Teachers' Perceptions of Student Violence in Public Schools: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study

Teachers' Perceptions of Student Violence in Public Schools: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study

Author: 
Kevin D. Hall
Program of study: 
Ed.D./CI
Abstract: 
There has been an increase in violence in many public schools over the last few decades. While school leaders have attempted to address this problem of violence, no recorded documentation of significant change exists. Teachers are the ones who usually see violent behaviors by students before, during, and after an incident, but many studies do not focus on the teachers’ perceptions of the violence that may occur. Teachers view many different acts of student violence on a regular basis and may provide educational leaders with important information that could reduce this problem. The data collected in this qualitative phenomenological study is an example of the student violence observed by 10 high school teachers in a Detroit-area charter school with 500 students. These teachers have observed students’ behaviors that have resulted in physical violence and verbal abuse. Data were collected by asking the participants questions about their perceptions of student violence. Based upon the results of this study, several key themes including recognizing signs of student violence, teacher communication, leadership support, and Parental support emerged. The research findings for this study demonstrate a need for educational leadership to design and implement professional development sessions for new teachers.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this dissertation and commemorate its completion to my family, friends and all those who helped me stay focused along the way. I would like to thank my parents, David and Joyce Hall, who have taught me from a young child that I could do anything in life if I worked hard and prayed for guidance. My parents have played an important part in the person I have become today by giving me the support, correction, and nurturing to ensure that I become a competent adult with a fear of God. To my children, Amariah Joyous, Kevin Le Bron, and Maleigha Sarai Hall who gave me the strength to carry on during the most difficult times of my life. The smile of your own child is one of the most rewarding sights in life. I want to thank my sister Cheryl L. Hall who has helped me stay on my toes and refused to let me feel sorry for myself. To my brothers David Hall, Jr., and Rodney Hall who have given me the encouragement to remain a strong-willed man who can do all things through Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. Lauren Walker for her encouragement, and help with editing in areas I was weak. Dr. Tammy J. Anderson who had the faith to believe in me when I was not sure of my own abilities. Finally, thanks to my late grandparents, Hudge and Lillie Hall, who made sure that their children and children’s children learned how to love and worship the All Mighty God. I like to also thank my mentor Yvonne Hefner with whom God has blessed me to be my guide through the dissertation process along with Dr. Debra Beebe, and Dr. T. Lee Burnham who served as my committee members. To my village of family and friends who believed in me and gave me support to become the person I am today. I would like to let everyone know how grateful I am.
Acknowledgements: 
In loving memory of David Hall Sr., My motivation and inspiration To Brenda, Amariah, Kevin, and Maliegha, Who kept me motivated through tough times Cheryl, David, and Rodney, For words of comfort during difficult times! To My God for giving me the strength to endure. Thank you, for being part of my village.