Understanding and Educating African American Males: Is It the Failure of Society or a Cultural Misinterpretation?

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Proposed Topic

Understanding and Educating African American Males: Is it the failure of society or a cultural misconception?

Introduction

 The merit of an education in life cannot be hesitated. Learning unlocks minds to critical thinking. The meaning of teaching and learning has to begin as early as infancy through adulthood.  Not only does education portray a definition of book wisdom but also it imparts a degree of connotation to growth and development of the mind into various new perceptions and alternatives (Borkar, 2010). Aiming and acknowledging the importance for education provide individuals “with a clearer vision” and allows for more interest to learn. It makes an individual coherent with an capability to think cognitively, which are effective to the development of transformation (Borkar, 2010). Education forms the foundation of cultural society regarding economic, social, and political growth and development. It offers opportunities for communications from many cultural diversities, which results in enriched appreciation and exposure to the world. Importance of education to children not only goes further than credentials but also persistence in obtaining knowledge (Borkar, 2010). In essence, “education means to evolve from being an individual to a human being capable of, not merely ‘surviving’ but living life”  (Borkar, 2010). Education convey knowledge whereby making discoveries and implementing for the betterment of humanity. The evolution of society depends upon the excellence of education that is being taught. The better the quality, the better people can gain wisdom and utilize it to make reforms that lead to research and development  (Borkar, 2010).
Literature Review 

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 African Americans miserably began in the United States as slaves. In American society this status was viewed as unworthy possessions  in which treatments were reflected as such (Mosley, 2009). The phenomena identified envisions the explanation as to why the foundation of African Americans education was coarse. The ability to teach slaves to read and write was prohibited by law during this period of slavery resulting in many being completely uneducated (Mosley, 2009). After the Civil War, education contributors, such as Booker T. Washington, established educational systems for Blacks in the South due to the lack of accessibility (Mosley, 2009).

 African American males strive in various fields of distinction, such as music, entertainment, and sports but not African American males will not be that professional basketball player or the next great movie star. African American males (AAM) have encountered major disputes in their educational development reflecting back as early as kindergarten(Kincaid, E. & Yin, J., 2011) . Being obligated to another plan in order to reach their goals, education must be supplemented (Mosley, 2009). According to Dwyer (2011), “only fifty percent of African American males graduate from high school. Reasons for the achievement crisis is that schools have to teach academic content while simultaneously addressing a myriad of issues such as poverty, health care, student homelessness, and neighborhood violence, in which all are without adequate resources. Black boys have to learn to read well before third grade in which afterwards the schools generally stop teaching the nuts and bolts of literacy”.

 An alliance of distinct black educators discloses “the nation’s public school system is giving up on black male students and setting them up to fail” (Cottman, 2010). Additionally, recognized by National Education Association (2011), “forty-two percent of Black students attend schools that are under-resourced and performing poorly, twenty-eight percent of core academic teachers at high-minority schools lack appropriate certification, less than half of Black male students graduate from high school on time, although many eventually complete a GED, and in 2008, 4.6 million Black males had attended college, but only half graduated. Nationally, only 11 percent of Black males complete a bachelor’s degree.”Some civil rights activists have critically held black parents responsible for not preparing their sons to be productive citizens, as well as consenting to the educational school systems in the nurturing of their children (Cottman, 2010). “Such children are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school, and twenty times more likely to end up in prison” (Cottman, 2010).

 Investigative studies have also identified explanations to the lack of education among black males. Palmer, Davis, and Hilton (2009) elaborated the following as critical outcomes of academic failures:

  • “Acting white” Theory: black males have established a societal culture deriving from issues of “oppression, enslavement, and discrimination” resulting in “devaluation of academic success” because of the accusation of “acting White.”
  • Black males are likely to perform inadequate academically because of the inequality in relation to education.
  • Impact of discrimination when black males are enrolled into schools with lack of adequate resources due to poverty-stricken environments which sets the limitations of mastering learning applications to being successful.

Problem Statement

 The root cause analysis to understanding and educating black is based on findings with specific details relating to the subject matter due to personal and academic experiences.  According to Dwyer (2011), “reasons for the achievement crisis is that schools involve issues, such as teaching academic content while simultaneously addressing a phenomenon of issues, including poverty, health care, student homelessness, and neighborhood violence without adequate resources,  instructing boys to read, regardless of their racial background,  in which schools do not adjust for the fact that research shows they do not learn at the same pace as girls, the lack of black male representation in America’s teaching force, in which white women making up 83 percent of teachers nationwide, compared to only 1 percent black males,  in which black boys do not have role models in schools that look like them, and building relationships with black boys which is an overlooked component to solving the crisis.”

 Having the ability to focus on root cause analysis can optimistically predict and expectantly answer the question of “why” within this ethnicity, with comparison to race, peer pressure, and upbringings. Examining the logical studies can provide an enhanced imminent and perceptive attitude of African American males, in order to make a zealous modification within society for a more enhanced future.

Purpose Statement 

 This study will investigate the effects of African American males being educated as the focal point to understanding the strategies and implementations critical to improve from further corrosion. In comparison to other cultural ethnicities, African American boys are under pressure academically, even though girls advance more than boys (Understanding Black male learning styles, 2011). Currently, there is an estimated eighty-three percent of elementary school teachers in America who are White females; less than one percent are African American males, which accounts for possible inconsistent placements of Black boys into special education programs and unsuccessful learning activities for boys  (Understanding Black male learning styles, 2011). African American children are only 17 percent of the total school population in America, yet they represent more than 41 percent of students in special education, of which 80 percent are black (Understanding Black male learning styles, 2011). Black American boys, for most public school systems, spend more time in special education and fewer moments in “advanced placement or college prep courses”, in addition to even greater “disciplinary suspensions and expulsions” compared to other ethnic groups in all-American schools (Olds, 2010). 

Research Questions

The objective of the research questions are to provide information on the connections between society and cultural misconceptions in providing education for black males within the public school system. The research questions to be answered include:

Q1. Is the failure of society a reflection on the academic achievement of black boys within the public school systems?

Q2. How is the perception of education within African-American culture  valued based on socio-economic status?

Summary

 To know and understand Black males academically, it is important to discover and learn their history and culture. Understanding and educating Black males are also a reflection on society and school system from which they reside.  Intense challenges that defy black boys subsist both internally and externally of the educational system (Olds, 2010).  This crisis takes everyone within society to be involved. Detailed short and long term goals are developed, according to The Black Star Project (2010), as ways to assist black males as more productive individuals in society, which comprises of:

Short term

 

  • Teach all Black boys to read at grade level by the third grade and to embrace
  • Provide positive role models for Black boys.
  • Create a stable home environment education for Black boys that includes contact with their fathers.
  • Ensure that Black boys have a strong spiritual base.
  • Control the negative media influences on Black boys.
  • Teach Black boys to respect all girls and women.

 

Long term
 

  • Invest as much money in educating Black boys as in locking up Black men.
  • Help connect Black boys to a positive vision of themselves in the future.
  • Create high expectations and help Black boys live into those high expectations.
  • Build a positive peer culture for Black boys.
  • Teach Black boys self-discipline, culture and history.
  • Teach Black boys and the communities in which they live to embrace education and life-long learning.

References

Proposed Topic

Understanding and Educating African American Males: Is it the failure of society or a cultural misconception?

Introduction

 The merit of an education in life cannot be hesitated. Learning unlocks minds to critical thinking. The meaning of teaching and learning has to begin as early as infancy through adulthood.  Not only does education portray a definition of book wisdom but also it imparts a degree of connotation to growth and development of the mind into various new perceptions and alternatives (Borkar, 2010). Aiming and acknowledging the importance for education provide individuals “with a clearer vision” and allows for more interest to learn. It makes an individual coherent with an capability to think cognitively, which are effective to the development of transformation (Borkar, 2010). Education forms the foundation of cultural society regarding economic, social, and political growth and development. It offers opportunities for communications from many cultural diversities, which results in enriched appreciation and exposure to the world. Importance of education to children not only goes further than credentials but also persistence in obtaining knowledge (Borkar, 2010). In essence, “education means to evolve from being an individual to a human being capable of, not merely ‘surviving’ but living life”  (Borkar, 2010). Education convey knowledge whereby making discoveries and implementing for the betterment of humanity. The evolution of society depends upon the excellence of education that is being taught. The better the quality, the better people can gain wisdom and utilize it to make reforms that lead to research and development  (Borkar, 2010).
Literature Review 

 African Americans miserably began in the United States as slaves. In American society this status was viewed as unworthy possessions  in which treatments were reflected as such (Mosley, 2009). The phenomena identified envisions the explanation as to why the foundation of African Americans education was coarse. The ability to teach slaves to read and write was prohibited by law during this period of slavery resulting in many being completely uneducated (Mosley, 2009). After the Civil War, education contributors, such as Booker T. Washington, established educational systems for Blacks in the South due to the lack of accessibility (Mosley, 2009).

 African American males strive in various fields of distinction, such as music, entertainment, and sports but not African American males will not be that professional basketball player or the next great movie star. African American males (AAM) have encountered major disputes in their educational development reflecting back as early as kindergarten(Kincaid, E. & Yin, J., 2011) . Being obligated to another plan in order to reach their goals, education must be supplemented (Mosley, 2009). According to Dwyer (2011), “only fifty percent of African American males graduate from high school. Reasons for the achievement crisis is that schools have to teach academic content while simultaneously addressing a myriad of issues such as poverty, health care, student homelessness, and neighborhood violence, in which all are without adequate resources. Black boys have to learn to read well before third grade in which afterwards the schools generally stop teaching the nuts and bolts of literacy”.

 An alliance of distinct black educators discloses “the nation’s public school system is giving up on black male students and setting them up to fail” (Cottman, 2010). Additionally, recognized by National Education Association (2011), “forty-two percent of Black students attend schools that are under-resourced and performing poorly, twenty-eight percent of core academic teachers at high-minority schools lack appropriate certification, less than half of Black male students graduate from high school on time, although many eventually complete a GED, and in 2008, 4.6 million Black males had attended college, but only half graduated. Nationally, only 11 percent of Black males complete a bachelor’s degree.”Some civil rights activists have critically held black parents responsible for not preparing their sons to be productive citizens, as well as consenting to the educational school systems in the nurturing of their children (Cottman, 2010). “Such children are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school, and twenty times more likely to end up in prison” (Cottman, 2010).

 Investigative studies have also identified explanations to the lack of education among black males. Palmer, Davis, and Hilton (2009) elaborated the following as critical outcomes of academic failures:

  • “Acting white” Theory: black males have established a societal culture deriving from issues of “oppression, enslavement, and discrimination” resulting in “devaluation of academic success” because of the accusation of “acting White.”
  • Black males are likely to perform inadequate academically because of the inequality in relation to education.
  • Impact of discrimination when black males are enrolled into schools with lack of adequate resources due to poverty-stricken environments which sets the limitations of mastering learning applications to being successful.

Problem Statement

 The root cause analysis to understanding and educating black is based on findings with specific details relating to the subject matter due to personal and academic experiences.  According to Dwyer (2011), “reasons for the achievement crisis is that schools involve issues, such as teaching academic content while simultaneously addressing a phenomenon of issues, including poverty, health care, student homelessness, and neighborhood violence without adequate resources,  instructing boys to read, regardless of their racial background,  in which schools do not adjust for the fact that research shows they do not learn at the same pace as girls, the lack of black male representation in America’s teaching force, in which white women making up 83 percent of teachers nationwide, compared to only 1 percent black males,  in which black boys do not have role models in schools that look like them, and building relationships with black boys which is an overlooked component to solving the crisis.”

 Having the ability to focus on root cause analysis can optimistically predict and expectantly answer the question of “why” within this ethnicity, with comparison to race, peer pressure, and upbringings. Examining the logical studies can provide an enhanced imminent and perceptive attitude of African American males, in order to make a zealous modification within society for a more enhanced future.

Purpose Statement 

 This study will investigate the effects of African American males being educated as the focal point to understanding the strategies and implementations critical to improve from further corrosion. In comparison to other cultural ethnicities, African American boys are under pressure academically, even though girls advance more than boys (Understanding Black male learning styles, 2011). Currently, there is an estimated eighty-three percent of elementary school teachers in America who are White females; less than one percent are African American males, which accounts for possible inconsistent placements of Black boys into special education programs and unsuccessful learning activities for boys  (Understanding Black male learning styles, 2011). African American children are only 17 percent of the total school population in America, yet they represent more than 41 percent of students in special education, of which 80 percent are black (Understanding Black male learning styles, 2011). Black American boys, for most public school systems, spend more time in special education and fewer moments in “advanced placement or college prep courses”, in addition to even greater “disciplinary suspensions and expulsions” compared to other ethnic groups in all-American schools (Olds, 2010). 

Research Questions

The objective of the research questions are to provide information on the connections between society and cultural misconceptions in providing education for black males within the public school system. The research questions to be answered include:

Q1. Is the failure of society a reflection on the academic achievement of black boys within the public school systems?

Q2. How is the perception of education within African-American culture  valued based on socio-economic status?

Summary

 To know and understand Black males academically, it is important to discover and learn their history and culture. Understanding and educating Black males are also a reflection on society and school system from which they reside.  Intense challenges that defy black boys subsist both internally and externally of the educational system (Olds, 2010).  This crisis takes everyone within society to be involved. Detailed short and long term goals are developed, according to The Black Star Project (2010), as ways to assist black males as more productive individuals in society, which comprises of:

Short term

 

  • Teach all Black boys to read at grade level by the third grade and to embrace
  • Provide positive role models for Black boys.
  • Create a stable home environment education for Black boys that includes contact with their fathers.
  • Ensure that Black boys have a strong spiritual base.
  • Control the negative media influences on Black boys.
  • Teach Black boys to respect all girls and women.

 

Long term
 

  • Invest as much money in educating Black boys as in locking up Black men.
  • Help connect Black boys to a positive vision of themselves in the future.
  • Create high expectations and help Black boys live into those high expectations.
  • Build a positive peer culture for Black boys.
  • Teach Black boys self-discipline, culture and history.
  • Teach Black boys and the communities in which they live to embrace education and life-long learning.

References

  • Borkar, R. (2010, February 4). The Importance of Education. Retrieved from Buzzle.com: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/importance-of-education.html
  • The Black Star Project. (2010). America has lost a generation of black boys. Retrieved from The Black Star Project: Excellence in Education: http://blackstarproject.org/action/?option=com_content&task=view&id=24&Itemid=37
  • Cottman, M. H. (2010, September 3). Educators: Black Boys Set Up to Fail. Retrieved from Black America Web:  http://www.blackamericaweb.com/?q=articles/news/moving_america_news/21682
  • Dwyer, L. (2011, September 14). It’s Time to Take the Black Male Achievement Crisis Seriously. Retrieved from Good Education: http://www.good.is/post/it-s-time-to-take-the-black-male-achievement-crisis-seriously/
  • Hargrove, B. H., & Seay, S. E. (2011). School Teacher Perceptions of Barriers That Limit the Participation of African American Males in Public School Gifted Programs. Journal For The Education Of The Gifted, 34(3), 434-467.
  • Jenkins, T. S. (2006). MR. NIGGER: The Challenges of Educating Black Males Within American Society. Journal Of Black Studies, 37(1), 127. doi:10.1177/0021934704273931
  • Kincaid, E., & Yin, J. (2011). PERCEPTIONS: HOW DO THEY INFLUENCE THE ACADEMIC SUCCESS OF AFRICAN AMERICAN MALES?. Review Of Higher Education & Self-Learning, 3(10), 75-83.
  • Mosley, J. (2009, December 31). The Importance of Education in the African American Community . Retrieved from blackvoicenews.com: http://www.blackvoicenews.com/commentary/more-commentary/43846-the-importance-of-education-in-the-african-american-community.html
  • National Education Association. (2011, February). Racing Against Time: Educating Black Boys. Retrieved from National Education Association: http://educatingblackboys11rev.pdf
  • Olds, C. (2010, July 28). Educating Black Boys: Hundred-Year-Old-Advice-Is-Still-Relevant. Retrieved from Oakland Local:  http://oaklandlocal.com/blogs/2010/07/educating-black-boys-hundred-year-old-advice-still-relevant
  • Palmer, R. T., Davis, R. J., & Hilton, A. A. (2009). Exploring challenges that threaten to impede the academic success of academically underprepared black males at an HBCU. Journal of College Student Development, 50(4), 429-445. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/195183743?accountid=28180
  • Roberts, M. (2010). Toward a theory of culturally relevant critical teacher care: African American teachers’ definitions and perceptions of care for African American students. Journal Of Moral Education, 39(4), 449-467. doi:10.1080/03057241003754922
  • Understanding Black male learning styles. (2011, February 23). Retrieved March 11, 2012, from Hudson Valley Press : http://www.hvpress.net/news/129/ARTICLE/10051/2011-02-23.html
  • Walton, A. S. (2010, November 19). Educating Black Boys: Where Are the Parents? The education achievement gap between black and white boys can be blamed on many things, but the trouble starts at home. Retrieved from The Root:  http://www.theroot.com/views/black-boys-and-education?page=0,0
  • Wyatt, S. (2009). The Brotherhood: Empowering Adolescent African-American Males Toward Excellence. Professional School Counseling, 12(6), 463-470.

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