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ERIC Number: ED559765
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 109
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3033-2686-8
Cultural Learning Context as It Relates to Efficacy and the Mathematics Performance of African-American Middle School Students
Burrell, Jennifer O.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Howard University
Nearly 20 years of empirical work has demonstrated that cultural-asset focused learning environments can improve the academic performance of African-American students. One example is communal learning context, which shifts students' motivational primacy from the individual to the social group. Considering the critical role of efficacy beliefs in academic effort and persistence, it is fitting to explore if in addition to academic performance communal learning context impact African-American students' self- and collective-efficacy. To examine this, a control group pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design was employed using a 2 (trial: time 1 and time 2) by 2 (learning context: communal and individual) by 2 (gender: male and female) mixed factorial design. Sixth grade students (n = 80) from six mathematics classes were recruited from a public middle school in the Baltimore metropolitan area. The classes were randomly assigned to either the communal or individual learning context. These learning contexts were distinguished based on three factors: learning structure (group versus individual), physical configuration (sitting together versus sitting at individual desks), and prompt (communal versus individualistic). Self-efficacy beliefs, collective-efficacy beliefs, and math task performance were measured before and after the learning context manipulation. Consistent with prior research on cultural learning context, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed a main effect for learning context where students engaged in the communal learning context scored significantly higher on the mathematics estimation task than students in the individual learning context. However, this research extends this finding to a sample of middle school students. Additionally, although overall students had high efficacy beliefs at the pre-test, a repeated-measures multiple-ANOVA revealed that students engaged in the communal learning context experienced significant increases in self-efficacy and collective-efficacy from time 1 to time 2, while students in the individual learning context did not. Lastly, although expressing a pattern consistent with hypothesized relationship, the linear regressions revealed that the predictive value of self- and collective efficacy for mathematics estimation performance did not reach significance. The small sample size may have limited this analysis. Overall findings implicate the need for more empirical research examining role of culture learning context and efficacy in schooling environments, learning, and academic performance. [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: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 6; Intermediate Grades; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland