Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.
Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.
Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.
Author ORCID Identifier
Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Education (also CAGS)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | International and Comparative Education | Junior High, Intermediate, Middle School Education and Teaching | Language and Literacy Education | Other Teacher Education and Professional Development | Secondary Education | Teacher Education and Professional Development
This dissertation examines the experiences of African high school students in U.S. public schools. Specifically, the study explores how African students negotiate their identities in a new education environment. Drawing on Asante’s (1980) Afrocentric theoretical framework, Erikson’s (1968) theory of identity and Tajfel and Turner’s (1979) social identity theories, this interview-based qualitative study seeks to describe and interpret how African high school students make sense of their new schooling experiences. One of my major goals of the study is to honor, recognize and bring to life the voices of African high school students. Their experiences are often minimized, their voices drowned and their perspectives and viewpoints marginalized. Six African students were interviewed for this study. The interpretative phenomenological data analysis (IPA) approach was used to analyze the data. Two major themes were identified: Navigating the U.S. Education System and Navigating Identity. Navigating the U.S. Education System included Navigating Placement – U.S. Placement Policies, Navigating Teachers - the Role of Teachers in Student Adjustment, Navigating Peers - Peer Socialization and Navigating the Curriculum “Whose Knowledge Counts?” The second theme Navigating Identity included Construction of Ethnic Pride, Sustenance of Native Language and Return Migration. The study demonstrates the need for an in-depth understanding of African students’ historical, socio-cultural and educational backgrounds. Recommendations on pedagogical practices that will empower teachers working with students of African descent are also provided.
Muzeta, Brenda M., "EXPLORING EXPERIENCES, PERSPECTIVES, AND IDENTITY (RE) FORMATION PROCESSES OF AFRICAN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN U.S. PUBLIC SCHOOLS" (2018). Doctoral Dissertations. 1283.