Prospectus Presentation – Dan A. Sims

April 16, 2014 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
College of Education, room 409
30 Pryor Street Southwest
Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303

The Impact of Teacher Perceptions and Practices on the Quality of Transitional Experiences for African-American Males Entering High School
by Dan A. Sims

The dilemma of African-American male achievement continues to challenge American school systems. In light of this challenge, African-American males pose the greatest risk of not succeeding in high school. Differences in learning styles, behavior patterns, and environmental influences further contribute to the problem. Teacher perceptions of African-American males also impact their success in academic environments. Students in general struggle during the transition from middle to high school, where they are confronted with academic, behavioral, and social factors that take on new meaning in the different setting. This difficulty of transition differs
across races of students, again highlighting greater issues for minority students.

This study examines how teachers’ perceptions and practices impact the quality of preparations for transitional programs and interventions for African-American male students entering high school. The two major areas of inquiry will be (a) teacher perceptions of African-American male students and (b) teacher perceptions of the impact of practices on this group during transitional experiences. Essentially, the goal is to learn how these two areas impact the opportunity for the success of African-American males as they enter high school. Through interviews of teachers and active participation in planning for transitional experiences this study seeks to address
the impact of teacher perceptions in order to build a case for the improvement of teacher practices, which may subsequently improve the academic achievement of African-American males.