JAAME – Vol. 9, No. 2
*A special thanks to Managing Editor, Heather Cotingnola-Pickens for her work preparing this issue for publication.
This article empirically contributes to the growing body of literature focusing on the experiences of gifted Black males, particularly those who are from low socioeconomic backgrounds and majoring in engineering, by examining their perspective of academic successes. More specifically, this article examines the experiences of gifted, poor, Black male engineering majors as they navigate the terrain where their giftedness and poverty intersect. For this qualitative study, semi-structured interviews were used to gather in-depth information about the participants’ self-identities and academic experiences. Based on participants’ responses, four categories emerged to identify aspects of their experiences in college: (a) self-perceptions, (b) financial obstacles, (c) engineering as a major, and (d) the students’ perceptions of the institution. Based on the findings, institutions of higher education must understand the various factors (e.g., students’ perceptions of achievement, financial issues, and institutional congruence) that influence the academic and social integration of academically gifted, poor, Black male college students.
Rosa M. Banda
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
In this single case study 10 HBCU institutional agents shared strategies and practices that they used to promote academic success for their African American undergraduate male students. Using social capital theory as a theoretical framework, interviews and observations were used to elicit data about the agents’ experiences and to answer how they were being successful at helping African American men matriculate at their university. Four major themes grew from the narratives shared by the participants: challenges, support, engagement, and investment. Following discussions of the findings, recommendations for school counselors, college counselors, and college administrators will be presented along with the limitations and recommendations for future research.
Homer R. Brown
Palm Beach Atlantic University
Extant research shows that self-determination skill promotion increases secondary students with disabilities’ capacity to engage in general education classrooms. However, little research has investigated how self-determination skills interact with indicators of student engagement among non-disabled underachieving adolescents. Furthermore, even though the ninth grade is a critical transition year, no studies in this area of research have specifically focused on Black ninth grade males’ educational experiences. The purpose of this study was to understand how self-determination skills interacted with three non-disabled, underachieving, ninth grade Black males’ engagement in school. The participants were a part of a larger study, in which the first author recruited ten ninth grade males from a public laboratory school to understand their perceptions of classroom autonomy support. We employed qualitative case study methodology and used a deductive process to analyze the data. We found three self-determination skills as interacting with the participants’ engagement in school: (a) self-awareness, (b) self-regulation, and (c) expressing preferences. This study shows that although understudied, Black male students’ self-directed use of multiple self-determination skills may cultivate their engagement in school. We conclude this paper with a discussion of implications for practice, limitations, and future research directions.
Janise S. Parker
William & Mary
St. Lucie Public Schools
Educators face great challenges in developing effective schooling and mentoring programs to improve educational and life outcomes for African American males. Critical Race Theory (CRT) in education authorizes new questions about the impact of race and racism on poor educational outcomes and a new way of conceiving their social and schooling experiences. This new conception reflects a Critical Race Consciousness that leads to Critical Race Praxis when the designing of interventions couples this consciousness with strategic action to liberate and transform. As exemplars of ‘what works’ when interventions are designed through Critical Race Praxis, this article describes several single-gender education and mentoring models that have successfully met the unique academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of African American males. The Authors suggest that the conception, design, and implementation of these interventions should be widely replicated in schools and mentoring programs and embraced as valuable contributions to the knowledge domain of Critical Race Praxis in education.
Michael W. Quigley
Robert Morris University
Anthony B. Mitchell
Penn State University, Greater Allegheny Campus