Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

J. Amos Hatch

Committee Members

Gina Barclay-McLaughlin, Diana Moyer, Allison Anders


Urban teachers alone cannot solve the complex social and economic problems that plague urban communities and schools; however, their efforts to effectively educate inner-city youth can begin to break the cycle of disadvantage. Therefore, urban teachers’ perspectives are essential in understanding the process of effectively instructing urban youth. The purpose of this study was to explore the perspectives and practices of five urban educators through a postpositive theoretical lens. Participants for this study were five urban educators kindergarten through fourth grade, all of whom were teaching at one urban school. The participating teachers were chosen by criterion sampling with the help of the principal. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews and observations during the course of one school year. A case study of each of the five urban educators provided a better understanding of: (a) factors that influenced each urban educator’s career choice; (b) how these urban educators describe their educational practices and beliefs about teaching; (c) the similarities and differences that can be found between urban educators’ beliefs and practices; (d) how these urban educators think cultural/ethnic background influences their instructional practices. Recommendations were made to improve current urban educators teaching practices, enhance future urban education, and encourage researchers to continue doing research in the field of urban education.

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