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"She Cares...She Doesn't Let Them Slack!" How Teachers Influence Adolescent Black Boys' Perceived Mattering

Fri, April 9, 4:10 to 5:40pm EDT (4:10 to 5:40pm EDT), Division K, Division K - Section 4 Paper and Symposium Sessions


Few rallying cries have echoed more profoundly than Black Lives Matter to challenge stakeholders to take educational responsibility for ensuring optimal educational outcomes for racially marginalized children. And few groups are plagued by negative school-based outcomes more than Black adolescent boys. As researchers and educators work towards dismantling race-based academic and social-emotional disparities for this group, foregrounding how Black boys perceive they “matter” to adults within such contexts is key to activating precise interventions. Using qualitative methodologies and the concept of mattering (e.g., inferred awareness and significance) as our framework, we drew from the perspectives of 16 adolescent Black boys in one urban high school to understand how their relationships and interactions with teachers affected their perceived mattering in school.