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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Examining the Gap: Teachers' Color-Blind Racial Ideology and Deficit Thinking through the Lens of School Discipline
by Accuardi-Gilliam, Joseph Emile, Ed.D., Lewis and Clark College, 2017, 142; 10622699
Abstract (Summary)

Current statistics in education suggest a systemic problem of racist disciplinary practices in schools, as Black males have been demonstrated to be overwhelmingly overrepresented in the practices of school discipline (U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, 2014). While researchers have begun to explore the causes of this phenomenon to find solutions to counteract this trend (Gillborn, 2014; Skiba et al., 2014), little has been done to examine how racism—in the form of racial colorblindness—may play a role in manifesting the discipline gap and perpetuate structural racism in schools. Considering that a majority of the teaching force in the Northwest are white, this research examines how racial color-blind ideologies (Bonilla-Silva, 2014; Neville, Awad, Brooks, Flores, & Bluemel, 2013) and deficit thinking (Valencia, 2010) are related to ideologies of school discipline, which perhaps condition discipline in schools.

This quantitative research combines Neville, Lilly, Duran, Lee, and Browne's (2000) Color-Blind Racial Attitudes Scale, items from Skiba et al.’s (2003) Disciplinare Practices Survey, and scales developed for this study, designed to address deficit thinking (Valencia, 2010) and attitudes toward Black males within disciplinary contexts. An online survey was administered to practitioners in contrasting educational communities within the Northwest. Correlation analyses included examining relationships between components of the survey within and in-between organizations. Furthermore, this study introduces new scale items to address attitudes toward Black males within educational discipline settings, further penetrating the literature base on the topic.

Findings demonstrate significant correlations between color-blind, deficit thinking, and pro-discipline attitudes, suggesting a relationship between educators’ attitudes toward the justification for discipline and color-blind attitudes are perhaps an interwoven issue which contributes to racial disparities in school discipline. These data suggest a need for developing the racial identities of a predominantly white educational workforce in the effort to eliminate the discipline gap.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Feldman, Sue
Commitee: Montgomery, Dawn, Parker, Laura
School: Lewis and Clark College
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: DAI-A 79/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Multicultural Education
Keywords: Deficit thinking, Discipline disproportionality, Discipline gap, Racial color-blindness, Racism, School discipline
Publication Number: 10622699
ISBN: 978-0-355-64349-7
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