Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Date of Defense

5-13-2015

Graduate Advisor

Matthew D. Davis, PhD

Co-Advisor

Isaac-Savage, Paulette

Committee

Carl Hoagland

Lynn Beckwith

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative research study was to examine the action steps that Black female educators take when teaching high achieving Black students. More specifically this study investigated the way that the participants implement instruction in their classroom for high achieving students. This study included five Black female educators from four predominately Black school districts in a small town in the Midwest. Critical Race Theory and Othermothering were used as theoretical frameworks to examine the importance of the role that Black female educators play in today's urban classrooms. The terms gifted and high achiever are often used interchangeably in research studies; however, there are distinct differences between the learning styles of the two. Data from this study cannot be generalized; however, it can act as a tool to begin dialogue between school administrators, counselors, and classroom teachers to discuss their perspective about the unique learning styles of high achieving and gifted Black students in schools. Findings from this study revealed that in order to plan for their high achieving students, the participants' took advantage of their instructional planning time in order to develop effective lessons. Findings from this study also revealed that although the women's use of the African tradition of othermothering allowed them to develop a personal connection with their students, the role of othermothering also informed their instruction when working to meet the academic needs of the high achieving student population. Additionally, othermothering was extended to every learner in the classroom.

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