ERIC Number: EJ817298
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 18
Fluttering around the Racial Tension of Trust: Proximal Approaches to Suspended Black Student-Teacher Relationships
Stevenson, Howard C.
School Psychology Review, v37 n3 p354-358 2008
This article presents the author's response to the article by Gregory and Ripski (2008) on adolescent trust in teachers. The authors have done a thorough job of explaining the background literature on teacher-student relationship trust, laying out how this relationship might lead to suspension rates and discussing the consequences of teacher trust for student well-being and future life challenges within the educational, employment, and justice systems. They also rightly identify that the vulnerability of school suspensions disproportionately falls on Black students and target student-teacher relational dynamics as the troubling source of this injustice. In this article, the author proposes that to understand more fully the dynamics of Black student-teacher relationships, there must be more attention given to a theoretical framework that encompasses the need for culturally relevant constructs. Using transactional stress and coping theory, he suggests that teacher-student relationships are stressful interactions that have the potential of being perceived as threats or challenges by both parties and that this primary appraisal is followed by the secondary appraisal of controllability or self-efficacy. Coping reactions to these two appraisals of threat or controllability rest at the heart of one's analysis of teacher-Black student relationships, except for one significant condition: The stressful nature of the relationship is racial and the skills necessary for managing such a stressor are often nonexistent in preservice and veteran teacher corps or within teacher education degree programs.
Descriptors: African American Students, Suspension, Trust (Psychology), Self Efficacy, Coping, Teacher Student Relationship, Adolescents, Stereotypes, African American Children, Disproportionate Representation, Expulsion, Racial Relations
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
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