Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Educational Policy and Leadership Studies
America's school-age population is experiencing a demographic shift. In 1972, students of color represented 22% of the school-age population; in 2005, minority students accounted for 33% of public school enrollment (Statistics, 2007 Villegas, 2002). This study sought to explore how these changing demographics affected University Town Community Schools, the district's interventions, and teachers' perceptions to those interventions. This study also explored teachers' feelings of efficacy when teaching minority students. Using a qualitative study among third-, fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade elementary school teachers, a random sample of 9 teachers from schools comprising a minority population of at least 40% were interviewed. Data analysis involved the use of themes that emerged from the interview data, observations, and quotations from participants.
The findings indicated that the district acted on a school-by-school basis, with no specific actions to target any one racial group. Meanwhile, teachers were inconsistent when discussing race, behavior, and learning. Teachers felt comfortable assigning behaviors based on race and culture, but were hesitant to assign learning strengths and weaknesses based on race or culture.
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Copyright 2010 Heather Hyatt Kreinbring