School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Kimberly Lester


African American Males, Phenomenological, Qualitative, Stereotype Threat


Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Other Education


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe the stereotypes experienced by select African American males in a South Texas classroom. Descriptions based on the experiences of 11 African American males over the age of 18 regarding the stereotypes presented between themselves and their teachers assisted in understanding the phenomena. Three research questions guided this study: (RQ1) How do African American males describe their experiences with stereotypes in a South Texas K-12 classroom? (RQ2) How, if at all, did participants’ experiences with stereotypes in the classroom contribute to their academic achievement? (RQ3) What, if any, emotions toward classroom stereotypes did participants describe experiencing? The research questions solicited reflective experiences by participants to help identify commonalities between data collected from the participants. Using critical race theory by Bell assisted in understanding the descriptions of experiences by select African American males in public education regarding stereotypes. Participants must have attended public school and have been able to articulate their experiences reflectively during an interview process. Data analysis comprised transcribing information obtained through a questionnaire, audio-recorded individual interviews, as well as a focus group. Interviews took place after receiving a screening survey that focused on a criterion sampling. Open-coding themes and identifying teacher and student behaviors based on questionnaire and interview data collected described the essence of the phenomenon. Researcher journaling throughout the process assisted with the trustworthiness of collection data.