Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Having our say: Thoughts, perspectives, and perceptions of graduates of Satellite East Junior High School for the gifted and talented
by Alston, Anael, Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, 2011, 156; 3447472
Abstract (Summary)

Satellite East Junior High School (SEJHS) was a school for gifted and talented students that operated in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York from 1978 through 2004. The school housed approximately 150 7 th and 8th graders from within Community School District 13, which encompassed most of Bedford-Stuyvesant. The community was overwhelmingly African American, and most of its residents were working-class. The extent to which graduates of the school achieved, or did not achieve, success in subsequent academic undertakings and in their careers, and the extent to which SEJHS played a role in these students' futures, should help inform educators about practices and issues related to academically-able, low-income children of color.

The overarching question guiding this mixed-methods study was: What were the experiences and perceptions that the graduates of SEJHS had as urban minority gifted students? More specifically, this study examined the perspectives that the graduates of SEJHS hold regarding student-teacher relationships in the areas of teacher support, curricular relevance, and academic rigor—significant factors in student achievement among at-risk students (Bowen & Bowen, 1998). This study also explored the impact that graduates felt attending SEJHS had on them, their experiences with "acting White," as well as their perceptions of their own success. This study utilized survey research and interviews. I administered the student-teacher relationship segment of the School Success Profile (SSP) instrument as well as questionnaires to the alumni of Satellite East Junior High School. Additionally, SEJHS graduates were assessed through interviews.

Overall, the graduates of SEJHS had very strong positive feelings about their teachers and experiences at the school. The overwhelming majority of them felt that they were successful and most attributed their success to attending SEJHS. Finally, nearly half of the respondents experienced being told they were "acting White" or "talking White" as it related to their academic achievement.

Implications and recommendations for students of color dealing with "acting White" as well as promising practices for the fields of gifted education, general education, as well as urban education are presented.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Borland, James H.
School: Teachers College, Columbia University
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 72/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational evaluation, Gifted Education, Middle School education, Education Policy, Special education
Keywords: District 13 gifted, Gifted and talented, Inner city, New York City, Program evaluation, Satellite East Junior High School, Urban education
Publication Number: 3447472
ISBN: 978-1-124-52042-1
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