Brown, A. L. (2012). On Human Kinds and Role Models: A Critical Discussion about the African American Male Teacher.Educational Studies, 48(3), 296-315.
This article explores the theoretical implications around positioning the Black male teacher as the central agent of social change for Black male students. In addressing such concerns, my intention is not to discourage efforts to recruit and retain more African American men as teachers, but to trouble the commonsense assumptions embedded in such efforts. To achieve these goals, I draw from philosopher Ian Hacking’s (1995) notion of “human kinds” to historicize the context in which Black male teachers emerged as possible role models for Black male students. To further illustrate this point, I draw data from interviews I conducted in a qualitative study. The Black male teachers cited in the interview section of this article provide a revised theorization of the dominant discourse about their practice. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of this work for ongoing concerns about the recruitment and retention of Black male teachers.
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