The majority of the preservice teacher population is young, White, and female; however, the urban school system student population continues to become increasingly diverse, including an increasing population of underserved Black students in urban schools. The racial differences between the preservice teacher population and the urban student population complicates the challenges faced in educating Black students effectively. Teachers and students often encounter misunderstandings, and thus, utilize incompatible styles of classroom management and instruction, often resulting in Black students experiencing difficulties with learning. Many of these complications derive from the profound presence of race, racial difference, and racial inequality throughout U.S. history. The purpose of this research was to explore the racial ideas, experiences, and attitudes of preservice teachers, who self-identify as White, toward future Black students at a large, southeastern, Research I university through a qualitative interview process. More specifically, this study examined preservice teachers’ cultural sensitivity towards Black students. This study also observed preservice teachers’ ability to discuss these issues. Using information from a 10-question qualitative interview of three (3) research participants, this thesis explored the following questions: Research question one (RQ1): How do preservice teachers define race and racism?, Research question two (RQ2): What factors contribute to preservice teachers’ racial perspectives?, and Research question three (RQ3): What are preservice teachers’ attitudes towards students who are racially different from themselves, specifically Black students?

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Puig, Enrique A.


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Education and Human Performance


Teaching, Learning, and Leadership

Degree Program

English Language Arts Education


Orlando (Main) Campus



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date

December 2016