Evaluating the effects of perceived student race on preservice teachers’ perceptions of situation severity and requests for student assistance


Stratton-Gadke, Kasee K.

Committee Member

Elder, Anastasia D.

Committee Member

Gadke, Daniel L.

Committee Member

McCleon, Tawny E.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 2 years||12/15/2022

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


There is currently a gap in research related to the potential effects of student race on school consultation and teacher help seeking behavior. It is well documented in the existing research that racial/ethnic bias exists in education at many levels. These biases lead to negative systemic effects such as achievement gaps, disproportionality in discipline, and disproportionality in special education referrals. Biases can also have negative effects on classroom interactions between teachers and students. It seems plausible that if biases exist in other domains of education, that they may also exist in the school consultation process. The purpose of the current study is to fill the gap in the school consultation literature by evaluating pre-service teacher’s ratings of situation severity and their likelihood to seek assistance. Participants (n= 179) were shown 4 vignettes depicting various classroom scenarios and asked to rate both situation severity and their likelihood to seek assistance. Participants were randomized to consider either white sounding names or black sounding names within the vignettes. Findings from this study indicate that perceived student race did not have a significant effect on pre-service teachers’ ratings of situation severity and ratings of situation severity. These findings provide insight into the help seeking behaviors of pre-service teachers. Additionally, results have implications for graduate training in consultation. Limitations to this study as well as recommendations for future research in this area are discussed.



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