Take Heed to the Voices of our Children: African American Males’ Beliefs Regarding the Academic Achievement Gap and Discip...
Abstract <ul><li>There are countless research studies indicating the existence of the academic achievement gap primarily f...
Purpose <ul><li>To view the academic achievement gap and disciplinary gap from another perspective </li></ul><ul><li>To he...
The Past “We must never forget and should learn from our history.”
The Academic Achievement Gap <ul><li>According to the experts: </li></ul><ul><li>The “Blame Game” </li></ul><ul><li>Disadv...
The Academic Achievement Gap (cont.) <ul><li>Poor academic preparation due to parents belonging to lower socioeconomic cla...
“… as a child’s first teacher, parents generally have a strong influence on learning during early childhood” (Route-Chatmo...
The Disciplinary Referral Gap <ul><li>According to the experts: </li></ul><ul><li>Low academic achievement tend to lead to...
The Disciplinary Referral Gap (cont.) <ul><li>Some teachers misunderstand and misinterpret African American students’ trad...
The Present: “Let the Children be heard!”
African Americans’ Self-Beliefs  of Academics <ul><li>“Earned grades” (#10 “Study and earn good grades because it is impor...
Students’ Beliefs About Teachers and Academics <ul><li>Higher positive beliefs toward teachers equate to higher grade poin...
Students’ Self-Beliefs of Discipline <ul><li>Students’ beliefs toward whether or not they deserve disciplinary actions (#4...
Students’ Beliefs About Teachers and Discipline <ul><li>Students’ beliefs toward receiving discipline referrals (#45 “Feel...
The Future: “African American males can achieve more if WE ALL work as a TEAM.”
Implications for Parents/Guardians <ul><li>Starts at home </li></ul><ul><li>Most influential teacher, cheerleader, and adv...
Implications for Parents/Guardians (cont.) <ul><li>Get to know your child’s teachers and administrators </li></ul><ul><li>...
Implications for Churches and Community Organizations <ul><li>Create a reading program and encourage your members to read ...
Implications for School Administrators <ul><li>Promote and provide and open door policy </li></ul><ul><li>Create a warm at...
Implications for School Administrators (cont.) <ul><li>Provide cultural sensitive professional development/training </li><...
Implications for Teachers <ul><li>Reach out to parents/guardians before it is too late </li></ul><ul><li>Establish a posit...
Implications for Teachers (cont.) <ul><li>Avoid having a teacher’s pet…be firm and fair to all students </li></ul><ul><li>...
<ul><li>Truth is that which does not contaminate you, but empowers you.  Therefore, there are degrees of truth, but, gener...
Contact Information <ul><li>For additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me at the following: </li></ul><...
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Take Heed To The Voices of our Children: African American Males' Beliefs Regarding the Academic Achievement Gap and Disciplinary Referral Gap

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There are countless research studies indicating the existence of the academic achievement gap primarily from teachers’ perspectives. In this workshop, participants will be informed on the affects and correlations between the academic achievement gap and disciplinary referral gap based on African American males’ self-beliefs and beliefs about their teachers. Furthermore, workshop participants will learn specific strategies that will help African American students to excel in the classroom, while minimizing their visits to the principal’s office for disciplinary infractions.

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Take Heed To The Voices of our Children: African American Males' Beliefs Regarding the Academic Achievement Gap and Disciplinary Referral Gap

  1. 1. Take Heed to the Voices of our Children: African American Males’ Beliefs Regarding the Academic Achievement Gap and Disciplinary Referral Gap James M. Thompson, PhD The State of the African American Male Conference October 30, 2008
  2. 2. Abstract <ul><li>There are countless research studies indicating the existence of the academic achievement gap primarily from teachers’ perspectives. In this workshop, participants will be informed on the affects and correlations between the academic achievement gap and disciplinary referral gap based on African American males’ self-beliefs and beliefs about their teachers. Furthermore, workshop participants will learn specific strategies that will help African American students to excel in the classroom, while minimizing their visits to the principal’s office for disciplinary infractions. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Purpose <ul><li>To view the academic achievement gap and disciplinary gap from another perspective </li></ul><ul><li>To help minimize the gaps among subgroups </li></ul><ul><li>To suggest implications for parents/ guardians, educators, and churches </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Past “We must never forget and should learn from our history.”
  5. 5. The Academic Achievement Gap <ul><li>According to the experts: </li></ul><ul><li>The “Blame Game” </li></ul><ul><li>Disadvantaged African American students performed at a lower level (Osborne, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>African American males contributed far greater to the dropout rate (Holzman, 2004) </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Academic Achievement Gap (cont.) <ul><li>Poor academic preparation due to parents belonging to lower socioeconomic classes (Jencks & Phillips, 1998) </li></ul><ul><li>African American males enter kindergarten on an “unleveled playing field” </li></ul><ul><li>Even when African American students were given adequate resources, they continued to lag behind </li></ul>
  7. 7. “… as a child’s first teacher, parents generally have a strong influence on learning during early childhood” (Route-Chatmon et al., 2006, p. 201)
  8. 8. The Disciplinary Referral Gap <ul><li>According to the experts: </li></ul><ul><li>Low academic achievement tend to lead to far greater discipline and consequences </li></ul><ul><li>Students lose invaluable instructional time when they are in ISS or OSS (Gregory, Nygreen, & Moran, 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Some African American students believe they are wrongfully accused (Sheets & Gay, 1996) </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Disciplinary Referral Gap (cont.) <ul><li>Some teachers misunderstand and misinterpret African American students’ traditions and social styles (Reglin, 1995) </li></ul><ul><li>Some African American students perceived acting out and horse playing as being acceptable and are encouraged by their peers (Skiba et al., 2002) </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Present: “Let the Children be heard!”
  11. 11. African Americans’ Self-Beliefs of Academics <ul><li>“Earned grades” (#10 “Study and earn good grades because it is important to me”) vs. “were given grades” (#35 “Just give me a grade to pass me to the next grade level”) </li></ul><ul><li>94% believed they “earned good grades” </li></ul><ul><li>84% believed their teachers did not simply give them a grade to pass to the next grade level </li></ul>
  12. 12. Students’ Beliefs About Teachers and Academics <ul><li>Higher positive beliefs toward teachers equate to higher grade point averages </li></ul><ul><li>Lower positive beliefs toward teachers equate to lower grade point averages </li></ul><ul><li>Negative beliefs toward teachers are highly correlated with lower grade point averages </li></ul>
  13. 13. Students’ Self-Beliefs of Discipline <ul><li>Students’ beliefs toward whether or not they deserve disciplinary actions (#46 “Feel I do not deserve to receive disciplinary actions”) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>49% believed they deserve disciplinary actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>15% believed they did not deserve disciplinary actions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Students’ beliefs regarding whether or not teachers treat students fairly (#48 “Feel that my teachers treat all students fairly when it comes to discipline”) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>63 % agreed and 16% disagreed </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Students’ Beliefs About Teachers and Discipline <ul><li>Students’ beliefs toward receiving discipline referrals (#45 “Feel my teachers unfairly give me discipline referrals for no reason” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>9% agreed and 76% disagreed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Received disciplinary referrals because of ethnicity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>94% vs. 69% </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. The Future: “African American males can achieve more if WE ALL work as a TEAM.”
  16. 16. Implications for Parents/Guardians <ul><li>Starts at home </li></ul><ul><li>Most influential teacher, cheerleader, and advocate </li></ul><ul><li>Reinforce positive behaviors or actions </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage your child to enroll into rigorous courses </li></ul><ul><li>Frequent your child’s school </li></ul>
  17. 17. Implications for Parents/Guardians (cont.) <ul><li>Get to know your child’s teachers and administrators </li></ul><ul><li>Empower your child with morals and values </li></ul><ul><li>Read with and to your child </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure your child is completing all assignments </li></ul><ul><li>No such thing as NO HOMEWORK! </li></ul>
  18. 18. Implications for Churches and Community Organizations <ul><li>Create a reading program and encourage your members to read </li></ul><ul><li>Offer tutorial service and homework assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasize the importance of obtaining an education </li></ul><ul><li>Empower parents to be actively involved in their children’s lives and academics </li></ul>
  19. 19. Implications for School Administrators <ul><li>Promote and provide and open door policy </li></ul><ul><li>Create a warm atmosphere that is inviting to parents/guardians </li></ul><ul><li>Develop an academic night to display students’ projects or portfolios </li></ul><ul><li>Empower and educate teachers to embrace diversity </li></ul>
  20. 20. Implications for School Administrators (cont.) <ul><li>Provide cultural sensitive professional development/training </li></ul><ul><li>Deviate from the norm – “African American students are more likely to fail and get into trouble” </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t throw the book at them – be sure the punishment or disciplinary sanction fit the infraction </li></ul>
  21. 21. Implications for Teachers <ul><li>Reach out to parents/guardians before it is too late </li></ul><ul><li>Establish a positive rapport earlier in the academic year </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid contacting parents/guardians for the first time based on their child’s negative behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Give the benefit of a doubt </li></ul>
  22. 22. Implications for Teachers (cont.) <ul><li>Avoid having a teacher’s pet…be firm and fair to all students </li></ul><ul><li>Set high expectations and standards for all students </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t allow your students to accept failure as an option </li></ul><ul><li>Correspond with parents/guardians on a routine basis through various modes </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>Truth is that which does not contaminate you, but empowers you. Therefore, there are degrees of truth, but, generically, truth is that which can do no harm. It cannot harm. ~ Gary Zukav from &quot;Seat Of The Soul&quot; ~ </li></ul>
  24. 24. Contact Information <ul><li>For additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me at the following: </li></ul><ul><li>James M. Thompson, PhD </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail Address: </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Website Address: </li></ul><ul><li>http://jamathompson.googlepages.com </li></ul><ul><li>Cellular Phone: </li></ul><ul><li>(803) 466-4006 </li></ul>

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