Abstract

Using racial formation theory as the ballast of this study, I interviewed seven Black men who were in preservice special education teacher preparation programs about what motivated them to enter the field. Data collection methods and analysis focused on participants’ educational trajectories and introductions to the field of special education. I found that Black men in this study chose to enter special education as a result of varying influences, including prior experiences working with children or the suggestions of mentors. All participants indicated that they were “doing it for the culture”; that is, their career choices were in response to a pressing desire to be agents of change, primarily driven by an awareness of the needs of Black boys who are disproportionately represented in special education programs across the United States. Finally, I explore implications for future research and practice.

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