ERIC Number: EJ701152
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Feb-26
Reference Count: N/A
Facing up to Realities: Harvard Economist Investigates the Racial Achievement Gap
Black Issues in Higher Education, v21 n1 p26 Feb 2004
As an economist, Dr. Ronald F. Ferguson often applies quantitative analysis to public policy dilemmas, which yields data models and quantitative measures of complex issues. In tackling the racial achievement gap, the Harvard-based social policy expert has added investigation techniques from sociology and psychology to explore what might seem a forbidding topic for an economist. During his career, Ferguson has consulted and has served as a policy adviser on education, employment, youth development and urban development issues. As a father, he understands the challenges of raising African American children and brings that knowledge to his writings on teacher and parental impact on student academic performance. In his investigation of minority student achievement in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Ferguson has conducted considerable survey work learning first-hand from students about their lives and school experiences. The research effort in Ohio, called the Tripod Project, "is to increase communication and build knowledge among teachers about ways of achieving success in the classroom by attending to all three legs of the instructional tripod--content, pedagogy and relationships--with the aim of helping all students, but especially African Americans and Latinos, to achieve at higher levels," according to Ferguson. Ferguson's project recalls investigation efforts also undertaken in Shaker Heights by the late anthropologist Dr. John Ogbu. In contrast to findings by Ogbu that Blacks students are "disengaged" from their studies, Ferguson reports that they are just as motivated as Whites, but often lack the study skills necessary to improve upon their learning.
Descriptors: Racial Differences, Minority Groups, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Study Skills, Parenting Styles, Academic Achievement, Knowledge Base for Teaching, Teacher Role, Parent Role
Cox Matthews and Associates, Inc., 10520 Warwick Avenue, Suite B-8, Fairfax, VA 22030-3136. Web site: http://www.blackissues.com.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio