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The Urban Factor: Examining Why Black Female Educators Teach in Under-Resourced, Urban Schools

Black Female Teachers

ISBN: 978-1-78714-462-0, eISBN: 978-1-78714-461-3

Publication date: 11 July 2017


Prior to Brown v. Board of Education 1954, Black female educators played a significant and vital role in segregated schools. Despite Black female teachers’ historic presence in the field of education, presently Black female teachers are disproportionately under-represented in the US teacher workforce. Acknowledging the shortage of Black female teachers in K-12 classrooms, the purpose of this qualitative study is to explore why Black female educators teach in under-resourced, urban schools. By examining Black female educators’ initial draw to urban schools in what we conceptualized as the urban factor, we hope to reframe the implicit biases surrounding under-resourced, urban schools as less desirable workplaces and unearth reasons why those Black female teachers who enter teaching gravitate more toward urban schools. Three themes emerged about Black female teachers’ thoughts on and preference for urban schools with an unexpected finding about Black female teachers’ perceptions of student behavior. Concluding, recommendations are offered for policy and practice.



Farinde-Wu, A., Allen-Handy, A., Butler, B.R. and Lewis, C.W. (2017), "The Urban Factor: Examining Why Black Female Educators Teach in Under-Resourced, Urban Schools", Black Female Teachers (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 6), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 73-92.



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