Leadership Studies Ed.D. Dissertations


Developing an Instrument to Measure Educator Perceptions of African American Male Students PreK - 12

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Patrick D. Pauken (Advisor)

Second Advisor

Alicia Mrachko (Other)

Third Advisor

Philip T.K. Daniel (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Paul A. Johnson (Committee Member)

Fifth Advisor

Matthew Lavery (Committee Member)


Educators are important in the academic and social development of students. Educator perceptions carry significant weight when interpreting behaviors, skills, and abilities of students (Beckford, 2016; Simson, 2013). Research that investigates the possible consequences of educator perceptions of African American males and the relationship of those perceptions to student outcomes is scant.

This exploratory sequential research study reported psychometric properties of an instrument developed to examine educator perceptions of African American males held by public educators in PreK12. Extant research suggests that educator perceptions of Black males are more negative than those of noneducators (see Foster, 1995; Quinn, 2017). Specifically, overall perceptions of educators regarding African American males are negative (Fitzgerald, 2009; Foster, 1995; Jackson & Crawley, 2003). The instrument created for the present study will guide future research that will enable researchers to examine the relationships between educator perceptions and outcomes for African American male students (e.g., eligibility in special education for EBDs).

Examining validity evidence for the public educator perceptions of African American males survey (PEPAAMS) PreK12 revealed significant relationships between educators (1) answering on behalf of the average person and (2) self-reporting personal perceptions. This study also found that the adapted brief social desirability scale did not function as intended. The ABSDS was not a reliable measure to differentiate which dependent variable is best to use when there were different scores for personal and average perceptions of public educators using a paired samples t-Test and MANOVA. Due to the inadequacy of the ABSDS, findings revealed that personal value statements were a better indicator for determining which perceptions scores were more reliable to use. Finally, this study concluded that educators who were truly low prejudice (see Hing et al., 2008) were least likely to hold negative personal perceptions of African American male students.