ERIC Number: ED361455
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
A Systemic Approach to Creating an Effective Academic Environment for African American Students: Lessons from a Private School. Occasional Paper #7.
Beady, Charles H., Jr.; Beady, Maxine O.
This paper explicates methods to motivate African American students to exhibit attitudes and behaviors that are conducive to high academic achievement. In particular, it argues that educational models must acknowledge and correct students' sense of academic futility. Academic futility measures student perceptions of the extent to which factors in the academic environment inhibit success in school. Student academic futility is the student's feeling that the academic "deck of life" is stacked against them and that there is relatively little they can do to overcome this. The paper describes using popular culture in several interventions as an academic futility intervention tool, particularly materials that use cartoons and illustrations to help students overcome academic futility. Another section describes developing a school climate to impact students' sense of futility in 8 years at the Piney Woods Country Life School, a rural Mississippi private school serving African American students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. This section explains the academic grounding of academic futility intervention approaches and their implementation at Piney Woods, including needs assessment, curriculum development, staff development, student development, physical environment, administration, and resource development. Appendixes contain questions for the academic futility scale, an example of an intervention poem, and research findings. (Contains 37 references.) (JB)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Aspiration, Black Students, Black Youth, Disadvantaged Youth, Economically Disadvantaged, Educational Discrimination, Educational Environment, Educationally Disadvantaged, Elementary Secondary Education, Nondiscriminatory Education, Private Schools, Racial Discrimination, Student Attitudes, Student Behavior, Student Motivation
Urban Child Research Center, Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH 44115.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Cleveland State Univ., OH. Urban Child Research Center.