The Effects of Shortage of African American Male Teachers in Schools Essay

Annotated Bibliography

Ballard, A.B. (2004). The Education of Black Folk: The African American Struggle for

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Knowledge in White America. Lincoln, Nebraska: iUniverse.

            According to the author of this book, until today, the American Education System and most American universities are still not capable of addressing the special needs of African American students. He also observed that the lack of African American teachers greatly affects the education of many Black youths such that every African American student, because of his or her race history, is expected to experience an identity crisis. The author claims that only African American teachers could thoroughly relate with Black students because they share the same culture. Thus, any difficulty faced by African American students could be deemed as part of their cultural and social transformation. Therefore, the author suggests for the American education system to consider the demands of Black students and to properly address the problem concerning the scarcity among Black teachers and other professionals. Low quality of education, limited opportunities, and minimal salary provided to Black population contribute to the deterioration of Black education and to the increasing shortage of Black professionals. Thus, the author is lobbying that the American education system must employ reformation to become more sensitive about the needs of African American students and about the demand of having African American professors.

Lewis, C.W. (2006). African American male teachers in public schools: An examination of

three urban school districts. Teachers College Record, 108 (2), 224–245.

            In this article, the author observed the problem concerning the insufficient number of male teachers of African American descent. African American students account for 20 percent of the America’s student population, yet African American teachers comprise only 1 percent of America’s teaching professionals. To identify the factors contributing to this trend, the author examined the status of African American male teachers specifically in three Louisiana school districts. The author chose these schools since these schools employ more than 5 percent of African American male teachers. The author discovered that family influence primarily accounts for the decision of African American graduates to choose teaching as a career. However, recruitment mechanisms being implemented by school administrators are also considered as factors that influence African American male teachers in pursuing a profession in teaching.

Greenlee, C. (1997). Reality infused into Livingstone’s teacher education program: Early

success seen with African-American male instructors. Black Issues in Higher Education, 14 (20), 18–20.

            The author raised the alarming problem concerning the scarcity of African American male teachers. He observed that Whites dominate the number of students taking up teaching education course wherein 108,200 students comprise the White males while White females are composed of 310,124 students, amounting to 80 percent of the total population enrolled in teaching course. Out of this 80 percent, White male teaching candidates represent 20.7 percent of the population while females account for 59.7 percent. On the other hand, African American male teachers only account for 1 percent of the educator population. The author attributed such trend to career change among Black males.  The increasing number of African American males choosing other careers over teaching has led to the shortage of Black male teachers.

Brown, L. (n.d.). America’s Black male: Disadvantaged from birth to death. Penn GSE

Perspective on Urban Education, 3 (2), 1–16.

            The author, a former principal and Deputy Superintendent, analyzed the impact of urban education on minority students. He particularly focused on the status of African American male students and cited that most of this population’s youth are dropping out of schools due to failure to address their needs as people who are culturally different from the Whites. Due to the absence of esteemed African American male teachers who are looked up to by most African American male students, these students are experiencing difficulties and hindrances in their education. Such problems include ranking lowest in academic achievement, being suspended or expelled or dropping out from school, and increasing conflict between Black students and White teaching staff and administrators. The author then recommended that academic reform must be done to address the education problems of Black students.

Brown, G.. (2008). The role of the African-American teacher: Why it’s essential in the school

system. Black Collegian. Retrieved May 21, 2009, from http://www.black-collegian.com/career/career-reports/teacher2000-1st.shtml.

            The author recognized that inequality and discrimination are the major contributing factors that affect African American’s participation in the teaching career. In addition, small wages and the undistinguished importance of teaching profession also hinder African-American professionals from choosing teaching as career. The author emphasized that the shortage of African American in classroom implies that teaching is being perceived by this population as impractical career option. On the other hand, the author also acknowledged the important role of African American teachers on the learning phase of young population of color.

Lewis, C.W., Garrison-Wade, D., Scott, M.E., Douglas, B.B. & Middleton, V. (2004). A

synthesis of evidence-based research on the status of African American Teachers 50 years after Brown and its impact on African American student achievement: Implications for teachers and administrator. E-Journal of Teaching and Learning in Diverse Settings, 2 (1), 99–124.

            The authors enumerated some major reasons why African Americans prefer the profession of teaching. Among the cited reasons include job stability, opportunities to share knowledge and experiences and to utilize abilities, ability to contribute to social change, opportunity to learn, health benefits, challenging and interesting work, and proximity of job location. Such reasons could be utilized by school administrators and the American Education System to encourage more African American teachers to involve in teaching profession. On the other hand, the authors also identified some obstacles that hinder African American to pursue a teaching career. These include the negative views of some African American graduates to teaching profession and the need to pass the standardized testing. These obstacles must be properly addressed in order to encourage African American professionals to pick teaching as a career.

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. (1987). Minority Teacher

Recruitment and Retention: A Call for Action. Washington, DC: AACTE.

            To solve the problem of scarcity among minority teachers particularly the African American teachers, the American Association of College for teachers Education (AACTE) has devised a recruitment and retention project which is composed of ten programs. These programs involve scholarship program, grants program, loan incentive, and support programs for minority teachers choosing to serve in diverse communities and institutional grants among others. However, higher salary for minority teachers is not stated as part of the recruitment and retention project.

The Effects of Shortage of African American Male Teachers in Schools

The Current Status of African American Education

Over time and until today, differences in culture, racism, and discrimination against Black people have been observed among most White Americans. These issues which often pose significant problems have been naturalized not only in the American communities but also around the world. The limited access and opportunities in employment, health care, and education being provided to the Black population are still of major concern in federal proceedings. Yet, the most serious problem is found in the area of education. Education is regarded as the most influential institution. It has the power to influence and to bring social change in every community. It can convey equality between races by teaching young individuals to be sensitive about the needs of other races. Ironically however, some educational institutions are serving as an arena where Black students are predestined to experience discrimination against their culture and race.

In the history of American education, the year 1969 has been recognized as the year of Black rebellion led by African American students, teachers, and professors (Ballard, 2004). These groups of population urged to revise the American education curriculum and other components of the system to also cater the special needs and preferences of Black students. Despite numerous attempts of reforming the American education system, the problem concerning the education of Black population still remains unresolved. Many Black students still experience being harassed by Whites (peer, classmates and professors). According to Ballard (2004), in order to reconcile the problem between Blacks and Whites, the federal government and the educational institution must examine early attempts of Black educators to break the White monopoly, the negative approach of Whites toward the Black’s and the traditional position of White educational institutions toward the issues and problems related to the Black population. To do this, the American education system must response to the increasing shortage of African American teachers particularly, the male teachers.

The Impact of Shortage on African American Male Teachers

It has been perceived that the lack of African American teachers, particularly the male Black teachers, contributes to the worsening condition of Black education. The depreciating numbers of African American teachers is alarming the Black population. According to Greenlee (1997), the number of African American students taking up education courses has dramatically dropped to less than 20 percent. Yet, only 5 percent of them are pursuing teaching as a career. Moreover, the percentage of African American male teacher has fall to only one percent, thus approaching to extinction.

Although there are large numbers of White American teachers, the negative impact of the decrease in population among African American has been evident in the low performance of Black students. The problems observe among minority students include ranking lowest in academic achievement, being suspended, expelled or dropping out from school, and increasing conflict between Black students and White students, teaching staff and school administrators (Brown, n.d.). In African American culture, students prefer to have male teachers of their race rather than be educated by White American males. One of the most cited reasons is that African American male teachers act as the students’ role model for their commitment to social change (Brown, n.d.). “Black male teachers in elementary, middle, and high schools express a commitment to African American communities in the same way that culturally relevant teachers do so” (Lynn, 2006, p. 16).  African American male teachers are known for their dedication to education and are armed with an objective to bring developmental changes in every African and American community.

Factors that Contribute to the Decreasing Number of African American Teachers

Inequality and discrimination are among the major contributing factors that affect African American’s participation in the teaching career (Brown, 2008). The discriminating environment in American educational institutions led many African American students to choose other careers rather than become a teacher. In addition to this, incidences of discrimination among African American teachers by White colleagues and students also inhibit African American teachers to pursue their teaching profession (Brown, 2008). More to this, low salaries, negative perception on teaching career, lack of incentives, undistinguished prestige of teaching profession and the need to pass the standardized testing (where White Americans have more advantage because such test is designed according to White education standards) are also among the factors that hinder African-American professionals to pursue teaching as career (Lewis, Garrison-Wade, Scott, Douglas, ; Middleton, 2004). The shortage of African American in classroom implies that teaching is being perceived by this population as an impractical career option (Brown, 2008).

Solving the Problem of Scarcity on African American Male Teacher

            To solve the alarming problem of extinction among African American male teachers which is besetting the Black education, the federal government and the educational institution must first provide and improve equal educational and employment opportunities for minorities at all school levels. Equal access to education and equal opportunity to employment could encourage active participation among Black population. The education institution must also design a quality and encourage a curriculum in teaching education which would positively promote this career among African American students. Such actions could eliminate the negative perception of Black students regarding the teaching profession. As Donnelly (1988) wrote: “Colleges need to develop better recruitment programs to attract minority students to their campuses and help those students successfully complete higher education degrees. There is a need for imaginative programs developed through private and public resources to attract minority students to education” (p. 3).

            Moreover, the federal government and the education institution must also improve programs for recruitment and retention of African American male teachers. They need to assure the African American teachers that teaching is a stable job and has quality benefits which include health benefits, better earnings, loan assistance, scholarship programs, institutional grants, and quality life support programs (American Association of College for teachers Education (1987).  In addition, higher salary for minority teachers should also be provided as part of the recruitment and retention program.

In intensifying the recruitment and retention program for African American male teachers, the education institution and the federal government must emphasize the role being played by these teachers such as being role model for Black students and being an instrument of social change to their community.  This could be done while recruiting teaching candidates from high school level and from “mid-career” minority professionals (Donnelly, 1988).

Conclusion

            The scarcity of African American male teachers is indeed alarming because of its negative impact to students of their race. Students of color, due to their race history, are more sensitive than other races. Thus, they need mentors who are capable of comprehending and understanding their special needs. African American male teachers are persons of dignity and commitment. They are perceived by Black students as good example and influence on their education and learning process. Like any other educational problem, the shortage of African American male teachers could also be solved through proper channeling, planning, and implementing of programs which would examine their needs and which would address their concerns. The government and the education institution have an important role in securing better education for the Black population, and this should start in implementing programs that would encourage the people of color to actively participate in the field of learning and education.

References

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. (1987). Minority Teacher Recruitment and Retention: A Call For Action. Washington, DC: AACTE.

Ballard, A.B. (2004). The Education of Black Folk: The African American Struggle for Knowledge in White America. Lincoln, Nebraska: iUniverse.

Brown, L. (n.d.). America’s Black male: Disadvantaged from birth to death. Penn GSE Perspective on Urban Education, 3(2), 1–16.

Brown, G.. (2008). The role of the African-American teacher: Why it’s essential in the school system. Black Collegian. Retrieved May 21, 2009, from http://www.black-collegian.com/career/career-reports/teacher2000-1st.shtml.

Donnelly, M. (1988). Training and recruiting minority teachers. ERIC Digest Series, EA29. ED302898. Retrieved May 21, 2009, from

http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/1e/51/be.pdf.

Lewis, C.W. (2006). African American male teachers in public schools: An examination of three urban school districts. Teachers College Record, 108 (2), 224–245.

Lewis, C.W., Garrison-Wade, D., Scott, M.E., Douglas, B.B. ; Middleton, V. (2004). A synthesis of evidence-based research on the status of African American Teachers 50 years after Brown and its impact on African American student achievement: Implications for teachers and administrator. E-Journal of Teaching and Learning in Diverse Settings, 2 (1), 99–124.

Lynn, M. (n.d.). African American male teachers. PSF Star Portal. Retrieved May 21, 2000

from http://www.psfstar.org/star-library/african-american-male-teachers-by-marvin-lynn/view.

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