Cultural considerations in teachers' perceptions of student classroom behavior and achievement

Kenneth M. Tyler, A. Wade Boykin, Tia R. Walton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


This study examines teachers' perceptions of classroom motivation and achievement among students displaying culture-based classroom behaviors. Sixty-two elementary school teachers read scenarios of hypothetical students who behaviorally manifested themes purported to be consistent with a European/mainstream cultural ethos (competition, individualism) or Afrocultural ethos (communalism, verve). Teachers then rated students' motivation and achievement as if they were in their classrooms. Motivation and achievement ratings were significantly higher for students displaying competitive and individualistic classroom behaviors than communal or vervistic behaviors. These findings suggest that the value teachers assign to academic success should not be understood in the absence of cultural considerations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)998-1005
Number of pages8
JournalTeaching and Teacher Education
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) US Department of Education (R-117-D40005). The opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of IES, and no official endorsement should be inferred. This study was part of the third author's master thesis project while a graduate student at Howard University.


  • Cultural orientation
  • Culture
  • Teachers' perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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