• Hear My Voice: An Examination of the Views of Parents Who Are Raising Children of African American Descent

      Phelps, Chavez Maurice (2012-01-13)
      Researchers have demonstrated that children who attend early childhood education programs benefit academically and socially (National Institute for Early Education Research, 2003). However, other researchers have shown that African American students may still lag behind their counterparts when they enter school (National Center for Education Statistics ([NCES], 2004). To explain this phenomenon, scholars and practitioners have relied on deficit theories, such as Ruby Payne’s (2005) culture of poverty theory or John Ogbu’s (1992) oppositional culture identity theory, which shift the blame solely on the child or their parents. However, there are other researchers who have stressed the importance of examining the impact of racism and classism on African American children’s academic success. The purpose of this study is to provide a voice to parents of children who are of African American descent. Specifically, I examined parents’ perspectives on early academic success and various factors that impact their children’s success using Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) ecological systems theory and Spencer’s (1995) phenomenological variant of ecological systems theory (PVEST) as frameworks. To develop an understanding of early academic success from the perspective of parents, qualitative methodology was chosen, specifically grounded theory. Fourteen families who lived in a Midwest city or town, particularly mothers and their children, participated in this study. Data resources included two interviews, journals, and academic and social skills screeners. The data were analyzed based on parents’ degree status and marital status as well as grade, gender, and disability status of their child.Results show that parents define early academic success as acquiring the following: literacy, numeracy, and social skills. The participants stressed the importance of parents and teacher characteristics as important to their children’s early academic success. Furthermore, these parents believed that family factors such as a structured and consistent family routine are relevant to academic achievement. In terms of neighborhood factors, parents believed that a quiet and peaceful neighborhood as well as a neighborhood that valued and foster academic achievement as a community is crucial. Participants stressed the importance that their children should participate in various activities such as sports and music and dance classes. Their children should possess such values as respect and compassion, which are necessary to be successful. Additionally, the participants discussed their various teaching strategies and the importance of spending time with their children. Finally, the participants discussed the conversations they have with their children regarding race and how their children’s school and teachers embrace their children’s heritage.
    • The impact of extracurricular activities on academic performance for rural secondary students in Indiana.

      Wilcox, Michael Lee (2012-05-21)
      The purpose of this study was two-fold in nature. First, this study sought to identify whether extracurricular participation for students in a rural, Grades 7-12 building created significant differences when examining academic performance, attendance, gender, lunch status, and student discipline compared to their non-participant peers. Secondly, this study examined the impact extracurricular participation, attendance, gender, lunch status, and discipline has on academic performance for rural students. These three factors were then compared to determine the overall rank-order of impact on academic performance. Based on this study, there was a significant difference between extracurricular participants and non-participants in language arts standardized testing performance. There was a significant difference between extracurricular participants and non-participants in mathematics standardized testing performance. There was a significant difference between extracurricular participants and non-participants on the number of days not in attendance. There was a significant difference between extracurricular participants and non-participants on the number of student discipline contacts. Extracurricular participation, attendance rate, and number of discipline contacts were significant predictors for language arts standardized assessment scores. Gender and lunch status were not significant predictors of language arts standardized testing performance. Extracurricular participation, attendance rate, and number of discipline contacts were significant predictors for mathematics standardized assessment scores. Gender and lunch status were not significant predictors of mathematics standardized testing performance.
    • The relative effectiveness of two cognitive intervention approaches with attention deficit disordered children.

      Conner, E.June (2012-05-16)
      This study was designed to evaluate the differential treatment efficacy of traditional cognitive behavior modification(CBM),cognitive skill training(CST),and a tutorial control condition in modifying the cognitive style,academic achievement,and behavioral control of elementary-age attention deficit disordered(ADD)children.A review of the cognitive training literature suggested that,while traditional CBM programs are often effective in increasing performance on cognitive processing measures in the laboratory,little effect is noted in the natural environment.The CST condition attempted to promote increased transfer of skills by training an intermediate-level,academically relevant set of content/process skills emphasizing metacognitive awareness and control.Subjects included 33 children enrolled in grades one through six in area schools.Subjects were rigorously screened to meet the criterion of ADD.All subjects were tested on the ll variables under consideration immediately prior to treatment,immediately subsequent to intervention,and six months following treatment.Treatment for all three groups(CBM,N-13;CST,N-13;Control,N-7)was conducted over a seven-week period with a total training time for each group of approximately 42 hours.The statistical procedure used to analyze the data was a 3(groups)X3(repeated measures)analysis of variance.Separate ANOVAS were carried out on the eleven variables under consideration.The variables included cognitive processing variables of impulse control error(MFFT),impulse control latency(MFFT),and field articulation(CEFT).Academic achievement variables consisted of the five subtests and the total score of the PIAT.Behavioral control variables included self-control(SCRS)and hyperactivity(parent CRS).The statistical analysis revealed that there were essentially no significant interactions favoring the cognitive training methods.The only finding which was significant involved the reading comprehension variable,where there was a significant decrement in scores by the control group at posttesting.Based on the results of this study,it was concluded that neither the CBM nor the CST approach to cognitive training offers clear-cut advantages over more traditional methods at the present time.However,clinical evidence of the incremental value of the cognitive methods over the tutorial procedure led to recommendations for increasing the statistical power and utilizing more sensitive dependent measures in evaluating cognitive training efforts.