ERIC Number: ED381827
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Professor Perceptions of the Influence of Race on Classroom Dynamics and Credibility.
Hendrix, Katherine Grace
A qualitative case study examined professor perceptions of the influence of race on the establishment of credibility in the classroom. Non-participant observation and semi-structured interviews elicited participant-generated conceptualizations of credibility of three Black and three White professors in the Northwest. Results indicated that teaching at a predominantly white institution presented particular challenges for the Black professors. The three professors were cognizant of their "minority" status and believed that white students applied a different set of criteria for judging their classroom credibility and/or a more stringent set of standards than their Black students. However, they also acknowledged the need to earn credibility in the eyes of Black students. These professors believed that emphasizing their academic and field qualifications at the onset of the academic term was crucial to establishing their credibility as well as commanding the respect of the students enrolled in their courses. The three white professors were accustomed to classrooms where the majority of their students were of the same race as the professor. As a result, they worried less about their race influencing student perceptions. However, when presented with a scenario of teaching at a predominantly Black university, all three indicated they would take less for granted about their campus and classroom environment, and all indicated they would seek counsel from Black friends and colleagues regarding what to do, what to say, and how to say it. (Contains 34 references. The survey instrument is attached.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: United States (Northwest)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western States Communication Association (Portland, OR, February 10-14, 1995).