The impact of teachers’ attitudes and perceptions on the under representation of African American students in gifted education programs

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Issue Date
2010-05
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Authors
Schreiner, J. Kathryn
Advisor
Bakken, Linda
Citation
Abstract

This research studied the potential impact of teachers’ attitudes and perceptions on the under representation of African American students in gifted education programs. The study was conducted in an urban, Midwest school district with 322 elementary school teachers participating. Results indicated that, in general, teachers perceive that African American learners have a more difficult time learning than do students from other ethnic groups. The mean score for White teachers was significantly higher than the mean scores for Minorities. Results also indicated that, in general, teachers perceive that, although African American learners are served at a higher rate than White students in special education programs, they are not misidentified, and thus belong in those programs when they are placed there. The mean scores of Minority teachers, teachers over the age of 35, and teachers who had taught more than 15 years were significantly lower, although their scores still indicated a general agreement with the idea that they are not misidentified. The final significant finding was that younger teachers (22 – 35 years of age) felt that they have had more adequate training in how to teach students from different cultural backgrounds. This did not, however, seem to make any difference in their attitudes toward African American learners’ ability to learn or misidentification.

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Thesis (M.Ed.)--Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Counseling, Educational and School Psychology
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