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ERIC Number: ED531130
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 207
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-0864-2
A Study of Teachers, Students, and Parents' Perceptions of How School Climate Affects African-American and Latino Students
Taylor, Susan M.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
Nationally, educational disparities have resulted in a significant achievement gap among African American and Latino students compared to European American students. Cognitive theorists including Piaget, Bruner, and Vygotsky believe that one's environment has an effect on learning. This qualitative case study examined teacher, student, and parent perceptions of existing school climate and gleaned suggestions from participants regarding strategies for improving the climate. Data were collected using focus group and individual interviews with 5 African American teachers, 12 European American teachers, and 1 Latino teacher. Thirty-nine African American and 5 Latino students participated, along with 1 African American parent and two Latino parents. Interview transcripts were analyzed using an interpretative and inductive analytical approach with predetermined categories of respect, value, caring, belonging, and safety. Common patterns and themes were developed into generalizations describing the school climate. The results of the study supported the premise that environment has an effect on learning. Findings revealed that instruction, safety, and respect were jeopardized due to chronic behavior problems among students. Findings also reported that a lack of understanding of cultural diversity affected a sense of value, caring, and belonging. These findings promote positive social change in that they provide data that supports attending to school climate variables and implement strategies that serve to improve communication, safety, and the acceptance of diverse cultures. Attention to climate variables may also promote a positive social environment that positively impacts academic achievement among culturally diverse students. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A