General educators' perceptions of African American males prior to pre-referral

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Charmion B. Rush (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Marilyn Friend

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine general education teachers' perceptions of African American males to identify specific student characteristics and other variables that influence referral decision-making. The theoretical framework used to guide this study explored tenants of Critical Race Theory (CRT) to examine the practices and beliefs of 216 educators from a mid-sized school district in North Carolina in grades kindergarten-fifth. Twelve interviewees also were chosen, from the original pool of participants, to generate data relative to referral reasons. A mixed methods approach was used to describe the identification process. Measures for this study included an on-line survey and semi-structured interviews developed by the researcher. Areas surveyed included environmental factors, hereditary factors, certain biases, low socio-economic status, students' use of culturally different speech patterns and dress, lack of clarity in school guidelines for special education referrals, subjectivity in the county referral process, and African American males being raised by extended family. Two opened questions allowed participants to address other significant aspects considered relevant for referral. The majority of the participants were Caucasian, females in their mid-thirties, who had more than 10 years of experience. Based on quantitative analysis, four factors emerged as key points for referrals. These included African American males "Raised by extended family"; "Cultural biases" among teachers; "Ineffective trainings" for teachers; and student "Environmental factors". Qualitative findings, however, both supported and refuted these findings. The findings of this study are discussed, including the implications for future research.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
African American males, Critical Race Theory, Disproportionate Representation, Educator's perceptions, Overrepresentation, Pre-referral
Elementary school teachers $z North Carolina $x Attitudes
African American boys $x Education $z North Carolina
Special education $x Social aspects $z North Carolina
Discrimination in education $z North Carolina

Email this document to