Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Making meaning of the social and environmental influences on education: Multiple case studies of African American graduates with learning disabilities
by Washington, Rita, Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2011, 220; 3500310
Abstract (Summary)

African American students with learning disabilities (AASWLD) comprise a significant portion of African American students in the public schools in the United States. African Americans and students with learning disabilities are also represented in two of the lowest performing student demographic groups. Research suggests that many AASWLD attend schools in communities with low socioeconomic status. In these communities, social and environmental factors, such as unequal access to a quality education, adversely impact their schooling experience. This qualitative study used multiple cases to investigate the impact of racial and socioeconomic variables on these students' schooling experience.

Six female and six male AASWLD were selected to describe their personal academic plight as they ventured toward graduating from an urban high school. This study used the lens of Critical Race Theory (CRT) to create counter stories to capture the voices of this unique group. The purpose of this study was to examine how African Americans living in communities with low socioeconomic status develop a sense of self and make meaning of their educational experience. This study found these students' educational experiences were enhanced by (a) positive parental influence, (b) supplemental instruction, and (c) personal resilience that led them to complete high school. These elements all contributed to their passionate view of the significance of education in their lives.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pavri, Shireen
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 73/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Black studies, Special education
Keywords: African-American, Environmental, Learning disabilities, Meaning-making, Social
Publication Number: 3500310
ISBN: 978-1-267-20452-3
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