Thomas, E. E., & Warren, C. A. (2017). Making it relevant: How a black male teacher sustained professional relationships through culturally responsive discourse. Race Ethnicity and Education, 20(1), 87-100.
What we know about the experiences of black teachers is limited, especially considering the vast amount of research conducted on and about black boys and young men. This article describes and analyzes how a black teacher at a suburban high school in the Midwestern United States negotiated professional relationships through culturally relevant discourse. Anthony Bell was the only black male teacher participating in a classroom discourse analysis study group at a diverse suburban high school. Throughout the course of the semester, Anthony’s stated objective for learning discourse analysis was to understand, structure, and facilitate more productive conversations with a struggling student teacher he was mentoring. Yet Anthony also used his discursive inquiry to “trouble the water” in his classroom and in the study group workshops. Participation in the study group provided Anthony with metalinguistic tools to critique his interactions with his students, student teacher, and professional peers. Anthony’s analyses of his own teaching, his student teacher’s work, the study group, and the school index themes in critical and critical race theory in education. As he became a teacher researcher, Anthony reported a greater sense of professional self-efficacy, eventually facilitating a successful workshop at a national teacher conference. Anthony’s case is an exemplar of the unique and critical role of black men who teach, as well as the imperative of practitioner research within the current climate in teacher education.
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