Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Schooling for success: Investigating conceptions and enactments of success in an urban, Catholic high school
by Cummings, Raymond, Jr., Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, 2010, 208; 3425019
Abstract (Summary)

Seeking to generate ideas and pose questions about educational success with Black students, this study explored the conceptions of success that existed among stakeholders in an urban, Catholic high school in the Northeast, and investigated enactments of success around the four "commonplaces" (Schwab, 1973) of the school's curriculum: teachers; learners; subject matter; and milieu. Fourteen students and 11 faculty members served as key participants in this research project. Utilizing a case study methodology, this inquiry drew from a range of data sources including interviews, observations, and school records and publications. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967), which involved the integration and refinement of categories, properties, and hypotheses.

Two major findings resulted from this study: success was primarily discussed and supported with regard to academic achievement; and practices exhibited around the school spoke to conceptions of success being promoted through the provision of a familial/communal atmosphere. These findings suggest that the presence of support systems and school communities that nurture positive relationships among its members are important in promoting success among Black students.

This research project also asks us to consider the matter of race in schooling, specifically whether explicit attention to issues around race is requisite to being successful with Black students. Furthermore, the findings propose that we rethink traditional conceptions of success, school effectiveness, and college preparation. This study concludes with implications for research and practice, as well as possibilities for future research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Oyler, Celia
School: Teachers College, Columbia University
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 71/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Instructional Design, Secondary education
Keywords: Black students, Catholic high school, Urban education
Publication Number: 3425019
ISBN: 9781124253930
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