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"I don't think about being a black student and going through school" : an exploration into the development of academic identity in African American students

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James M. Seagraves (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Ulrich C. Reitzug

Abstract: "This narrative project explored the educational experiences and academic identity of sixteen African American students as they traveled through the socially constructed context of schooling. I examined how these African American students construct meaning from experiences in regards to identity development within the context of school. Review of existing research regarding African American students and achievement is numerous; nevertheless, still missing from this vast body of these studies is the "voice" of the African American student as it specifically relates to their schooling experiences, achievement, and identity development. I grounded my approach to inquiry and research design within the narrative framework. This method of inquiry was designed because of its appropriateness in intertwining personal, lived experiences as an African American student with the theoretical and/or social constructs of academic identity and achievement that could not be investigated adequately in any other research form. These narratives are a collection of experiences that allow the participants to disclose not only themselves as individuals in the context of "I" but also regarding themselves in the context of "we." Six themes emerged from the data that was collected from the participants: 1) the significance of high expectations in shaping academic identity; 2) the function of school diversity in developing academic identity; 3) the nurturing role of teachers influencing academic identity; 4) the development of a positive conceptual framework regarding the meaning of school as a means to mold academic identity; 5) plans for attending college as an essential element of academic identity; and 6) the influential role of supportive parents and family in the development of academic identity. The narratives from these participants support the need for positive educational experiences and healthy academic identities as essential when trying to enhance full, optimal development of our young African American students within the context of school. The knowledge and skills gained during this developmental stage is critical in that it empowers African American youth as democratic citizens. Empowerment enhances participation within democratic structures while improving beneficial opportunities through its functions."--Abstract from author supplied metadata.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2007
Keywords
educational experiences, academic identity, African American, students
Subjects
African American students--Education (Secondary)--United States--Psychological aspects
Academic achievement--United States--Psychological aspects