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Ethnicity and academic success in United States public schools: Implications for teachers, teacher educators, and school administrators
The problem explored in this study is that African American, Hispanic American, and Native American students have a tendency to experience much lower levels of academic success in United States public schools than do European American and Asian American students. With such a problem defined, the purpose of the study becomes clear; to facilitate increased academic success of African American, Hispanic American, Native American, and other minority youth not experiencing academic success. The problem is shown to be pervasive by examining indicators of academic success and ethnic group membership on both the national level and on the level of the researcher's data from some of his teaching experiences in multicultural classrooms (N = 39) and from surveying experienced ESL teachers in a MAT program (N = 23). A survey was also given to middle and high school teacher interns being trained at a major U.S. university (N = 62). It was found that although these interns were well aware of how ethnic differentials in academic success were manifest in the U.S., they had little factual knowledge as to why these differentials exist and are a serious problem in need of speedy solutions. Hence, this study proposes that one way to facilitate minority academic success is to educate future teachers about the true reasons for ethnic differentials in academic success and about why these differentials are indeed a serious problems. Also generated from the teacher intern survey were data identifying some proposed teacher, school administrative, and teacher training program initiatives that were seen by the teacher interns as being potentially highly effective in facilitating the academic success of minority youth. The study concludes with suggestions for teacher, curriculum, school administrator, and teacher training program initiatives to facilitate increased academic success of African American, Hispanic American, and Native American youth, mainly by reducing the need to adopt alternation models of behavior in order to do well in school. It is proposed that such a goal can be accomplished through the inclusion of minority cultures and knowledge in the curricula, pedagogy, evaluation, and governing of schools.
Educational sociology|Teacher education|School administration|Secondary education
Sinclair, Bruce Alan, "Ethnicity and academic success in United States public schools: Implications for teachers, teacher educators, and school administrators" (1999). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9950212.