Thesis

Post September 11th, 2001: perceptions of students of Middle EasternWest AsianArab backgrounds

This research study explores perceptions of students of Middle Eastern I West Asian I Arab (ME/W AI A) backgrounds and asks the following question: What are the perceptions of the school experiences for students of MEIW AI A backgrounds, post-September 11th, 2001? This research was driven by the possible climatic culture and ethnic shifts that may have taken place in the United States, the media, and school environments, post September 11th, 2001. This research was composed of an anonymous and voluntary on line survey created on SurveyMonkey.com. The survey was administered through four southern California university student organizations and used a mixed-method research design. Quantitative portions of the survey presented sets of 'prior to September 11th, 2001,' and 'after September 11th, 2001,' scenarios and asked respondents to rate their answers. Qualitative portions of the survey included open-ended questions regarding gender, ethnicity, religious background, and personal experience. Results yielded 25 survey respondents who were either middle or high school students on September 11 th, 2001. Research results showed marked changes in the percentages of agreement prior and post September 11th, 2001. The open-ended portions of the survey yielded significant accounts of fear and mistrust. KEYWORDS: School climate, school perceptions, Middle Eastern, West Asian, and Arab students.

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