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We Got Next

Urban Education and the Next Generation of Black Teachers


Lynnette Mawhinney

Developing a more culturally diverse teaching force is one of the most important tasks facing the education system in the United States. Yet, in the midst of this challenge, little is known about who these teachers might be or where they might come from. We Got Next: Urban Education and the Next Generation of Black Teachers illustrates the journeys that Black pre-service teachers travel in their attempts to become educators. By looking at their educational life histories – their schooling experiences, teaching philosophies, and personal motivation – this book discovers what compels them to become teachers and the struggles and successes they encounter along the way. With texture and care, We Got Next helps professionals, policymakers, and teacher educators to understand what draws young African Americans toward the teaching profession and how to help them get there.
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Chapter 2. Carver University and Teacher Education

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The stories that unfold within these pages highlight the educational life histories of preservice teachers attending a Historically Black University (HBCU). The Higher Education Act of 1965 defines an HBCU as the following:

Any historically black college or university [hence, HBCU] that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary [of Education] to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation (White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, 2013, p. 1).

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), like Carver University, have an important and unique role within teacher education. Many HBCUs were founded as normal schools (teacher training schools) before the turn of the century (Akbar & Sims, 2008; Irvine & Fenwick, 2011). The foundation of HBCUs as normal schools grew out of necessity as, before desegregation, African American schools were in need of African American teachers.

← 9 | 10 → Even today, HBCUs still play a major role in diversifying the teaching field (Irvine & Fenwick, 2011). Although only 6% of the teaching population is Black (Roberts & Irvine, 2009; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008), 50% of Black public school teachers received their teaching certificate from an HBCU (Albritton, 2012). Moreover, the majority of HBCU teacher graduates opt to teach in...

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