The effect of racial/ethnic identification on the relationship between racial attitudes and teacher responses to hypothetical interracial interaction situtions



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Purpose of the Study. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of racial/ethnic identification of teachers on the relationship between attitudes and perceived interaction with three different racial/ethnic student groups. These groups include Mexican-Americans, Afro-Americans, and Anglo-Americans. Procedures. Since it was not necessary in this study to generalize to the population, analytical sampling rather than representative sampling was used. The sampling was first stratified by actual race and then later stratified by racial/ethnic identification for statistical analysis. Twenty-four hypotheses stemming from three specific variables (racial/ethnic identification, racial attitudes, and perceived interaction) were derived and tested. Five hundred forty teachers were included in the sample. The statistical analysis for the study was limited to nonparametric technique employing the Contingency Coefficient for assessing relationships and Chi-Square for assessing statistical significance. Although Chi-Square values were conputed for each group, modal percentage patterns were used to discern the substantive significance especially when Chi-Square was not significant at the desired level (.05). In order to gather data for the investigation, respondents were contacted to obtain their willingness to participate in the study, and with their consent, the self-administered inventory was made available to them. Conclusions. The findings which resulted from testing the hypotheses were not consistent, to a great extent, with the predicted outcome but certain trends did emerge. These trends inplied that fundamental discrepancies remain in attitudinal tendencies with teachers relating to students, especially across racial/ethnic groups. The scoring patterns which were derived from the statistical analysis are listed as follows: 1. The investigation clearly revealed that teachers see students from varied racial/ethnic groups differently. 2. Basically the investigation indicated that teachers tended to be more positive than negative in their perceived interaction and attitude toward all three racial/ethnic student groups. 3. The findings also indicated that Mexican-American and Afro-American teachers in the study had a greater tendency to select Anglo-Americans for their association preference than they did eacli other. 4. For the most part, teachers tended to relate in a more positive manner to the students with idiom they identified, regardless of their attitude toward them. 5. Mexican-Americans and Afro-Americans tended to rate highest in identifying with their own respective racial/ethnic group. However, Mexican-Americans tended to identify with Anglo-Americans at a much higher percentage than did Afro-Americans. 6. The findings strongly indicated that overall the largest percentage of teachers identified with Anglo-Americans. 7. Afro and Anglo-Americans were more positive and identified more with each other than they did with Mexican-Americans. 8. Overall, teachers in the study tended to be less positive toward Afro-Americans. Reconmendations. As a result of the sturfy, the following reconmen.dations were made. It was recamended that more enphasis be placed cn specific training of teachers to work with, various racial/ethnic groups. It was also recommended that more real experiences be provided for perspective teachers with various racial/ethnic groups prior to their actual teaching experiences. Allowances should be made for in-service teachers with different capacities, expressed feelings and/or attitudes toward situations or student groups. Criteria should be specified vhich would enable selection and placement of teachers where they can render services that will be beneficial to themselves and their students.