Critical Black Mother Embodiment Theory and the Designing of a Teaching Career Pathway for Girls

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership


Department of Educational Administration


Matthew Witenstein


The teaching force in the Post-Desegregation School District (PDS) is overwhelmingly White and female, despite its Black American majority student population. Black American female PreK-12 teachers are disproportionately underrepresented in the school district. Their underrepresentation is problematic because Black American students tend to have better academic achievement and behavioral outcomes with Black American female teachers than they do with White female teachers. This difference in outcomes is informed on one hand by the maternal socio-pedagogical approach that Black American female teachers take to their relations with their students, and on the other hand by White female teachers' tendency to lack cultural proficiency, which hinders their ability to relate to Black American students. Theoretically, based on these dynamics, the Post-Desegregation School District can improve its student outcomes by dramatically increasing the number of well-trained Black American female teachers in its teaching force. In this qualitative action research study, the author collaborated with a team of Black American female teachers to identify the critical elements of a practical teaching career pathway that could recruit and cultivate Black American girls as future PDS teachers. The study found that the most critical elements were psychosocial and socioemotional in nature.


Education, Pedagogy, Teacher Education, Teaching, teaching career, pathway, Black American female teachers, Black American girls, other mothering, maternal pedagogy, cultural proficiency, Black American k12 students, educational equity, culturally relevant pedagogy

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2022, author.