All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Mary Ann Bodine Al-Sharif

Advisory Committee Members

John A Dantzler

Roxanne Mitchell

Gary Peters

Jingping Sun

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Education (EdD) School of Education


The purpose of this study is to share how African American/Black male K-12 novice educators navigated their own educational journey to become K-12 educators in an urban school district in central Alabama. An urban school district was identified from findings from the Census Bureau and had a school that sat inside an urbanized area and inside a principal city with a population of 250,000 or more. Because of its size, urban school districts were diversified with a large enrollment and an increased number of minority students. By using a qualitative, critical narrative inquiry approach, participants were able to recount their personal experiences in the field of education and describe their realities through the phases of being recruited, retained, and supported as a highly qualified teacher whose goals are to enhance student learning. Through this study, participants gave voice to their lived experiences and tried to empower administrators and policy makers to create change within policies and practices to provide avenues for more African American/Black males to come into the role of a K-12 teacher. The researcher identified seven African American/ Black male novice teachers from an urban school district in Central Alabama. The teachers’ subject matters were history, science, English Language Arts, band, and special education. Data analysis revealed five emergent themes: (a) personal educational K-12 journey, (b) positive African American/Black male support systems, (c) desire to support students, (d) iv triumphs and challenges attaining licensure/certification and service as a novice educator, and (e) anticipated professional aspirations. Participants described their educational journeys from K-12, higher education, to their first year(s) as novice teachers. Additionally, study participants were humbled by their experiences and were empowered to serve as change agents, transforming student learning and the quality of teachers’ support. The findings of this study may lead to future studies on how African American male novice K-12 teachers are recruited, retained, and supported in urban school districts. Finally, this research study may empower government leaders at the federal and state levels to remove barriers that have contributed to the 2% of African American males employed nationally in the United States as teachers.

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