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   NON-VERBAL BEHAVIORS OF EFFECTIVE TEACHERS OF AT-RISK  AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALE MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTSFrederick Douglas Boyd, Sr.Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityin partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF EDUCATIONinEducational Leadership and Policy StudiesStephen R. Parson, Co-chair David J. Parks, Co-chair Christina M. DawsonRobert R. RichardsBeth C. SmithApril 18, 2000Blacksburg, VirginiaKey Words: Non-verbal behavior, At-risk African-American males, and Middle SchoolsCopyright 2000, Frederick D. Boyd, Sr.   NON-VERBAL BEHAVIORS OF EFFECTIVE TEACHERS OFAT-RISK AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALE MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTSFrederick Douglas Boyd, Sr.(ABSTRACT)Students in school districts throughout the United States are administered standardizedtests in an effort to assess achievement. These annual "academic rites of passage" serve asmeasures of accountability to the citizenry of every locality served. Many at-risk African-American males score in the lower two quartiles on these tests. Remediationefforts have not significantly raised the achievement of these students. However, there areteachers who are effective with these students. They use both verbal and non-verbal behaviors that facilitate learning. This study was designed to answer the question: Whatnon-verbal behaviors are used by effective teachers of at-risk African-American malemiddle school students?Data were collected via teacher observations using the Non-verbal Behavior Teacher Observation Form, an instrument developed to record nonverbal behaviors of teachers.The instrument consists of thirteen behaviors that cover seven non-verbal domains. Four teachers were observed three times each for thirty minutes and two teachers wereobserved one time. The researcher selected a different at-risk male student eachobservation resulting in a total of fourteen teacher observations and their interactions withfourteen at-risk male students.Descriptive statistics were used to identify most frequently and least frequently used non-verbal behaviors. When effective teachers in this study interacted with the at-risk African-American male middle school students, they frequently were in close proximity,changed their voice inflections, established eye contact, invaded students’ territories(were within two feet), and gestured to students.  The results of this study may be used as a vehicle or catalyst for the implementation of aschool or district-wide training program for teachers of at-risk African-American malestudents. These results may also be used for teacher preparation programs at the collegeor university level.  iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The task of expressing my appreciation, feelings, and intimate thoughts to thoseindividuals who helped me achieve this goal is difficult. Difficult in the sense that anyattempt to capture precisely what each individual’s relationship meant to me, and to do justice on the value I placed on each person’s contribution during my “journey,” is nosmall feat. I will remember this “journey” the rest of my life, but more importantly, I willmost assuredly remember my family and committee members, mentors, and friends whoaccompanied me.A sincere appreciation is extended to my committee. To Dr. Stephen Parson, younot only offered me insightful guidance and valuable advice as co-chair, but you were theconsummate diplomat. To Dr. David Parks, you graciously came on board as co-chair and research advisor during a critical time in my study. Your in-depth, thought- provoking questions and comments, and overall quality control are reflected in thisdissertation. To Dr. Robert Richards, not only did you serve as my temporary advisor,you were always a source of inspiration and encouragement. To Dr. Beth Smith, youunselfishly provided friendship, support, and encouragement. To Dr. Christina Dawson,you served as a substitute during my prospectus examination and agreed to stay on as a permanent member. Your probing questions, suggestions, and advice were trulyappreciated. To Paulette Gardner, your quick responses to my requests for assistancewere truly appreciated. And to Angela Johnson, for the many hours and valuableassistance you provided by typing and proofreading this document. Each of you truly hasmade my life a little richer.This dissertation is dedicated to my family. To the memory of my deceased wife,Mrs.Virginia Hardison Boyd, whose memory I cherish and whose spiritual presence isalways with me. To my two daughters, Mrs. Monica Boyd Barnes and Mrs. Davita BoydWilliams, the love you show and the expressions of how proud you are, are sources of inspiration and encouragement. I love you. To my two sons, Frederick Douglas Boyd, Jr.,and Geoffrey Vincent Boyd, I truly appreciate both of you allowing me to be a "student”  v along with you during part of your middle and high school years. Both of you are loving,hardworking, and goal-oriented young men who make me proud to be your father, friend,and role model. I love you. This dissertation is also dedicated to the cherished memoryof my deceased parents, Mr. Copeland C. Boyd, Sr., and Mrs. Lillian V. Boyd.Education was always a high priority in our home. We established a tradition toencourage, support, share, and celebrate one another’s educational successes. Thus, Idedicate this dissertation to my family with my undying love.
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