Why Teachers Don't Look Like Us: Critical Race Theory and Social Capital in Education
Mascarenaz, Lauryn Marie
The K-12 teaching career is a field that is heavily dominated by a white female demographic, with a large underrepresentation of Black and Hispanic educators. There are more than 50 million students in the public school-age population, with over 40% of those students identifying as Black and Hispanic. In North Carolina, Black teachers constitute greater than 90% of the total population of teachers of color, with a 75% annual retention rate. This retention rate is three points lower than the national average and reflects an alarming trend in our nation. This capstone research study sought to understand more deeply the connections between race, social capital and the decision to enroll in and complete an education program in the NC State School of Education. Due to its status as one of the largest public universities in the Southeastern United States, NC State was chosen to be a partner in this study. This capstone study then used a sequential mixed-methods approach to interview preservice teachers and analyze five years of enrollment data. The interview data used a master matrix to identify key concepts of Critical Race Theory and Social Capital Theory while the data analysis tracked trends across program completion for gender, race and generational status.