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Teachers' Reported Beliefs and Feelings About Race Talk

Alvarez, Adam (2018) Teachers' Reported Beliefs and Feelings About Race Talk. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This three-article dissertation addressed a central question: What do teachers describe as their beliefs and feelings about race and teaching, and how can we build practices in teacher education to support them? Considering vast evidence of racial inequities, research has stressed that teachers need a deeper understanding of race and the ways in which schools and society have contributed to racial inequity and injustice. First, through a systematic review of literature on race and teacher education, emergent themes illustrated (a) shifts toward race in teacher education programs, (b) components of a race-related curriculum, and (c) pedagogical practices that center race. Next, two empirical studies drew on data from the Teachers Race Talk Survey. The first study built on the concept of self-efficacy to examine differences in and predictors of teachers’ reported feelings of preparedness to discuss race with students. Hypothesis testing and logistic regression analysis of data from 495 teachers revealed that teachers who had race-focused teacher education programs, taught mostly students of color, and had 10 or more years of experience reported significantly higher feelings of preparedness. Race-focused teacher education programs and perceptions of parental and administrator support were significantly strong predictors of preparedness for race talk. The second study used a Color-blind Racism Framework to analyze how 336 White teachers described their beliefs and feelings about talking with students about race and police violence. Findings demonstrated that many White teachers believe race is important to discuss, but they often opt out of race talks due to fear or to protect their own interests, namely their jobs. Regarding police violence, teachers counter their beliefs about the importance of race through their color-blind approach to understand and explain race. This dissertation found that opportunities to learn about race in teacher education programs are essential for supporting teachers in building race-centered practices. Implications for developing teachers’: racial critical consciousness—race consciousness and knowledge and strategies for engaging in practices that disrupt inequities; connections with parents and administrators; and opportunities for race-engagement are discussed. Potential future research with sub-groups of teachers and approaches for incorporating multiple data perspectives are also considered.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Alvarez, Adamaja49@pitt.eduaja49
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMilner, H.
Committee MemberDelale-O'Connor,
Committee MemberHuguley,
Committee MemberPearman, F.
Date: 26 June 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 10 April 2018
Approval Date: 26 June 2018
Submission Date: 23 June 2018
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 181
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Race, Racism, Teacher Education, Critical Consciousness, Survey, Teacher Beliefs
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2018 18:20
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2018 18:20


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