ERIC Number: ED310215
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
The Student Experience: At-Risk, College Prep, Minority Teenagers in an Urban High School.
Geary, Patricia A.
Despite enormous political, social, and psychological forces working against them, some inner city black youths defy the odds and succeed academically. This study focuses on a group of successful at-risk minority students in an urban secondary school, and in particular on their student experience, including interactions with school culture, student social groups, and teachers. An ethnographic study was chosen as methodology for the investigation. The site selected was an all black inner city high school in a major southern center. The 35 students studied were participants in a newly-formed college preparatory program. Research findings revealed the strong influence of both informal and formal social groups, for which structures, criteria, and rationales are presented. Classrooms were dominated by teacher-established rules stated in positive and negative imperatives; hallways were covered with bulletin board maxims in the form of exhortations, adages/slogans, and platitudes. Student responses to teachers were diverse, but tended to center on interpersonal relations and professional competence as bases for good or bad ratings. Research implications suggest that the school's interacting complexities argue for multi-dimensional rather than merely quantitative reform measures and for increased student input in critical school operations. The study includes four figures and a list of 11 references. (AF)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Black Students, Classroom Observation Techniques, College Bound Students, College Preparation, Ethnography, Grade 10, Grade 11, High Risk Students, High School Students, High Schools, Interviews, Longitudinal Studies, Participant Observation, Student Evaluation of Teacher Performance, Student Experience, Teacher Student Relationship, Urban Schools
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Researchers; Practitioners
Sponsor: National Center on Effective Secondary Schools, Madison, WI.
Authoring Institution: Georgian Court Coll., Lakewood, NJ.