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Black Male perception, of Secondary School Attainment and Opportunities. "Explore reasons for the academic underachievement of black males. To what extent is this due to ethnic differences?"

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´╗┐Black Male perception, of Secondary School Attainment and Opportunities. "Explore reasons for the academic underachievement of black males. To what extent is this due to ethnic differences?" During this essay the ethnic group referred to as African/Caribbean are those who have a Black African or Caribbean ancestry only. This is referred to as an ethnic group and not a race. The term racism in this essay refers to systematic discrimination both within the structures of the institution of schooling and interaction between individuals based on negative perception of assumed racial characteristics The aim of my project is to investigate the reasons and experiences faced by black males that determine their success and failure in school. I will be assessing Black males in English state secondary schools. The word ?ethnic? is my focus word in this essay. There are vivid distinctions between those of different ethnicities who in which as classified as the same race. For instance Afro Caribbean?s perform considerably poorer than black Africans. Since the 1960s Afro-Caribbean children have been labelled and identified as underachievers (see Taylor; 1981, Tomlinson; 1983)[1]. I am concerned primarily with Black males as they have been identified as the social group with having negative experiences within mainstream secondary educational institutions (Sewell). Recently, efforts have been made across the country to respond to the underachievement of black males in education. Over the years the issue of underachievement for black males has become increasingly prolific. These initiatives fall into three categories. Firstly many sate schools have recognised the gap within the attainment of young Black boys, so they have introduced Aim Higher schemes for those who are largely underrepresented in higher education and at a disadvantage in the education system purely because of their gender and ethnicity. Secondly, related initiatives have been developed to encourage these students to focus on careers. These efforts provide specific units, activities, or courses to help these students understand specialised workplace requirements. ...read more.


I do not suspect teachers of the school to be racist per say but there may be underlying reasons for these trends. Maybe because the curriculum is considered to euro-centric and oppressive to black culture. Also it could be due to the East Asians having a strong community within the school, having clubs separate to those of other ethnicities. In my attempt to stop students thinking that my research was specifically race orientated I only provided a box for their country of origin, which was optional. Gladly many did fill this in but four did not and when I collected them into male and female I found that the four who didn't fill in their names turned out to be girls, which wasn't necessary to my study. So I was presented with the clear distinction between black Caribbean and those who were black African as you can see in chart a, which proceeds to my third theme of black Caribbean?s. My fourth and final theme is IQ. When analysing my finding it was clear those who perceived that teachers believed in their academic success also believed that teachers respond to their needs and give them help when needed. This again points to the East Asians having a high level of positive response. I have devised an assessment unit that will decide whether the students hold a positive view of their school. With the score scale being 1-5. 1 being disagree strongly and 5 being strongly agree it was very easy to tally the scores, as all the question followed a particular structure: my school... or the teachers at my school... followed by a statement they could essentially rate true, false or indifferently. I asked the students 10 questions as I thought it could provide a reliable mean. A score less than or equal to16 means that the student has a positive view of their school. ...read more.


CONCLUSION Whilst conducting my research I wish I could find a way to interact with all the necessary participants including the black boys obviously but also their parents, the teachers and even the pastoral leader to obtain the most sufficient data. If I could collate the data in such a way I could be provided with a deeper comprehensive understanding of my participant?s perception of the experience in secondary school education for a black male. Even having done a brief less in depth study consistencies can be drawn from many of the texts analysed. It is obvious that my results in the graphs/ charts point to a pattern of low achieving and teacher attention, this is possibly due to teacher labelling becoming the self fulfilling prophecy. Specifically I am referring to teachers possibly being offended by the black male?s dress code or appearance, the teacher then labels the student and acts upon that label ignoring the student. The student acknowledges that label and prophesises it allowing the label to become his master status. I believe teacher and pupil relationship is the most important factor affecting the academic achievement of black males as the factors that have been most compelling and have a great deal of research and evidence to support its theories tend to be internal factors - referring to the occurrences in school. IQ is definitely an outdated argument and the reason for Afro Caribbean major underachievement is still beyond my knowledge. The following quote sums up my conclusion to why many black males underachieve in education ?My teacher doesn't care about me, so why should I care? Word count: 4,620 ________________ [1] http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/425/1/Gosai09PhD_A1a.pdf see page 11 [2] - http://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/obriene/art7/readings/benetton.htm [3] Carmichael and Hamilton 1967 Black Power [4] Stephen Lawrence Enquiry 1999 p.28 [5] 8. MacPherson Report 1999 [6] http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/barrycomp/bhs/alevel_rev/pdf_files/ethnicity.pdf [7] http://www.theguardian.com/education/2008/sep/05/raceineducation.raceinschools [8] My questionnaire responses [9] ?Self fulfilling prophecy? (Rosenthal and Jacobson, 1968). [10] http://www.earlhamsociologypages.co.uk/ethedessay.html [11] http://www.theguardian.com/education/2008/apr/22/schools.pupilbehaviour [12] http://www.theguardian.com/education/2008/sep/05/raceineducation.raceinschools [13] http://www.londonspovertyprofile.org.uk/indicators/topics/low-educational-outcomes/free-school-meals-at-16/ [14] http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/bitstream/2438/6260/8/FulltextThesis.pdf page 34 ...read more.

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