Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instr and Curr Leadership


Instruction and Curriculum

Committee Chair

Beverly Cross

Committee Member

William Hunter

Committee Member

Alfred Hall


Despite the vast research on efficacy and teacher efficacy, little focuses on high-performing Black teachers who work in low-performing urban schools. This research fills a gap in understanding high-performing Black teachers and provides a voice to a population under-represented in research. Through focus groups, semi-structured interviews, storytelling, and reviewing student work samples, findings showed that high-performing Black teachers in underperforming urban schools participate in specific practices that demonstrate their personal self-efficacy. Teachers were reflective, inquisitive, and generally maintained a positive outlook in all situations. The teachers in this study also carefully adapted their practice by focusing on strong relationships with students in order to be more effective. Finally, the self-efficacy of these participants was distinguishable by their deep understanding of the needs of Black children and their welcoming disposition towards students with challenging behavior. Participants tended to encourage and care for the classroom environment in a way that made it feel safe yet focused. The implications of this study include the necessity to focus on K-12 education, higher education and learning, and non-profit entities and their collaboration with legislative bodies. Future research should focus on (but not limited itself to) challenging students, high-performing students and self-efficacy, district curriculums, and the Common Core’s relationship to self-efficacy.  


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.