Our faculty in the College of Education is devoted to improving educational opportunities for marginalized groups, through research of inclusive learning practices.
Black students often face educational disadvantages that prevent them from achieving academic success. This is due in part to limited research that allows teachers to better connect with their students.
As we close out Black History Month, it’s an important opportunity to take a look at examples of the work our faculty have done to expand research and support the success of African American students at all grade levels.
African American males face many obstacles in education: disproportionate dropout, expulsion and suspension rates, overrepresentation in special education, and underrepresentation in gifted education.
So how can existing research be easily accessed?
Professor Louis Harrison and Associate Professor Anthony Brown have established The Black Male Education Research Collection to assist researchers, journalists, and policymakers with researching the issues of black males in education. BMERC is a collection of scholarly articles from peer-reviewed journals, interviews, reports, and monthly videos that cover a wide variety of topics from the nation’s top scholars on black male education.
Associate professors Keffrelyn Brown and Anthony Brown answer questions regarding their book about three black education leaders’ ideas. “Black Intellectual Thought in Education: The Missing Traditions of Anna Julia Cooper, Carter G. Woodson, and Alain LeRoy Locke,” analyzes the contributions of these education leaders and a counternarrative for black students.
Composed of 453,000 student responses nationwide, the Aspirations to Achievement: Men of Color and Community Colleges was produced by the College of Education’s Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE) to analyze the academic outcome for men of color in comparison to white male students. This study questions the negative effects of stereotyping and academic testing readiness among different races of men.
“Despite Black and Hispanic males reporting higher aspirations to earn a community college certificate or degree than their White peers, only 5 percent of those who attend community colleges earn certificates or degrees in three years, as opposed to 32 percent of White males,” says Kay McClenney, CCCSE director.
Studies show that black male students are struggling in school because they lack a connection with their teachers. Assessing how to better engage with students is a beneficial way of encouraging learning.
Assistant Professor Sepehr Vakil describes the use of politicized caring, “when teachers acknowledge the ways schools reproduce racialized and gendered stereotypes. These teachers then cultivate relationships with marginalized students in ways that acknowledge their oppression and their developmental needs as children and as learners.”