Teacher Characteristics And Their Decision To Recommend Placement Of African American Male Students In Special Education
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentEducation and Urban Studies
ProgramDoctor of Education
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The purpose of this quantitative study was to investigate the possible relationships between teacher characteristics and their decisions to recommend placement of African American male students for special education. The teacher characteristics (gender, race, age, years of teaching service, self-efficacy and teacher expectations) were the independent variables. The independent variable, teachers' self-efficacy, was measured by the Tschannen Moran and Hoy (2001), Teacher Self Efficacy Scale (TSES)-short form. The independent variable, teacher expectations, was measured using the Student in the Classroom Survey (Auwarter & Aruguete, 2008). Data collection also included the use of a vignette describing the behaviors of a hypothetical student. The hypothetical student is a low socio-economic, African American male student with average intelligence. Teachers were asked to read the vignette and indicate the likelihood that they would decide to recommend placement of that student for special education. A total of one hundred and twenty-one teachers were selected as participants for this study. Approximately fifty-seven teachers participated in the study. The findings suggested that: (a) there is a relationship between the teacher characteristic of race and the decision to recommend placement of an African American male student for special education; (b) there is no significant relationship between the teacher characteristics of gender, age, years of teaching service and self-efficacy and the decision to recommend placement of African American, male students for special education; (c) There is a correlation between teachers' beliefs regarding the potential future academic achievement of African American male students and their decision to recommend placement of African American male students in special education. (d) there is no significant correlation between teachers' self-efficacy scores, teachers' future academic expectations of African American male students, teachers' academic expectations of African American male students' need for support services, teachers' academic expectations of the African American male students based on personal characteristics and the decision to recommend placement of African American, male students for special education. This study includes recommendations for future policies and practices which can assist school systems, supervisors, administrators, and staff members with reducing the disparity in recommendations for special education between African American male students and their majority counterparts.