- April 21, 2014 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
College of Education, room 409
30 Pryor Street Southwest
Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303
Media Stereotypes and Teachers’ Perceptions of Black Youth
by Syreeta McTier
News, network television, and film media communicate messages about people, places, events, and culture that influence the perceptions of those viewing the media. Black Americans have historically been portrayed in television and film media as morally and intellectually inferior, poor, lazy, angry, athletic, aggressive, entertainers, and criminals, and non-Black viewers of television have reported perceiving Black Americans in stereotypical ways. Similarly, Black students have been stereotypically described in media and education literature as violent, disrespectful, lazy, athletic, aggressive, and underachieving while teachers have reported holding deficit perceptions about Black students. This qualitative single explanatory case study uses Wynter’s theory of biocentrism, race and the ethno-class “Man”, Collins’s theory of controlling images, Solorzano and Yassa’s scholarship on racial stereotypes and teacher education, and Bandura’s social cognitive theory of mass communication as the collective theoretical framework to guide its exploration of teachers’ racial perceptions of Black youth, including teachers’ awareness of stereotypes communicated about Black youth in media, and the influence of stereotypes on teachers’ racial perceptions. The participants include 12 teachers enrolled in a cultural diversity education class at a research university in a metropolitan city in the South. Specific research methods include an online demographic survey, Killen’s online Teacher Perception Tool, documentation, direct observation of participants during the cultural diversity class, and dialogue during in-depth photo and video-elicitation interviews that include visual images of Black youth in academic settings, television commercials, and news footage. The data are analyzed using thematic content analysis for commonalities, differences, and emergent themes. This study will contribute to the literature on media stereotypes and teachers’ perceptions of Black youth by using qualitative methods to examine teachers’ frames of reference for developing racial perceptions and images that normalize racial bias.