ERIC Number: ED409148
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar-27
Moving Beyond the Status Quo: Narrative of the Sharecropper's Daughter.
Outlaw, Mary E.
This case study examines factors that enabled a black female to achieve a significantly higher educational status than her parents. "Susie" was born in 1942 to parents who were poor sharecroppers. Her family included an older sister and three younger siblings. Out of concern for their oldest child who was handicapped, Susie's parents decided that Susie would walk the 3 miles to school with her sister. As a result, Susie attended a multigraded school for a full year before beginning first grade. In fifth grade, Susie received the highest score on an achievement test. When Susie reached eighth grade, her family moved and she and her siblings had to walk 3 miles to catch the bus to the high school 15 miles away. This change in school and location widened Susie's horizons, as she was exposed to students from various socioeconomic backgrounds. She went on to graduate 4th in a class of 66. In college, she was competing with an even greater variety of students than in the city high school. Susie met this challenge by completing bachelor's, master's, and educational specialist degrees. The attitude of Susie's parents toward schooling and education played a significant role in her motivation to achieve. Though her mother and father had only an elementary school education, they desperately wanted their children to have more opportunities than they had. Susie's mother was a role model for her children; worked hard all of her life; and was actively involved in church, school, and community. Susie retired after 30 years in public education and is on the boards of numerous volunteer organizations. This case study demonstrates the specific family attitudes, events, and experiences that contributed to an individual's success. (LP)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Achievement Need, Blacks, Case Studies, Educational Attainment, Educational Attitudes, Educational Experience, Elementary Secondary Education, Family Role, Females, Higher Education, Mother Attitudes, Parent Child Relationship, Parent Influence, Poverty, Rural Education, Student Motivation, Success
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 1997).