School climate and teacher beliefs in a school effectively serving poor South Carolina (USA) African-American students: A case study
- ISSN: 0742051X
- DOI: 10.1016/j.tate.2006.11.002
This study examined the roles of school climate, teacher expectations, and instructional practices in one elementary school in South Carolina (USA) that produced effective achievement outcomes with poor and minority students. Survey data, teacher interviews, and classroom videotaping was used to identify school characteristics and instructional behaviors of six teachers nominated by colleagues as exemplary. The school was characterized by an emphasis on high student expectations, school staff cohesiveness, engaging instruction, high parent involvement, and multicultural instruction integrated with curriculum. The practices identified are consistent with literature on effective American schools; and the practices are key aspects of the sound instruction of poor and minority children. Teachers stated that teacher education programs did not prepare them to teach these students and that they had to learn this on the job.