ERIC Number: ED366418
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Toward a Theory of African American School Achievement. Report No. 16.
Past attempts to develop an explanatory model for African-American school achievement have focused disproportionately on failure. But if one considers the long and persistent denial and limiting of educational opportunity to African Americans, from slavery to the present, and African Americans' corresponding achievements, the historically and educationally useful question becomes: How have African Americans succeeded in producing a leadership and intellectual class? This paper reviews the research on theories of African-American school achievement, examining the work of black family scholars on racial socialization, recent studies of the social construction of "whiteness," and ongoing investigations about the relative power of the cultural differences versus social mobility explanations of school achievement among racial minorities. The cultural differences model is problematized and reformulated to include the concept of whiteness as a social construction with a cultural corollary. It is argued that in order to achieve in school, African-American children have to develop competency in the negotiation of multiple identities, including membership in: (1) mainstream society; (2) the Black community defined as a racially discriminated group; and (3) a cultural group in opposition to which whiteness has been constructed as a social category. (Contains 201 references.) (MDM)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Failure, Black Achievement, Black Culture, Black Education, Blacks, Cultural Differences, Educational Theories, Elementary Secondary Education, Racial Attitudes, Racial Bias, Racial Differences, Racial Factors, Racial Relations, Social Theories
Center on Families, Communities, Schools, and Children's Learning, Johns Hopkins University, 3505 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218 ($7.30).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center on Families, Communities, Schools, and Children's Learning.; Wheelock Coll., Boston, MA.