Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Middle and Secondary Education

First Advisor

Chantee Earl, Ph. D.

Second Advisor

Diane Truscott, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Gary Bingham, Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to understand the perceptions of African American in-service teachers and their beliefs about the academic, social and emotional needs of African American students who were homeless. While research supports the importance of teacher perceptions in building the teacher-student relationship at school (Powers-Costello & Swick, 2008), this research has been limited primarily to white female preservice elementary teachers. There has been little research in the area of African American in-service elementary teachers’ perceptions of students who are impacted by homelessness due to systematic racial disparity and poverty.

This study included three African American female teachers at an elementary school located in the Southeastern United States. The following questions guided this study: (1) How do African American in-service teachers in a public elementary school perceive the academic, social and emotional needs of African American students who are homeless? (2) What factors influence African American in-service elementary teacher perceptions of African American students who are homeless? An open-ended questionnaire, one-on-one interviews, and audio recorded reflective journals served as the primary sources of data.

Findings from a thematic analysis of the data generated three major themes: (1) It takes a village, (2) student assets, and (3) the role of the teacher. Implications of this study suggest additional support for in-service teachers, supporting parents, the importance of teacher-student relationships and changes in societal beliefs and policy that address circumstances of becoming homeless. Future research should continue to explore the perceptions of African American in-service teachers who teach students who are homeless.

Share

COinS