Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name



Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Professor Sidney Rabsatt


The purpose of this research was to study the equity values of principals and teachers and to determine if there existed a relationship between values reported by teachers and principals and behaviors demonstrated by teachers in the classroom. Further, the study investigated the relationship between teacher perception of principal equity and teacher equity performance in the classroom. Additionally, the study investigated whether teacher classroom equity behaviors were different for African American, white, female, and male students.

The sample for the study consisted of 18 junior high and secondary English and mathematics teachers, 12 principals matched with the 18 teachers, and 360 students selected from a summer school program located in a large metropolitan school system.

Principals and teachers completed a questionnaire assessing their equity values. Trained observers assessed teacher equity behaviors of response opportunities, praise, and proximity in the classroom.

Correlational statistical analyses of the data were conducted to determine relationships between perceptions and values. ANOVA statistical analyses of the data were conducted to determine teacher equity behaviors toward students of different races and gender.

Findings indicated that teachers and principals in the study reported similar high equity values; however, when teachers were matched with their own principals, there were few significant relationships among teacher- and principal-reported values and teacher-observed behavior. Teacher interactions with students revealed inequities in treatment of male, female, African American, and white students; white male students received more positive interactions and African American females received fewer total interactions. Rating themselves on the questionnaire, teachers reported high student expectations; however, the classroom observation data, a much stronger indicator of teaching behavior, did not substantiate teacher-reported equity values.

The results of this study suggest a need for equity training for principals and teachers as well as for investigation of teacher interaction with female and African American students.

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