Factors positively influencing academically successful, highly motivated African -American high school students
The purpose of this study is two-fold: (1) to investigate the common factors positively influencing academically successful, highly motivated African-American high school students in their educational pursuits; and (2) to determine ways in which educators can facilitate an increased positive impact on minority students' achievement motivation and transition to higher education. Three sources of data inform the qualitative study. Short autobiographical essays address the topic of antecedent factors influencing the students' selection of an academic program of study. Individual interviews using a semi-structured format elicit discussion of prior experiences and influences related to the research sub-questions. Focus group interviews elicit discussion of emergent patterns perceived by the researcher from the autobiographical essays and individual interviews. Results indicate a generic model for success for high achieving African-American students. Students prioritize education as a means to success in life. They receive strong support for educational aspirations from at least one adult within the home. The students are focused on a professional career in the future. The students realize and desire the financial benefits of academic success. The students desire academic challenge. Students have feelings of control over their academic choices; however, they frequently seek the counsel of family members. Prior experience in honors, gifted, or magnet programs did not meet needs. Recommendations for improved educational experiences include: Increase teacher and counselor responsiveness to students. Provide classroom activities which afford more interaction among the students and teacher and relate curriculum to topics of interest. Increase involvement of parents and Black community members in establishing goals and visions of opportunity. Recognize and revere diversity among students within the classroom environment. Set a climate that assumes more individual student responsibility and sets higher academic expectations. The factors influencing academically successful, highly motivated African-American high school students echo the patterns of experiences of many groups. Pride in achievement, emotional support for efforts, expectations of success, independence in thought, and consternation with mediocrity and malaise drive the students to excel academically just like all others who succeed.
Curricula|Teaching|Secondary education|Community colleges
Grant, Linda Caldwell, "Factors positively influencing academically successful, highly motivated African -American high school students" (2001). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3006857.