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ERIC Number: ED546251
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 395
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2676-2423-9
Student Voices: A Phenomenological Exploration of Minority Girls' Experiences and Beliefs Related to Academic Achievement
Alpren, Kathleen
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Cardinal Stritch University
For decades, measures of academic outcomes have demonstrated the underachievement of minority students. The purpose of this study was to include student voices in a discussion of achievement by exploring the experiences and beliefs of minority girls that related to academic achievement in one single-sex urban high school. Moreover, the research explored students' perceptions of factors that hindered or promoted their achievement during their freshman and sophomore years. The formal research questions related to the investigation were as follows: (1) What were the experiences of sophomore minority girls related to academic achievement during their freshman and sophomore years at a single-sex urban high school? * Which experiences were perceived as promoting academic achievement? * Which experiences were perceived as hindering academic achievement? (2) What were the self-beliefs of sophomore minority girls concerning academic achievement during their freshman and sophomore years at a single-sex urban high school? * Which beliefs appeared to promote achievement? * Which beliefs appeared to hinder achievement? The phenomenological study employed the methods of interview and focus groups. Data were collected from 16 sophomore girls, 10 who participated in two interview sessions and 6 who participated in focus groups. Semi-structured questions were developed for both interview and focus group sessions exploring student experiences and beliefs relating to academic achievement. Data were analyzed following procedures recommended by Hycner (1999) and Marshall and Rossman (2006). Findings and conclusions suggested that students from this sample who experienced close relationships with teachers, like-minded peers, and emotionally supportive family members set higher achievement goals and improved academic outcomes. Other conclusions supported self-efficacy and attribution theory suggesting students' efficacy beliefs and attributions impacted effort. Findings less prevalent in the literature included students perceptions that teacher monitoring of their behaviors and work was a sign of caring, which also promoted achievement efforts. This study offered the site school student perceptions of achievement that could inform administrative planning and teaching behaviors. It also added to the canon of literature on achievement and more specifically to the fewer studies adding student voices to the discussion of underachieving minority students. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A