Committee Chair

Hinsdale, Bernard

Committee Member

Crawford, Elizabeth K.; Rausch, David W.; O'Brien, Elizabeth R.


School of Professional Studies


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


The purpose of this research study was to analyze and explore the beliefs and cultural values that influence teacher expectations of student achievement in Togo, West Africa. A census was conducted of 93 teachers from the faculties of 15 Christian primary schools partnered with a U.S. based Baptist missions organization. Among partnered schools at the time of this study, teacher training in the area of expectations was often generalized due to the absence of scientific research and published data regarding teacher beliefs and expectations in West Africa. A case study approach was used with multiple data collection methods. The The qualitative data were collected through a twenty-question Likert-type questionnaire and a forced-choice locus of control questionnaire. The qualitative aspect of this study included a series of video-taped ethnographic interviews conducted in focus-groups at each school. The results from the quantitative instruments did not indicate any significant relationships between the teacher responses and the independent variables. The primary independent variable tracked in this study was the school location for each teacher (either rural or urban). The secondary independent variables analyzed were teacher education equivalency, years of teacher experience, teacher certification, grade level taught, class size, teacher gender, teacher age, and teacher ethnicity. The qualitative analysis indentified themes within which the teachers expressed their expectations of student achievement such as a lack of resources, perceived teacher efficacy, communal and national responsibility for education, financial resources and encouragement of students at home. An analysis of the results found that the participating teachers indicated that they highly valued teacher competence, familial financial resources, student nutrition, and innate student abilities as influential factors for student achievement. The findings suggest that the teachers in this study placed a high value upon teacher training and student health-related interventions as means to positively impact student achievement. The results of this study are of interest to education professionals and researchers working in Francophone West Africa.


I would like to express my greatest appreciation to my wife Mary who supported, encouraged, and sustained me in all my endeavors. I would like to thank my parents Harry and Beatrice Ward, who raised me to be the man I am today. I thank my dissertation committee - Doctors Elizabeth Crawford, David Rausch, and Elizabeth O’Brien - for all their hard work. And I want to give a special thanks to the chairman of my dissertation committee, Doctor Hinsdale Bernard, for his guidance through all my doctoral research and writing.


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.




Academic achievement -- Cross-cultural studies; Education -- Africa, West


Expectations; Student achievement; Teachers; Beliefs; Africa; Primary schools

Document Type

Doctoral dissertations




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