Pre-service teachers' perceptions of factors that contribute to ethnic and gender differences in academic achievement

Barbara Smith Mullins, Tennessee State University

Abstract

This study examined pre-service teachers' perceptions of factors that contributed to ethnic and gender differences in academic achievement. The sample consisted of 48 pre-service teachers enrolled in the teacher education program at Tennessee State University. The study utilized a descriptive research design. The survey instrument consisted of two open-ended questions used to assess pre-service teachers' perceptions. The data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential methods. ^ Results of this study revealed age, gender, ethnicity, and program area had no significant effect on pre-service teachers' perceptions of ethnic and gender differences in academic achievement. Other results of the study indicated pre-service teachers recognized school as a contributing factor to ethnic differences in academic achievement. Pre-service teachers lacked in-depth knowledge of factors that contributed to ethnic and gender differences in academic achievement. Their responses were short, simplistic, and lacked little description. A few pre-service teachers believed genetics was a contributing factor to gender differences in academic achievement. ^ Findings of the study indicated a need for teacher education programs to develop curricula that focus on ethnic and gender disparities in academic achievement. In addition, teacher education programs should focus on creating positive attitudes in pre-service teachers and eliminating stereotypical beliefs about ethnic and gender differences in achievement. ^

Subject Area

Education, Teacher Training|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies

Recommended Citation

Barbara Smith Mullins, "Pre-service teachers' perceptions of factors that contribute to ethnic and gender differences in academic achievement" (2005). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3172004.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3172004

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