School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Connie McDonald

Primary Subject Area

Education, General; Education, Educational Psychology; Education, Bilingual and Multicultural


minorities, perceptions, phenomenological, racism, students, teachers


Research shows that racism is still prevalent in schools today. This qualitative study using a phenomenological design identified different forms of racism in schools and the impact racism has on students and teachers. The study identifies the perceptions 9th-12th grade minority students and high school teachers have regarding racism, and compares and contrast those perceptions in a rural Georgia high school. Participants were selected from a pool of approximately 103 ethnic minority high school students and 68 high school teachers. The participants were selected through purposeful sampling due to ones minority status or employment status. Surveys, individual interviews, and journaling were the data collection methods used in the study. The Social Identity Theory (SIT) was the theoretical framework used when examining data and uncovering themes. The study showed that 28 of the minority students and three non-minority teachers were impacted by racism. The above numbers prove there is a discrepancy between minority student and teacher perceptions of racism. The study describes how racism exists within the school under study. Findings include the affect racism plays on self-esteem, academics, and racial bullying. Suggestions for future studies are also included.