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ERIC Number: ED517867
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 341
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-0778-3
A Phenomenological Case Study of African American Students Who Achieved Success Despite Scoring Low on Standardized Tests
Blanding, Joseph Dwayne
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Missouri - Kansas City
Standardized tests continue to be used in the United States to evaluate applicants for admission to most colleges and universities, which often results in less access for students--specifically students of color--who may have been inadequately prepared in grades K-12 for standardized testing. The purpose of this phenomenological case study was to explore the experiences of African-American college students, who are successful despite scoring low in one or more areas on the SAT or ACT. The traditions of heuristic inquiry, narratology and the perspective of critical race theory (CRT) assisted in understanding the meaning of the phenomenon of standardized tests. Success in college was defined as an African American student in his or her sophomore year possessing a grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 or higher. The goal of this study was to identify strategies that students with similar experiences, PreK-12 educators, and community members can use for program development. The data were analyzed using the processes of phenomenological, heuristic, narratological, and cross case analyses for the in-depth interviews. For the documents and observations, I used a generic coding process that constituted identifying themes and subthemes. Findings from the in-depth interviews, documents, and observations as depicted through the themes suggest that in order for students to achieve success despite scoring low on standardized tests, they must be intimately involved in the learning process. Additionally, being prepared for college involves the support of family members, community members, and teachers. The experiences of the participants as depicted in the interviews suggest a need for educators to consider alternatives to standardized tests for assessing the academic potential of all students. Students provided several alternatives to standardized tests: student interviews, using an open-ended test created by a college or university, interviewing past high school teachers, and high school grade point average (GPA). [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: SAT (College Admission Test)