and outcomes (Noguera, 2012). These assertions are significant. If teachers have had very little exposure to students of other racial or ethnic backgrounds or have a negative attitude toward students of color based on the master narrative, it will inevitably show up in their discourse, pedagogical practice, and student outcomes.