Mentoring of African American Male 'Methodology' chapter

Excerpt from 'Methodology' chapter :

School African-American Males Who Are Attending a Community-Based After-School Program


A qualitative case study would be conducted by the researcher. As described by Gay, Mills, and Airasian (2009), a case study explores and analyzes the behavioral patterns of an exclusive group over an extended period of time. In this approach the researcher analyzes the behavior of the participants while they participate in the intended activities and their response to the outside stimuli. (Gay, Mills, & Airasian, 2009) Case studies are bounded in an approach that connects time (existence) with a place (environment) (Stake, 2005). The case study approach provides the researcher with a stage to examine the patterns of behavior that the individuals portray.


The purpose of the study is to explore the behaviors of middle-school African-American males who are attending a community-based after-school program. In addition to that, the study will explore how a community-based after-school program adheres to the different learning styles of African-American males and the program's vested interest in the use of male mentorship. (Gay, Mills, & Airasian, 2009)

The researcher will use the qualitative phenomenological design, which will support the case study. As indicated by Creswell (2009), phenomenological research is a descriptive approach that uses the inductive approach to describe an event or experience in the manner in which it is lived by the individual or group. (Creswell, 2009) The case study will enable the researcher to investigate the behavior patterns through the eyes of a designated group over an established period of time. (Gay, Mills, & Airasian, 2009).

The academic achievement and social maturity of the African-American male are topics of national concerns. For numerous urban settings, the community-based after-school program is an essential instrument for enriching the education status and eliminating the negative indicators associated with out-of-school time. This study, therefore, aims at identifying the behaviors of the middle-school African-American male who are attending a community-based after-school program. (Brock, 2009 & Williams, 2008).

This chapter will present an outline of the design for the research study that will include the participants and research setting, data collection, data analysis, role of the researcher, role of the participants, methodological assumption and limitation, trustworthiness, and ethical considerations. The research study will examine how a community-based after-school program focuses on the various learning styles of middle-school African-American males and the service of male mentorship in the program. The following research questions are used in the research study:

i. What perspectives do community-based program administrators have regarding the necessary characteristics of an after-school program for supporting male mentorship?

ii. What are the perceptions of participants associated with a community-based after-school program in an urban setting in Georgia for program effectiveness of male mentorship among students?

iii. What perceptions do program administrators have concerning the contributing factors which influence how an urban, community-based after-school program addresses the male mentoring of African-American males?


This section of the research highlights the type of data collected, the participants and research setting, the sample procedures and the facts in relation to the validity and authenticity and trustworthiness of the data.

3.1. Primary Data

Primary data can be defined as the first hand data that is collected by the researcher himself for the purpose of the research under consideration. This data is collected through a number of primary research tools, such as questionnaires, surveys, observations, interviews, both face-to-face and telephonic interviews, and focus groups. (Mcisaac & Goeree et al., 2007)

The research is based on the primary data, which will be from the administrators through the process of journaling, one to one interview and focus groups. The researcher will use the research question, in order to get an insight into the perception of the respondents in relation to the use of male mentorship with African-American males (11-14) in a community-based after-school program. The important procedures in relation to the collection of primary data are discussed below:

3.1.1. Participants and Research Setting

The participants of this study would be the administrators in a community based after school program. The researcher will conduct interviews with them so as to understand the issue under consideration in detail and use the collected data to further analyze the perception of the administrators in relation to the essential characteristics of a community based after school program and how well does this program address the male mentoring of the African-American males.

The research study will use participants from a community-based after-school program located in the Southwest section of Atlanta, Georgia. For research purposes, the writer will refer to the after-school location as the Dreamer's Urban Learning Center (pseudonym). The Dreamer's Urban Learning Center functions as a hub for reinforcement and a safe-net for out-of-school time among a population of 300 students.

The student population of the program is described as 90% African-American, 7% Hispanic, 2% Caucasian, and 1% other. In the Dreamer's Urban Learning Center, males account for 41% of the total population. The Dreamer's Urban Learning Center describes 94% of its male population as African-American. There is no cost for enrichment services at the Dreamer's Urban Learning Center. Enrollment and participation for the Dreamer's Urban Learning Center after-school program is open to all youth of the Southwest section of Atlanta with no admission or care costs.

3.1.2. Qualitative Sampling and Data Collection

The research will use the process of qualitative sampling. Qualitative sampling can be described as a process of selection of a members of a small group for the purpose of investigating an event of experience. Criterion sampling will function as the foundation for identifying participants for data collection. (Cooper & Schindler, 2006)

Here, criterion sampling can be defined as a process that involves the identification and development of a particular criterion of importance. It also deals with the articulation of these criteria. The research, which includes criterion sampling, involves the systemic review and in-depth analysis of the cases and events that fulfil the identified criterion set. The basic purpose that underlie the deployment of the criterion sampling is the identification of the major system flaws that need improvement. (Miskowicz, 2007)

Since familiarity is an essential part for the operation of the program, the program director will act as a helpful aid for selecting the partakers for the case studies. (Woodside & Wilson, 2003) The method of triangulation will be used to gather data from each of the participants. Data collection process will include: 1) a total of two hours of one on one interviews, 2) observations of at least one hour for each participant and 3) two-week journal entries addressing each of the research questions.

The Dreamer's staff members are key contributors to the study. The after-school staff consists of the program director; the instructor of academic development; the manager of training and delivery; data specialist; youth support specialist and life coach. The qualifications of the staff members include the following: (a) minimum of an associate degree, (b) two years of childcare services, and (c) the possession of strong communication skills. Each staff member of the Dreamer's Urban Learning Center is obligated to receive constant professional development in the area of organizational management.

3.1.3. Procedures and Negotiating Access

The researcher will follow the university's protocol and governing regulations to secure authorization for the completion of the research study, The experiences of African-American males aged (11-13) and their association with a community-based after-school program in an urban setting in Georgia. Argosy University, Atlanta will be the institution granting permission for the qualitative study. The researcher will submit an expedited application, a checklist, and cover letter to the IRB Review and Certification of Compliance.

As a prerequisite, each participant must serve a minimum of 20 days in the Dreamer's after-school program. For the qualitative study, the researcher shall inquiry 30 candidates as subjects for the purpose of data collection. The researcher will select the candidates on the basis of simple random sampling. Random, here, can be defined as the process of selecting random samples. Under this method, each element of the population has an equal probability of getting selected. (Brus & De Gruijter, 1997)

The researcher will notify the requested participants chosen for the case studies. Permission forms will be mailed for the consent of the participant. Before the researcher proceeds with each participant will be required to sign and return the permission form. Interaction with the participant, for the purpose of getting permission, will be done via telephone contact and email. The researcher will work to build a rapport with the administrators, who in this case will be the contributors, which will establish an environment with a supportive discourse between the participant and the researcher.

Bogdan & Biklen (2003) indicated that the researcher should seek to create a rapport with subjects. This is because it promotes a healthy relationship throughout the research study. At the start of the research process, the researcher must encourage and reassure the contributors, who may feel self-conscious or on edge with the environment or study procedures (Bogdan & Biklen, 2003; Stuberfield, 2008).…

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