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Moving from the utterances of students into action : a phenomenological exploration of students' perceptions of teacher behaviors

  • Author(s): Lawrence, Richard F.
  • et al.

The purpose of this study is to examine how students' perceptions of teachers' behaviors impacts their success in school. This study stems from the achievement gap noticed in students of color or in situations that place them at risk of dropping out of school. In order to explore the achievement gap, much prior research has relied on statistical data taken from adults or outside agencies. These sources often negate the voice of the students that make up these gaps. This study will examine students' perceptions and connections to perceptions and student success in the classroom. The literature reviewed in this case study examines (1) the achievement gap as a phenomenon, (2) students' perspectives, and (3) student voice. An examination of these areas of literature provides substantive support for research needed in the area of the impact of students' perspectives on their academic achievement. Participants in this study include 30 11th- and 12th-grade students attending an alternative high school in south Riverside County, California. Data for this research will be collected through student surveys, interviews, and student writing samples. A modified method of analysis of phenomenological data was used to analyze, group, and derive themes from the data provided from participants' responses. Research findings are presented in this study to inform present and future educators about ways to reach student groups that are most at risk of failing in school

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