JAAME – Vol. 6, No. 2
James B. Washington
North Carolina State University
This paper reports on a mixed methods study that used a sequential explanatory design to explore the culturally relevant teaching beliefs of successful emergent literacy Head Start teachers of urban African American boys living in poverty. The study utilized emergent literacy gain scores as a measure of success, a survey of culturally relevant teaching beliefs to describe variation in beliefs within the sample, and two rounds of interviews to explore the context of teacher agency with urban African American boys living in poverty. The four teachers interviewed expressed culturally relevant beliefs through a lens of acceptance and insistence that are integral to their teaching practices. These beliefs were conveyed through descriptions of parent/child/teacher interactions in and out of the classroom, through awareness of the conditions and challenges of poverty in students’ and parents’ lives, and through close relationships with parents. This study provides some insight into the role that culturally relevant teaching beliefs play in Head Start teachers’ agency in developing emergent literacy of urban African American boys living in poverty.
John Michael Holland
Virginia Commonwealth University
In this phenomenological study, a sample (5) of adolescent middle school African American males discuss the characteristics their professional school counselors demonstrated that made them feel supported and nurtured. Themes were generated from data in a larger study where participants articulated that effective school counselors were humane professionals who, among other things, made themselves available to students, and were knowledgeable about those students. Following the findings, recommendations for professional school counselor educators and pre-service school counseling students are provided. The manuscript concludes with the limitations of this study and suggestions for future research.
Ahmad R. Washington
The University of Louisville
This qualitative study examined African American male secondary principals’ beliefs, values, and leadership practices that contribute to successful urban schools. Narrative inquiry was used to investigate the factors that influenced the leadership practices—and related education environment success—of six African American male public school principals from six different secondary urban schools in Ohio. Findings related to participant input led to three primary conclusions: (a) effective African American male principals address broad social and systemic issues that affect student education and performance; (b) effective African American male principals employ an integrated leadership style; and (c) effective African American male principals embrace the dualism of bureaucrat-administrator and ethno-humanist roles. These findings highlight several implications for consideration: (a) social and systemic issues severely distract African American male urban school leaders from their educational focus; (b) attention needs to be given to the critical dual role of African American male principals; and (c) focus needs to be directed toward developing and then hiring qualified African American male principals.
Winston Salem State University