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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Strategies that foster academic success for African American males in elementary school
by Dawkins, Patricia, Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2015, 159; 3712239
Abstract (Summary)

The educational literature tells us that African American males usually score the lowest on periodic assessments and standardized tests, represent the highest percentage in special education programs, are absent from honors classes, are subject to the most office referrals, suspensions and expulsions, have the largest drop-out rate from high school, and therefore constitute the lowest percentage to graduate from high school. African American males are also the highest percentage of any race to be incarcerated. However, regardless of race, economic status or gender, most students are capable of achieving when they are offered appropriate teaching and learning strategies and are made to feel welcome at school. From personal observation as an elementary school principal for 20 years, I have come to believe that elementary school is the crucial period in which positive or negative attitudes towards school are formed, and learning behaviors are fixed.

The purpose of this qualitative study is to identify successful teaching and learning strategies at school and in the home, for academically successful 5th-grade African-American boys. In this study, I selected six 5th grade boys who were identified as proficient in Language Arts and Mathematics to hear their opinions about what teaching and learning strategies had worked for them. I also interviewed their teachers and parents to find out what they believed had worked so well for these successful boys.

Among the findings were: the importance of attending after school programs, such as the Girls and Boys Club; parental involvement in homework; regular communication between parents and teachers; establishing clear homework routines and doing homework daily; the importance of participating in extracurricular activities, such as sports or music; the importance of teachers using culturally relevant pedagogy; the importance of teachers caring; and the importance of discussing college at home.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Symcox, Lynda
Commitee: Gamble, Brandon, Majors, LeAnna
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Education, Elementary education
Keywords: African-American, Boys, Elementary school, Strategies for academic success
Publication Number: 3712239
ISBN: 978-1-321-88926-0
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