Teachers' perceptions regarding African American students' culture and classroom behavior

Genevieve Yarrell-Harris, Fordham University


This study explored teachers' perceptions regarding African American students' culture and their classroom behavior. The research was designed to help identify teachers' own ideas, feelings, and thoughts about cultural processes and student behavior in an intact naturalistic classroom setting. A qualitative methodology was chosen given the exploratory nature of the research. The target sample included 4 Black and 4 White middle-class teachers who work in an urban school. An in-depth analysis yielded 6 major themes and 15 subthemes. Major themes addressed the following: importance of education to teachers and their commitment, understanding, and sensitivity toward students; teachers' perception of self; cultural infusion and communication; expectations of teachers and students regarding classroom behavior; issues of discipline and behavior; and teacher resentment and other sentiments toward parents and community. Limitations of the present exploratory study were related to the methodology and the nature of the sample. Finally, implications for schools and teacher training were discussed.

Subject Area

Behaviorial sciences|Academic guidance counseling|African Americans

Recommended Citation

Yarrell-Harris, Genevieve, "Teachers' perceptions regarding African American students' culture and classroom behavior" (2003). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3084919.