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Research Colloquium: Brionca Taylor, Dept. of Sociology
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
IME Research Colloquium with Brionca Taylor, Dept. of Sociology
Title: “The Wrong Kind of Emotions for School: Teachers’ Emotional Socialization Practices at Temporary Public Alternative Schools”
How does the racialized and gendered structure of traditional public schools’ influence teachers’ emotional socialization practices for students at Temporary Public Alternative (TPA) schools? TPA schools are unique in that students are evaluated in terms of their classroom and school behavior, such as how well they are able to follow directions and the development of their social emotional skills, rather than on students’ grades and test scores. Teachers working at TPAs are therefore tasked with socializing students to succeed at traditional, predominantly White public schools. As the majority of students referred to TPAs are Black middle- and high- school aged boys, this study explores the ways teachers attempted to teach students the emotion rules, expectations, and displays that would be necessary for them to succeed in traditional classrooms and schools.
Findings show that teachers at TPAs were tasked with teaching predominantly Black students White middle-class displays of behaviors and emotional expectations that were understood as appropriate for classroom and school environments. Teachers used implicit and explicit reward systems to monitor student behaviors and displays of emotions that judged students’ readiness for reenrollment into a traditional (i.e. predominantly White) public school. Teachers and administrators created designated spaces and structured times in school where students could express particular emotions throughout the school day. Given that the majority of students in TPAs were Black boys, Black men were intentionally placed in formal and informal leadership positions throughout TPAs for the purpose of modeling Black middle-class masculinity which distances Black men from the controlling image of the angry Black man.