Classroom climates and students' intergroup behavior

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Abstract

Conducted observations in 99 desegregated elementary school classes (kindergarten through 6th grade) to determine the relationship between classroom conditions and pupils' interracial behaviors. Results of factor and regression analyses indicate that 2 types of observed interracial behavior were associated with different classroom environments. Diffuse positive intergroup contacts were more likely to occur in classes in which teachers emphasized interpersonal concerns. Although businesslike environments impeded overall cross-racial association, they had no effect on more purposeful intergroup contacts, which were facilitated by teacher patience and by diversity in instructional arrangements. These findings suggest that tensions between the social and academic objectives of multiracial education might be resolved by emphasizing purposeful interactions among children of different racial backgrounds. (22 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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