The problem I address in this study is the persistence of inequity and low-self-concept among Black students. This study examines the ways in which dark-skinned African American girls' educational experiences support or impair their identity development. It adds to the body of knowledge by exploring personal journeys toward self-awareness amid family, school, and societal realities. While research exists regarding the achievement gap between Black students and other groups and the efforts to close that gap, research that specifically addresses the needs of Black girls is lacking. This study is significant because it brings attention to an underrepresented group, Black girls. Further, this study recognizes and attends to the nuances among this group by focusing on dark-skinned African American girls. Self-concept does affect the achievement of students. However, this study investigates self-concept in a new way. It considers the internal processing of self-awareness and identity formation. The purpose of the study is to examine the ways in which African American girls' educational experiences support or impair their identity development. This qualitative study uses the transcendental phenomenological approach to describe the educational experiences of dark-skinned African American middle grades and high school girls as they develop and explore their identities. I interviewed African American girls who perceive themselves as dark-skinned about their educational experiences and how these experiences have or have not supported their understanding and perceptions of their own heritage and Black identity. Findings show that the participants perceived the school environment to be hostile and unsupportive of their identity development.
If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
School of Teacher Education
Education; Social Science Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Williams, Tamika, "A Phenomenological Study of Educational Experiences Among Dark-Skinned African American Girls During Adolescence" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1307.