Student alienation from school is a major cause of dropping out of high school and poor teacher-student relationships are often cited in describing student alienation. An under-studied aspect of poor teacher-student relationships is student perception that teachers treat some students differently because of the student's ethnicity. Previous studies on this topic have been isolated to dropouts and minority students, and have been conducted using small numbers of participants. Thus, it is unknown what the prevalence of such perceptions in the overall student population are, as well as perception differences by dropout status and ethnicity. The present study addressed these issues by utilizing a large-scale dropout database to describe student perception of teacher ethnic bias in Mexican American and non-Latino white dropouts, students at risk of dropping out, and students in the overall school population. Results indicated that although perceptions of teacher ethnic bias are not rampant, such perceptions exist, more so in dropouts, Mexican American adolescents, and males. Implications for future research, schools, teachers, and teacher preparation programs are discussed.


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pp. 27-37
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