Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Black students' voices: Experiences and perspectives around attending an affluent majority white suburban high school
by Heariold-Kinney, Paula M., Ed.D., Lewis and Clark College, 2009, 160; 3379004
Abstract (Summary)

The structure and environment in majority White suburban school works well for most White students; however, much of the research showed many Black students did not flourish academically, socially, or emotionally while attending an affluent majority White suburban high school. This occurs even when Black students come from similar socioeconomic and professional family backgrounds as their White peers. This ethnographic study examined factors which had both adverse and positive influences on Black students' school success while attending a majority White suburban school.

Critical Race Theory (CRT) was used as a guide to investigate the impact of race and racism for understanding Black students' perceptions and experiences while attending the suburban school where the study was conducted. The premise of CRT is minority dominated cultures are adversely impacted by dominate White culture.

The conceptual framework for this research identified three essential support systems necessary for Black students to succeed while attending an affluent White majority suburban high school. These essential support systems were: Valuing of Respect for Black Student Cultural Identity; Supporting and Promoting Educational Aspirations and Goals, and Developing Social and Emotional Growth.

The participants in this study were 11 Black students, both American Black students and African students, who are attending or have attended a large majority White suburban high school where the study was conducted. The purpose of the study was to learn from Black students, in their own words, what works and does not work for them at this suburban school based on their own realities, experiences, and perceptions.

The author of this study, who is an African American woman, felt compelled to conduct this research because of her own personal experience while attending a primarily White suburban school when she attended high school, and her daughters' experiences when they attended high school in White suburban school districts. In addition, the researcher's professional knowledge and observations as a school administrator in White suburban school districts where Black students were in the minority, gave her firsthand knowledge regarding this topic.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ruhl, Thomas
Commitee: Hopson, Charles, Howser, Mike
School: Lewis and Clark College
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: DAI-A 70/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Black studies, Educational psychology, Ethnic studies, Curriculum development
Keywords: Achievement gap, Black students, Education, High school, Inequity, Majority white, Marginalization, Pedagogy, Race, Suburban
Publication Number: 3379004
ISBN: 9781109451146
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