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The roots of black academic achievement : an argument for socially-constructed learning

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Disciplines
  • Education

Abstract

For centuries commentators have argued about the cause of scholastic under-achievement in North America. In particular, the high representation of minority groups in this category has been the source of heated debate. Some said that it was the fault of the home, others believed that the problem was genetic in nature. Whatever the explanation, thinkers focused predominately on the negative elements of minority education. This is where this study is different. My main concern is to identify black students who have been successful at school and to pinpoint why they have succeeded. To this end, I combine in-depth interviews with narrative. The end result is a preliminary, positive contribution that allows the participants to tell their own stories of success. It allows them to tell how they have persevered. Furthermore, this study encourages them to discuss their continual achievement in the face of stereotypes, nay Sayers and images that suggest otherwise.

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