Teachers' Attitudes Toward African American Vernacular English: A Quantitative Correlational Study

Teachers' Attitudes Toward African American Vernacular English: A Quantitative Correlational Study

Author: 
Danny L. Daily Jr
Program of study: 
Ph.D./HEA
Abstract: 
African Americans students, who use African American Vernacular English (AAVE) in the academic setting, receive negative misconceptions by English educators. Negative teacher attitudes might cause African American students to lack commitment to learning. The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to examine whether English teachers of varying ages, ethnicities, genders, education levels, and years of teaching, exhibit varying attitudes toward AAVE speaking students. Data were collected electronically from 110 English teachers using the African American English Teachers Attitude Scale (AAETAS). The results of the analysis of Variance indicated a difference exists regarding the attitudes of English teachers in 33 of the 46 indicators listed by the survey per respondents’ age at the p<.05 level of significance. Based on data presented in Table 8, there was not a significant difference between community college teacher’s ethnicities and their attitude toward AAVE speaking students in 20 of the questions presented. This variable was important because the demographics of those surveyed were represented by 95.7% of the sample population identified as White/Caucasian. It is apparent from these data that 20 of the 46 responses showed no significant differences in respondents’ views based on gender. Data analysis for this study consisted of a one-way ANOVA with Fisher’s positively least significance difference test (n = 94 and p < .05). Type I errors were analyzed using the p.>05 level of significance as opposed to the p<.0031 level of significance as used by Green and Salkind for their study.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this dissertation to the following family members, my sisters: Alisia Laverne Daily and Dan A Monique Peprah, you are wonderful women and even better mothers, my one and only brother Marshall, I am proud of you and love you, keep up the good work, my brother’s beautiful wife: Maritza Daily, my nephews: Jeremiah Justin Peprah and David Isaiah Peprah, my wonderful nieces: Brianna Nichele Alexis Daily and Etienne Marie Anne Elise Daily, my mother and father: Danny L. Daily Sr. and Sandy Mae Daily, they gave me life, and the love of my life and soul mate my precious wife of seventeen years: Latoya S. Daily, and my church family: Life Harvest International Worship Center and Apostolic International Ministries (A.I.M.) because they have always supported me.
Acknowledgements: 
I begin by acknowledging the Almighty. Lord, without your help and support, I could NOT have done this. The journey has been a long one, and I am thankful for the teachers, mentors, friends and family members who have contributed to the completion of such a monumental accomplishment. My Advisory Committee has been selfless and worked tirelessly in their efforts to assist me. I thank them for their patience and instruction. I met Dr. Ann Woolford Singh at the Virginia Beach campus of Tidewater Community College. She was facilitating an Intro to African American Studies course. Within that course, she inspired me with her passion for education and turned a proverbial switch for learning on inside me that burned strong enough for me to complete my A.A., B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. I was moved by her sensitivity as she disseminated knowledge that empowered her students. I chose to make her my academic mentor and have kept in contact with her throughout the process. Role models are to be chosen carefully, and I consider Dr. Anne Woolford Singh is more than just someone to emulate. She is a scholar who has dedicated her life to those who may not yet know themselves as I did not or cannot represent themselves. I appreciate her unconditional willingness to help me. Special thanks go to my chairperson, Dr. Gwendolyn Dooley, who was more than willing to work with me and contributed invaluable time and information about the process. Your wisdom and expertise will always be appreciated. Your constant instruction, attention, and incessant encouragement to complete my studies, have left me indebted to you. To my committee members, Dr. Aucoin and Dr. Bibbins you are the best. Thanks for your support! I am grateful for Dr. Shuntina Johnson. She is a Statistician that was very instrumental in the process. I also had the help of a very skilled editor: Dr. Judy Blando. My parents, Danny and Sandy Daily, my brother, Marshall Joseph Daily and sister in law Maritza Daily, my sisters, Alisia Laverne Daily and Dan a Monique Peprah, you have been excellent and supportive sisters and wonderful mothers, my nephews, Jeremiah Justin and David Isaiah Peprah, and my nieces, Brianna Nichele Alexis Daily and Etienne Marie Anne Elise Daily, have given me an ideal example of a family’s love. My wife, Latoya S. Daily, has been a stable, honest, and encouraging force in this endeavor. She is my compass and my best friend. For spiritual motivation, I thank my church family: Life Harvest International Worship Center and Apostolic International Ministries (A.I.M.). Using the African American English Teacher Attitude Scale would not have been possible without permission from Dr. Faye McNair Knox and Dr. Shirley A. R. Lewis. I thank them along with lead writer Dr. Mary Hoover and co-writer, R.L. Politzer.