Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Discipline

Education Leadership


This qualitative narrative research study explores sixth through eighth-grade teachers’ awareness of their practice and pedagogy among African American girls in public suburban middle schools. The guiding research question addressed in this study was: How do teachers describe characteristics associated with their practice and pedagogy of their African American middle school girls? Participants included four suburban middle school teachers selected based on their teaching experiences with African American middle school girls. There were no limitations on participants’ age, race, gender, or if they obtained their teacher certification directly from a college or university or through an alternative certification program. After multiple phases of data refinement, four themes emerged: (a) lack of preparation; (b) instruction and teaching African American girls; (c) impacts on instruction—COVID and society; and (d) relationships and high expectations. The findings from this study indicate that: (a) more targeted preparation is necessary and will be required as pre-service, in-service, and alternative certification teachers work with and instruct African American middle school girls; (b) instructional strategies and lesson delivery that are more appealing, relevant, and engaging are vital; (c) a greater awareness of societal happenings that African American middle school girls are faced with while still being expected to achieve academic success is essential; and (d) a greater understanding of establishing trusting teacher-student relationships while upholding high expectations of African American middle school girls is imperative.

If ignored, the topics regarding African American middle school girls, teachers’ lack of preparation to instruct them, and the lack of academic success they have experienced in the classroom will remain. The conversations surrounding these topics will continue as they did over ten years ago, with minimal changes and a lack of significant progress.

Keywords: classroom experience, critical consciousness, critical pedagogy, cultural competence, culturally relevant pedagogy, empowerment, middle school, pedagogy, practice, suburban

Committee Chair/Advisor

Donald Collins

Committee Co-Chair:

Douglas Hermond

Committee Member

Patricia Hoffman-Miller

Committee Member

Gwen Webb


Prairie View A&M University


© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View





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