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ERIC Number: ED531363
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 196
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-0162-9
An Analysis of School Culture
Grace, Ronald A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Alabama
This study offers an exploratory account of school climate, culture, and Black identity as posited by Milliones' (1980) Four Stages of Black Consciousness model. According to the literature schools having high populations of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds are considered problematic. Culture and climate significantly impact school achievement. These are of particular importance when students face negative influences from the home environment. The literature also indicates that teachers tend to hold lower expectations for students who have low SES. The study examined this problem through interviews, a survey instrument, and classroom observations. The findings were somewhat different than expected. The survey found the school's climate to be non-toxic and adequate for academic achievement. The purposeful group interview showed a belief that teachers have high expectations of the students and students have confidence in their academic ability and likelihood of future success. The group also believed students are developing a positive racial identity as Blacks. There is little sign that they have internalized racist stereotypes or feel a need to confront other groups about racism. This shows they have positive attitudes about themselves and others. Classroom observations also revealed that fifth grade classes have a positive climate. Classroom activities in personalization, participation, instructional differentiation, teacher expectations, and classroom management were frequently observed as favorable. Ironically, though the school is believed to promote growth in racial identity, the personal development section of the classroom observation instrument revealed lower scores or less frequent favorable activity than any other section. This needs to be addressed in order to enhance personal and racial identity growth. This research adds to the body of knowledge and supported current research pertaining to school climate and culture in several ways. No study of this type had been conducted in a minority school in a mid-size southern city and district having mostly minority students, but with a large number of racial segregated schools. As such, the findings have important implications for urban school policy and suggest a number of significant future research studies. [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: Elementary Education; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A