The achievement of Black students has repeatedly met only the lowest standards of performance on standardized assessments, which begs the question; do American schools have the capacity to educate Black children? The purpose of this action research manuscript dissertation was to explore the teacher behaviors and instructional strategies that developed a culture of high achievement among Black students as measured by student engagement and discourse, immediately before and after desegregation, and in classrooms today. The examination of popular theories concerning the education of Black people in the early 1900's and narratives of individuals who attended segregated schools, provided a historical description of the state of Black education. In addition, the connection between student engagement and teacher dispositions was recognized. A review of relevant literature informed this study by providing a conceptual understanding and operational definition of student engagement, teacher dispositions, and discourse. Last, a case study was conducted to bring a local, practical focus to the research. The purpose of this case study was to examine the impact of student engagement on student learning in an urban school with a majority Black student population, as evidenced by student actions and discourse. Data were collected through meetings and classroom observations using the Student Action Coding Sheet. This research found student engagement to be highest in classrooms that balanced certain teacher dispositions and discourse.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Teaching, Learning and Leadership
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Sims, Deshawn, "The Source and Impact of Student Engagement for Black Students in an Urban High School" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5179.