The Impact of Ethnic Identification on Student Learning in the HBCU Classroom

By Rucker, Mary L.; Gendrin, Dominique M. | Journal of Instructional Psychology, September 2003 | Go to article overview

The Impact of Ethnic Identification on Student Learning in the HBCU Classroom


Rucker, Mary L., Gendrin, Dominique M., Journal of Instructional Psychology


This study augments immediacy literature in two ways: first, by exploring an Historically Black University (HBCU) as a communication context; and second, by employing a multidimensional measure of Black identity and teacher immediacy in the HBCU classroom. The findings suggest that the Black identity dimensions have an influence on student perceptions of verbal and nonverbal immediacy and learning outcomes with respect to instructor ethnicity. The findings also suggest that African American instructors are more immediate than their Euro-American counterparts. The findings further suggest that African American students have a stronger identification with their African American instructors than they do with their Euro-American instructors in the HBCU classroom.

Numerous studies have found a positive relationship between teacher immediacy and student affective and cognitive learning (c.f., Andersen, Norton & Nussbaum, 1981: Richmond; Rodriguez, Plax, & Kearney, 1996). While scholars have investigated the relationship between teacher immediacy and student learning, they have relied on subjects who are primarily White, middle-class members of the American culture. Few studies have examined how immediate instructors impact student learning in the multicultural classroom (McCroskey, Sallinen, Fayer, Richmond, & Barraclough, 1996; Neuliep, 1995).

Studies examining the multicultural dimension of communication in the classroom are categories of race (e.g., African American, White, Asian American, Mexican American, etc.) in communication education research does not account for the variability, which exists between members of the same cultural group. Cultural identity is a multidimensional construct in which race is one of its defining elements (Sellers, Shelton, Cooke, Chavous, Rowley, & Smith, 1998). Sellers et al. contended that racial identity influences "behavior at the level of the situation (molecular level) and exhibit consistency across situations (molar level)" [p. 80]. However, there is no consensus regarding what behaviors and attitudes and dispositions are typically African American. Thus, existing research on Black identity, teacher immediacy, and student learning is limited in understanding HBCUs as a communication context. In this study, we extend immediacy research by examining the impact of Black identity on perceived teacher immediacy and cognitive and affective student learning.

African American Cultural Identity

Majority of the psychological research has traditionally focused on "attitudes of majority toward minority groups at the expense of ethnic identity (Walsh, 2001, p. 172). A century ago, W. E. Dubois argued that the only way Blacks will develop a healthy self-concept within this society is to reconcile the dual nature of their identity. Dubois's concept of "double consciousness" best explains the struggle African Americans experience in dealing with their feeling of "twoness, an American, a Negro, two souls, two thoughts ... two warring ideals" (p. 205). Decades of research have since provided contradictory findings on African Americans' attempts to define themselves in relation to race (Hecht & Ribeau, 1987).

Cross's (1978) Model of Psychological Nigrescence was an important attempt to describe the positive nature of racial identity in the lives of African Americans. The model described the development of racial identity as a stage-like process from self-hatred to self-acceptance. For example, the first stage describes the pre-encounter stage where race is not a relevant part of an individual's identity. The second stage describes the encounter stage where individuals are made aware of their racial identity through racially salient situations. These situations may be positive or negative. The third stage, the immersion/emersion stage, is characterized by a strong endorsement of Afrocentric attitudes at the expense of Eurocentric cultural values.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Impact of Ethnic Identification on Student Learning in the HBCU Classroom
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.