Learning While Black: A Qualitative Analysis of the Impact of Race in a U.S. High School
World Journal of Educational Research
One of the major contributing factors to the Black-White achievement gap is school context. While many factors can affect academic achievement amongst Black youth, school climate and inter-racial relations are among the root causes which impact Black students' development. In this qualitative study, we conducted secondary analysis of existing data consisting of interview transcripts and focus group discussions held in 2013 with 21 Black students who attended a public charter high school in
... gan. Open access data were downloaded from the University of Michigan Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) database. We analyzed qualitative data for themes and constructs related to school context and such influences on Black youth development. The following three constructs were identified: racial identity of Black youth, the impact of teachers on Black students' racial identity and development, and lastly, exploring the dominant culture of the U.S. education system. For researchers, this data highlights a need for more studies on the intersection of race, school environment, and youth development. For administrators and policy makers, the results emphasize the need for investment and engagement in the daily experiences of Black students, reducing racism, and increasing diversity of curriculum. Teachers and school administrators may benefit from specialized training to better address cultural, educational, and developmental needs of Black youth in the context of their role in school.