American Sociological Association

Utilizing Multidimensional Measures of Race in Education Research: The Case of Teacher Perceptions

Education scholarship on race using quantitative data analysis consists largely of studies on the black-white dichotomy and, more recently, on the experiences of students within conventional racial-ethnic categories (white, Hispanic/Latina/o, Asian, black). Despite substantial shifts in the racial and ethnic composition of American children, studies continue to overlook the diverse racialized experiences for students of Asian and Latina/o descent, the racialization of immigration status, and the educational experiences of Native American students. This study provides one possible strategy for developing multidimensional measures of race using large-scale datasets and demonstrates the utility of multidimensional measures for examining educational inequality, using teacher perceptions of student behavior as a case in point. With data from the first grade wave of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Cohort of 1998–1999, I examine differences in teacher ratings of "externalizing problem behaviors" and "approaches to learning" across 14 racialized subgroups at the intersections of race, ethnicity, and immigrant status. Results show substantial subgroup variation in teacher perceptions of problem and learning behaviors and highlight key points of divergence and convergence within conventional racial-ethnic categories.


Irizarry, Y.





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