Date of Award

Fall 12-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Higher Education

Committee Director

Felecia Commodore

Committee Member

Jori Beck

Committee Member

Laura Smithers


The representation of Black teachers in the field of K-12 education has declined significantly in the last forty years (Ingersoll, 2011; Milner & Howard, 2004). Once considered a pathway to the middle class for Black Americans, teaching was a sought-after profession for Black folks for job stability (Collier, 2002). While there is extensive research on the experiences of teachers of color, and what might lead to their attrition in the teaching profession, Black women experience a specific intersection of race, class, and gender that affects their sustainability in the teaching profession that deserves exploration.

This qualitative research study examined the lived experiences of Black women educators in their teacher preparation programs and how their program experiences influenced their approaches to the classroom. The purpose of this study was to amplify the lived experiences of Black women that have so often been erased from the historical narrative. As a framework, Black Feminist Thought was utilized to better understand how the intersection of race, class, and gender plays a role in the unique experiences of Black women educators by intentionally pushing their identities, experiences, and ideas to the center of analysis (Collins, 1986, 2000, 2009).

Three major themes emerged from the findings: 1) The struggle to build community in teacher preparation programs, 2) teacher preparation not being preparation for all student experiences, and 3) the concept of the work beyond the work that unpacks the unacknowledged and uncompensated labor of Black women educators in teacher preparation programs and professional settings. Implications in the study suggest that there are real opportunities for teacher preparation programs to engage Black women’s culture as a mechanism for recruitment and retainment, to engage Culturally Relevant Pedagogy as a tool to support Black and non- Black educators to support the needs of the increasingly diverse student population, and to offer Critical Professional Development to engage educators in professional development uniquely tailored to their learning curves and offer Black women educations some reprieve from the expectation of the work beyond the work without training to support diverse student groups.


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Copyright, 2022, by Chéleah Victoria Googe, All Rights Reserved.