Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Terry Huffman

Second Advisor

Dr. Ginny Birky

Third Advisor

Dr. Tatiana Cevallos


This qualitative research study explored the perceptions first and second generation Vietnamese and Mexican high school students hold on teacher expectations based on their racial identity. Specifically, this study explores the critical concepts of stereotype threat, halo effect, and self-fulfilling prophecy. The primary purpose of this investigation was to enhance the understanding of how the perception students have impacts success or lack of success for two different student groups. This study utilizes interviews with student focus groups to examine student perceptions of teacher expectations among Vietnamese and Mexican students and its impact on student academic performance, the general nature of the perceptions among students, whether or not students of the two races have different perceptions, and what students perceive to be the major implications for teachers based on these perceptions. Results revealed that participants perceived significant differences on what teachers expected of them. In addition, this research also found significant differences on how students perceived they were treated depending on their race. Therefore, the findings highlight the importance strong relationships play in order to enhance student performance as well as how important it is for educators to constantly be cognizant of their non-verbal communication. Furthermore, the results also point out the importance of developing one’s own racial consciousness in order to eliminate implicit biases and stereotypes that cause people to have conscious or unconscious behaviors that can be harmful to students. These behaviors cause students to give up and drop out of school which in turn widens the academic achievement gap. The results highlight important implications for education in general. Additionally, this study examined the results associated with three ethnic identity theoretical perspectives: ethnic identity theory, cultural ecological theory, and transculturation theory.