Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Robert Millward, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Roger Briscoe, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

David Piper, Ed.D.


There is a serious shortage of African American male teachers in the United States. Currently less than 2% of teachers in the United States are African American males. The purpose of this study was to explore what motivates African American males to choose a career in teaching. After an extensive review of the literature on African American male teachers, four themes emerged as major reasons why black men teach: a) a desire to be a role model, b) social justice factors, c) peer influences and d) job benefits. The four themes were used to develop a survey that measured African American males’ motivations for teaching. A total of 185 teachers completed the survey and the data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-square analyses. In addition, an open ended question was used to further analyze why participants chose a career in teaching. Majors finding revealed that the desire to be a role model and social justice factors are important reasons why African American males teach. Responses from the open ended question showed other reasons may include a desire to help others, a love for children, and being called to teach as significant influences for teaching. The information gained from this study can be used to enhance or develop programs to recruit more African American males to the field of teaching.