Schofield, Janet Ward
School Desegregation and Intergroup Relations: A Review of the Literature
University of Pittsburgh
Assess the current state of literature on desegregation and intergroup relations
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Review of Research in Education
Vol. 17, pp. 335-409
- Review of the literature on desegregation and intergroup relations.
- The article breaks the literature into 3 historical periods. The pre-Brown years did not produce research on the direct impact of school segregation, but social science agreed that there were detrimental psychological effects. The immediate post-Brown years (1955-1967)- desegregation research focused on achievement. The most significant study found that attending a desegregated school led to more positive attitudes toward outgroup members. The active empirical years (1968-1975) provide research on the effects of desegregation on intergroup relations. This work is marred by many design and methodological flaws.
- Focused on outcomes rather than on process.
- Cross-sectional - cannot make causal inferences that are oriented to policy making
- Longitudinal studies had control group/attrition problems: short periods of time, lack of control group compromised internal validity
- Age/historical trends in racial attitudes can be confounded with desegregation effects
- Voluntary desegregation create self-selection bias
- Problems with measurement of attitudes & behaviors
- The recent years of research (1984 to present) focus on effective schools and education of at risk students. This research can be categorized: purpose of desegregation, critique and refinement of contact theory, and theory and research on intergroup relations.
- Research should no longer focus on the effects of desegregation. The focus should be on social processes that lead to various intergroup outcomes and on what works for making diverse schools function more effectively.
Journal Article Historical Analysis
Academic Achievement, Desegregation, Intergroup Relations
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Reviews studies from pre-Brown era to recent years. Research included:
- Clark (1939, 1940, 1947)
- Goodman (1952)
- Racial Isolation in the Public Schools, study by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (1967)
- Armor (1972)
- Gerard & Miller (1975)
- Collins (1979)
- St. John (1975)
- Woodmansee & Cook (1967)
- Brigham, Woodmansee & Coolk (1976)
- Patchen (1982)