Committee Chair

Petzko, Vicki; Bernard, Hinsdale

Committee Member

Partridge, Chrystal; Watson, Sandra


Dept. of Education


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Prior research has indicated that teacher beliefs can negatively affect teacher behavior. These beliefs often include unrecognized prejudices/biases regarding diversity including race, class and gender, which can lead to learning, communication and achievement issues between diverse students and their teachers. The main purpose of this research was to determine the relationship of both personal and professional teacher diversity belief typologies to student achievement in middle level math class rooms in North Georgia in 2009. The study attempted to answer the following research questions: 1. What were the personal/professional diversity belief typologies for middle level teachers who teach diverse populations? 2. Was there a significant relationship between teacher diversity belief typologies and teacher demographics (ex. Race/ethnic background, gender, age, years teaching, education level, exposure to diversity training, participation in multicultural training and/or cultural experiences)? 3. Was there a significant relationship between diversity belief typologies and average student mathematics achievement scores (ASMA) of teachers in middle and elementary schools serving diverse populations? The Personal Beliefs About Diversity Scale (PerBADS) and The Professional Beliefs About Diversity Scale (ProBADS) were used to classify teacher diversity belief typologies. Teacher ASMA scores were determined by averaging the final percentage based score of both the highest achieving and lowest achieving classes. Four typologies were developed based on the combined scores from the ProBADS and PerBADS. The four typologies were as followed: High Professional/ Low Personal (Typology 1), High Professional/ High Personal (Typology 2), Low Professional/Low Personal (Typology 3) and Low Professional/ High Personal (Typology 4). No significant relationship was found between teacher diversity belief typologies and the teacher demographics of race/ethnic background, gender, years teaching, education level, frequency of exposure to diversity, participation in multicultural course work and/or cultural experiences. However, there was a significant relationship between having a gay/lesbian personal friend(s) and teacher diversity belief typologies. No significant relationship was found between teacher diversity belief typologies and tea cher ASMA scores. Identifying these types of beliefs and understanding the potential impact on students is imperative if we want to impact and increase achievement for diverse students.


Ed. D.; A dissertation submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Education.




Multicultural education; Effective teaching


Educational Leadership

Document Type

Doctoral dissertations




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