Teacher perception of verbal reinforcement versus tangible reinforcement with regard to academic achievement for the African -American middle school male

Janis K. Cooper Dunn, Tennessee State University

Abstract

This research explores teacher perception of verbal reinforcement versus tangible reinforcement with regard to academic achievement for the African-American middle school male. The African-American middle school male is a segment of our population who has special concerns with regard to educational issues. To educators, parents and other concerned members of society it has been a continuous campaign trying to determine how to best motivate academic achievement for this “at risk” group. Current research shows that African-American male students are more likely to be placed in special education classes, drop out of school, and be perpetrators and victims of violent crimes. With this despairing future outlook for African-American male students, it is pertinent that educators reevaluate their current methods of reinforcement and motivation methods used for the group. This study evaluated three Southeast Mississippi School Districts teachers perception of verbal reinforcement versus tangible reinforcement. The school districts were Gulfport Public Schools, Harrison County Public School and Moss Point Public School. A questionnaire constructed by the researcher was field tested by middle school teachers from Moss Point Mississippi Public School for content clarity and validity that yielded positive results. The study investigated and compared majority and minority teachers' perceptions of verbal/tangible reinforcement, differences in gender perceptions, the differences in years of teaching experiences with regard to African-American male middle school students as it relates to academic achievement. This was centered on three related null hypotheses. The results indicated when comparing men and women middle school teachers, there were no statistically significant differences in responses. However, when comparing majority and minority teachers' perception of verbal/tangible reinforcement, regarding African-American middle school male students, there was a significant difference. In comparing teachers with 4 or more years of teaching experience as compared to those with less than 4 years of experience, there was no statistical significant difference based on years of experience in regards to perceptions about the type of motivation African-American male students should receive. The recommendations in the study are indicative of the findings of the research. ^

Subject Area

Black Studies|Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Secondary|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Janis K. Cooper Dunn, "Teacher perception of verbal reinforcement versus tangible reinforcement with regard to academic achievement for the African -American middle school male" (2003). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3107457.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3107457

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