The Virtual Shift: Examining Teacher Perceptions of Social Reproduction in Virtual Classrooms

Maurice Mathis, Fayetteville State University

Abstract

Social reproduction theory posits that “schools are not institutions of equal opportunity but mechanisms for perpetuating social inequalities” (Collins, 2009, p. 33). The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore teacher perceptions of their pedagogical practices during virtual learning and the role that those practices play in social reproduction. Nine high school teachers were interviewed to explore their own perceptions of how their virtual teaching practices helped to dismantle or exacerbate social reproduction in virtual classrooms. Findings indicated that there were clear delineations between practices with low- and high-income students, with the teachers indicating that they intentionally lowered their standards for low socioeconomic students while providing expanded learning opportunities for high socioeconomic students. The research also linked Anyon’s (1981) findings around teacher practices in 5th grade in-person classrooms to current findings centered on teacher practices in high school virtual classrooms and to best practices in virtual classrooms. Findings indicated that there was continuity between social reproductive practices in both studies. Further, implications were drawn regarding the types of best practices used in with each grouping of students. Finally, recommendations were made for key stakeholders in virtual education, including teachers, educational leaders, and policymakers.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Educational administration|Educational technology

Recommended Citation

Mathis, Maurice, "The Virtual Shift: Examining Teacher Perceptions of Social Reproduction in Virtual Classrooms" (2022). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. AAI29999271.
https://digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/dissertations/AAI29999271

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