Title

School climate and racial awareness: An exploratory analysis

Date of Completion

January 2009

Keywords

Education, Guidance and Counseling|Education, Educational Psychology

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

School climate, or a student's feelings of connection to his or her school community, has been positively associated with student's academic achievement, school success, self-esteem and the educator-student relationship. An important aspect of students' of color perceptions of school climate is the ability to talk with school staff about personal issues or concerns. Teachers with a colorblind racial attitude or low racial awareness and students with high racial awareness might report differences in school climate and the educator-student relationship based on level of racial awareness. Students and teachers in an urban high school were given questionnaires to identify level of racial awareness and perceptions of school climate. Responses on questionnaires were analyzed and it was found that there is a relationship between school climate and racial awareness. A relationship between racial awareness and perceptions of the educator-student relationship was also found. Suggestions for future research in this area are discussed, including the importance of racial dialogues in schools. ^