Date of Award

Summer 8-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Chair

Dr. Thelma Roberson

Committee Chair Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 2

Dr. James Johnson

Committee Member 3

Dr. Myron Labat

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 4

Dr. David Lee

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Abstract

Wong and Wong (2004) reported teachers‟ perceptions could become a self-fulfilling prophecy when addressing the students. According to Haycock (2001) once teachers‟ perceptions had developed, even if they were inaccurate, teachers would begin to act as if their beliefs were factual. By acting as though the beliefs were real, teachers could essentially cause their perceptions to materialize into the expectations of students. The purpose of this study is to explore teachers‟ expectations of students in a predominantly African American school district. Ferguson (1998) had considered the behaviors in which teachers' perceptions of the students‟ impact their expectations towards the students. Ferguson (1998) asserted that teachers in integrated schools can be biased in ways as simple as reinforcing a propensity of Caucasian children to speak more often in class. As a result, African American students may assume that the teachers think Caucasians are smarter and like the Caucasian students better than the African American students.

This study had several purposes. First, the study investigated the significance of a relationship between teacher expectations, gender, and ethnicity. Secondly, this study investigated the significance of a relationship between teacher expectations, advanced degree level, and grade level taught. Thirdly, the study investigated the significance of a relationship between teacher expectations, certification, and grade level.

The sample included 46 respondents that consisted of 33 female teachers and 13 male teachers. Respondents‟ answers to a 39-item questionnaire underwent statistical analysis including descriptive statistics and multiple regression tests to address three research questions. The major findings revealed no significant relationship between teacher expectations, gender, ethnicity, grade levels, and certification, but revealed a significant relationship between teacher expectations and advance degree levels. The findings revealed teachers who possessed graduate degrees held lower expectation for students than teachers that held an undergraduate degree. Teachers possessing a Master‟s degree held lower expectations than teachers with a Specialist degree. No teachers that held a doctoral degree participated in this research. Nonetheless, this research did not support the premise that teacher expectations were connected to the other demographic variables tested.