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ERIC Number: ED516635
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 431
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-0695-6
Illinois Secondary Principals' Perceptions and Expectations Concerning Students Who Use African American Vernacular English in an Academic Setting
McClendon, Garrard Overton
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Loyola University Chicago
This study investigates principals' individual and aggregate perceptions of and expectations for students who use African American Vernacular English. Using the African American English Teacher Attitude Scale (AAETAS), the study seeks to describe the relationship between principals' demographic characteristics and their perceptions of African American Vernacular English. The study uses raw scores from the AAETAS instrument created by Hoover, McNair-Knox, Lewis and Politzer (1997) and codes the principals' perceptions of AAVE in a histogram. Principals' demographic information was gathered on the following categories: race, gender, home language, county location, childhood hometown community, age, years in education, years as a teacher, years in administration, student socio-economic class, school's dominate culture, and total school enrollment. The results show an overall attitude of mild acceptance of AAVE in about 80% of the respondents. Five principals reported to having a negative attitude toward AAVE. Demographic factors such as gender, race, school location, enrollment, socio-economic status, age of principal, hometown setting and dialect were shown to influence principals' perceptions and expectations of African American Vernacular English. Principals may want to view the AAVE as different as opposed to derogatory, deviant, or deficient (Jonsberg 2001). This study found that a majority of the high school principals in Cook County, IL, who completed the principal's profile and the African American English Teacher Attitude Scale were in the "Difference" category. "Difference" means that listeners view AAVE as different and not necessarily negative. Seventeen respondents out of 22 (77.3%) were in this category. "Deficit" represents a strongly negative attitude towards AAVE. Five out of 22 principals were in this category (22.7%). "Excellence" is a strong positive attitude towards AAVE. No principals fell into this category. Because this is a qualitative study, the principals' responses have been explained through narrative. The findings in this study showed that most principals are neutral to mildly positive about AAVE and have neutral to mildly positive expectations for students who use AAVE. Five of the 22 school principals in this study indicated that the dialect could be harmful to one's academic career, and they perceived AAVE as a dialect they would mildly prefer students not use. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois