Date of Award

5-17-2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Joyce E. King, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Janice B. Fournillier, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Kristen Buras, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Hayward Richardson, Ed.D.

Abstract

Media, including, news, network television, and film communicate messages about people, places, events, and culture that influence the perceptions of those engaged in the media (Bandura, 2001; Hall, 1973). Media has historically portrayed Black Americans stereotypically as morally and intellectually inferior (Bogle, 1994; Entman & Rojecki, 2000; Greenberg et al., 2002). Similarly, media also portrays Black students stereotypically as violent, disrespectful, lazy, athletic, aggressive, and underachieving (Brown, 2011; Ferguson, 2001; Yosso & Garcia, 2010), while teachers have reported holding deficit perceptions about Black students (Chang & Demyan, 2007; DeCastro-Ambrosetti & Cho, 2011). This single exploratory qualitative case study used the Black Studies Theory of Alterity (Wynter, 2003; King, 2006) as the theoretical framework to investigate teachers’ perceptions of media stereotypes about Black urban youth and the influence of their participation in a researcher designed workshop on their understandings. This case study employed a research-as-pedagogy (King, Goss, & McArthur, 2014) data collection method in that the researcher also served as the facilitator of the media workshop. Eighteen pre-service and active teachers enrolled in a multicultural education course and their teacher education professor participated in the three-day media workshop and formed the bounded unit of the case study (Yin, 2009). Data were generated from the three-day media workshop activities and included a demographic survey, artifacts, class discussions, reflection journals, and interview. Data were analyzed using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) six phases of thematic analysis and generated three themes to describe participants’ perceptions and understandings. Theme One, imposing limits, describes the ways stereotypes limit how people think about unknown Black youth, limit humanity by dehumanizing Black youth, and limit Black students’ education. Theme Two, media as a source of influence, describes the power of media to influence the thoughts of individuals and society. Theme Three, humanization, describes the ways participants pushed back against stereotypes during the workshop and engaged in critical thought and reflection to confront their biases and improve professional practice. The findings can be used to inform educational policies and design course curricula for teacher education programs to develop teachers’ critical competencies in embracing student diversity and combatting deficit-based education.

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