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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Teachers' Attitudes toward School Discipline: Studying How a Student's Implied Race May Influence Teachers' Understanding of School Discipline
by Elliott, Lyndzey R., M.A., The George Washington University, 2018, 92; 10742878
Abstract (Summary)

This research explores the ways a student’s implied race may impact teachers’ understanding of school discipline. While the school-to-prison pipeline has been studied extensively, the role of gender, and the factors that may shape the disproportionate punishment of African-American girls, has been neglected. This study focuses on how the implied racial identity of girls may affect which girls are punished for violating school rules, as well as the extent to which they are punished, in some cases also showing how teachers understand their own motivation to punish. This study uses four vignettes to gauge responses to hypothetical rule violations from 34 current and/or former middle or high school teachers in the United States, comparing how the educators respond to differently raced girls who are identified as breaking school disciplinary codes. This study is a small but important piece in analyzing the school-to-prison pipeline and, in particular, to see why race is often a distorting factor in understanding who we punish and how we punish them. One of the findings of this study is that racial and gendered stereotypes and biases may lead to disproportionate and overly harsh school discipline recommendations for African-American girls. Encouragingly, responses from this survey did reflect an unexpected, yet promising shift from punitive to more restorative practices in terms of how some teachers want to handle school code violations. This newer approach to school discipline could potentially reduce the number of suspensions and/or expulsions, possibly lessening the presence of African-American girls in the school-to-prison pipeline.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Buntman, Fran, Eglitis, Daina
School: The George Washington University
Department: Sociology
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: MAI 57/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Womens studies, Multicultural Education, Sociology
Keywords: African-American, Discipline, Gender, Punishment, Race, School-to-prison pipeline
Publication Number: 10742878
ISBN: 978-0-355-60454-2
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