Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Pan-African Studies

Degree Program

Pan-African Studies, MA

Committee Chair

Rajack-Talley, Theresa

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Byrd, W. Carson

Committee Member

Byrd, W. Carson

Committee Member

Brooms, Derrick

Author's Keywords

race-based stereotypes; African American; bias; education; teacher decision makikng points


This thesis examines teacher bias in elementary school through a thorough investigation of prior research focused on this topic, along with historical accounts of African American education. The basic question of the thesis is: To what extent does teacher bias affect the educational experiences of African American students and lead to a persistent educational gap between African Americans and whites? The study found that teacher bias of African American students does exist particularly those from low-income neighborhoods. Moreover, the biases are based on certain assumptions that can be traced to the historical discrimination of African American in education, as well as assumptions about how African American cultural capital and socioeconomic status influence their value of education. In conclusion, the findings suggest that although policies and guidelines exist, there is room where personal biases based on stereotypes impact 5 decision making points and 8 judgement areas that negatively influence disciplinary dispositions and the academic evaluation of African American students. Not addressing racial discrimination and disparities in education reflects institutional racism, the continued subordination of minorities and control of white privilege.