Date of Award

8-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Arthur Walton

Second Supervisor

Gloria E. Jacobs

Abstract

Teacher Knowledge about Educating Children of African Descent in Urban Schools was a quantitative study that examined what a sample of teachers knew about effective teaching in urban schools in order to inform professional development in the urban district where this study was conducted. This research proceeded from the idea that having knowledge about African descent people is a requisite for teaching them, and that absence of this cultural knowledge has served as a barrier to effective education. A quantitative instrument, Teaching in Urban Schools Scale, was used to identify teachers’ knowledge about effective teaching in urban schools, and a demographic section allowed for statistical comparisons within groups. Mean scores for the total scale were low, with statistical significance found in categories such as gender, interest in urban teaching, and participation in the Summer Institute on Teaching and Learning Informed by Cultural Knowledge. Statistical significance was not found in categories such as race/ethnicity, age, teaching special education, mentoring, and grade level. The study concluded that women’s epistemology and intense learning experiences about African cultural knowledge explain statistically significant results, and the Eurocentric theories and practices commonly experienced at all levels of education, including professional development, explain the wide-ranging areas of non-significance. Recommendations include research on teachers’ use of Summer Institute content, and grounding all professional development initiatives in the cultural knowledge and systemic analysis needed for effective teaching in urban schools.

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