Date of Award

Spring 4-5-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Miyoshi Juergensen

Committee Chair

Dr. Raynice Jean-Sigur

Second Committee Member

Dr. Arvin Johnson


This qualitative case study focused on the perceptions of 5th grade black males at a suburban neighborhood elementary school in the southeastern United States. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of how the participants felt about their teachers and school community. The theoretical frameworks that informed this study were Critical Race Theory and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Several data gathering techniques (qualitative questionnaire, focus group meeting, and student journals) were utilized and analyzed to describe the participants’ experiences regarding school climate at TES. From the data collected, several themes emerged such as Building Relationships & Classroom Communities, Care, Compassion, & High Expectations, Engaging Instruction, Classroom Management, Consciousness of Racism and Favoritism, and School as Family. This information supports previous research on the education of black males. It also contributes to the literature on the educational experiences of black boys, through their own youthful voices and perspectives. The findings of this study were used to highlight their stories. Stakeholders such as teachers, teacher leaders, school and district leaders, and teacher preparation programs can benefit from the results. The knowledge gained can be used to build teacher capacity. It can also be utilized to begin critical dialogue on how to best serve black boys and assist them in developing the skills and strategies essential for academic success.