What motivates African-American males to succeed in middle school?


Fall 9-19-2014



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Susan Manikowski

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Robert (Bob) Richie

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Julie Nelson


The research question addressed in this project was: What motivates African-American males to succeed in middle school? It documents a teacher’s journey of interviewing African-American male students and parents of African-American males to gather their views of the education system. It also integrates information from observations conducted for two months by a master teacher who is able to motivate African-American males to buy-in to his class. Throughout this study, it was imperative to answer this research question because the researcher was once an at-promise African American male, and the main demographic he teaches is African-American students. This research is intended to be a guide for educators working with African-American males at the middle school level. This study should help close the achievement gap between African-American males and their Caucasian peers. Results conclude that educators need to build studentteacher relations, have a sense of humor, and participate in mentoring programs.


At-risk Students, Motivation, Multicultural Education, Social Justice

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