This innovative portrait of student life in an urban high school focuses on the academic success of African-American students, exploring the symbolic role of academic achievement within the Black community and investigating the price students pay for attaining it. Signithia Fordham's richly detailed ethnography reveals a deeply rooted cultural system that favors egalitarianism and group cohesion over the individualistic, competitive demands of academic success and sheds new light on the sources of academic performance. She also details the ways in which the achievements of sucessful African-Americans are "blacked out" of the public imagination and negative images are reflected onto black adolescents. A self-proclaimed "native" anthropologist, she chronicles the struggle of African-American students to construct an identity suitable to themselves, their peers, and their families within an arena of colliding ideals. This long-overdue contribution is of crucial importance to educators, policymakers, and ethnographers.
Closing the Education Achievement Gaps for African American Males is a research-based tool to improve the schooling experience of African American males. Editors Theodore S. Ransaw and Richard Majors draw together a collection of writings that provide much-needed engagement with issues of gender and identity for black males, as well as those of culture, media, and technology, in the context of education.
The distinguished and expert contributors whose work comprises this volume include an achievement-gap specialist for males of color, two psychologists, a math teacher, an electrical engineer, a former school principal, a social worker, and a former human rights commissioner. From black male learning styles to STEM, this book shows that issues pertaining to educational outcomes for black males are nuanced and complex but not unsolvable.
With its combination of fresh new approaches to closing achievement gaps and up-to-date views on trends, this volume is an invaluable resource on vital contemporary social and educational issues that aims to improve learning, equity, and access for African American males.
American students vary in educational achievement, but white students in general typically have better test scores and grades than black students. Why is this the case, and what can school leaders do about it? In The Color of Mind, Derrick Darby and John L. Rury answer these pressing questions and show that we cannot make further progress in closing the achievement gap until we understand its racist origins.
Telling the story of what they call the Color of Mind—the idea that there are racial differences in intelligence, character, and behavior—they show how philosophers, such as David Hume and Immanuel Kant, and American statesman Thomas Jefferson, contributed to the construction of this pernicious idea, how it influenced the nature of schooling and student achievement, and how voices of dissent such as Frederick Douglass, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and W. E. B. Du Bois debunked the Color of Mind and worked to undo its adverse impacts.
Rejecting the view that racial differences in educational achievement are a product of innate or cultural differences, Darby and Rury uncover the historical interplay between ideas about race and American schooling, to show clearly that the racial achievement gap has been socially and institutionally constructed. School leaders striving to bring justice and dignity to American schools today must work to root out the systemic manifestations of these ideas within schools, while still doing what they can to mitigate the negative effects of poverty, segregation, inequality, and other external factors that adversely affect student achievement. While we cannot expect schools alone to solve these vexing social problems, we must demand that they address the dignitary injustices associated with how we track, discipline, and deal with special education that reinforce long-standing racist ideas. That is the only way to expel the Color of Mind from schools, close the racial achievement gap, and afford all children the dignity they deserve.
Young children and even infants work hard at mastering various kills and show spontaneous pleasure at their own accomplishment. John Nicholls explores the conditions that cause students to lose their unselfconscious involvement in a game or task and become concerned with how they are stacking up against others. Charting the development of children’s concepts of luck, effort, and ability, he argues that with age they are increasingly prone to take superiority over others as the definition of success. An emphasis on interpersonal competition, which permeates Western society, exacerbates this egotistical tendency and results in diminished accomplishment and alienation from school.
To overcome these problems, Nicholls argues, we must “become as little children” for whom absorption in exploration and accomplishment come naturally, even when those around them are more competent. This ideal is unlikely to be promoted through technical approaches to education, or by the current emphasis on the role of education in economic development. Instead, Nicholls calls for a progressive approach to education. Difficult though it is to implement, this approach is most likely to increase equality of motivation for intellectual development, substantial accomplishment, satisfaction in work, and more productive relations with others. These are important ideas for anyone interested in achievement motivation, for those professionally involved in education, and for nonspecialists interested in, or worried about, how we educate our children.
In an increasingly diverse United States, minority and low-income students of all ages struggle to fit into mainstream colleges and universities that cater predominantly to middle-income and affluent white students fresh out of high school. Anchored in a study conducted at twelve minority-serving institutions (MSIs), Educating a Diverse Nation turns a spotlight on the challenges facing nontraditional college students and highlights innovative programs and practices that are advancing students’ persistence and learning.
Clifton Conrad and Marybeth Gasman offer an on-the-ground perspective of life at MSIs. Speaking for themselves, some students describe the stress of balancing tuition with the need to support families. Others express their concerns about not being adequately prepared for college-level work. And more than a few reveal doubts about the relevance of college for their future. The authors visited the four main types of MSIs—historically black colleges and universities, tribal colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander–serving institutions—to identify strategies for empowering nontraditional students to succeed in college despite these obstacles.
Educating a Diverse Nation illuminates such initiatives as collaborative learning, culturally relevant educational programs, blurring the roles of faculty, staff, and students, peer-led team learning, and real-world problem solving. It shows how these innovations engage students and foster the knowledge, skills, and habits they need to become self-sustaining in college and beyond, as well as valuable contributors to society.
While recruitment efforts toward men of color have increased at many colleges and universities, their retention and graduation rates still lag behind those of their white peers. Men of color, particularly black and Latino men, face a number of unique challenges in their educational careers that often impact their presence on campus and inhibit their collegiate success. Empowering Men of Color on Campus examines how men of color negotiate college through their engagement in Brothers for United Success (B4US), an institutionally-based male-centered program at a Hispanic Serving Institution. Derrick R. Brooms, Jelisa Clark, and Matthew Smith introduce the concept of educational agency, which is harbored in cultural wealth and demonstrates how ongoing B4US engagement empowers the men’s efforts and abilities to persist in college. They found that the cultural wealth(s) of the community enhanced the students’ educational agency, which bolstered their academic aspirations, academic and social engagement, and personal development. The authors demonstrate how educational agency and cultural wealth can be developed and refined given salient and meaningful immersions, experiences, engagements, and communal connections.
Working mothers, broken homes, poverty, racial or ethnic background, poorly educated parents—these are the usual reasons given for the academic problems of poor urban children. Reginald M. Clark contends, however, that such structural characteristics of families neither predict nor explain the wide variation in academic achievement among children. He emphasizes instead the total family life, stating that the most important indicators of academic potential are embedded in family culture.
To support his contentions, Clark offers ten intimate portraits of Black families in Chicago. Visiting the homes of poor one- and two-parent families of high and low achievers, Clark made detailed observations on the quality of home life, noting how family habits and interactions affect school success and what characteristics of family life provide children with "school survival skills," a complex of behaviors, attitudes, and knowledge that are the essential elements in academic success.
Clark's conclusions lead to exciting implications for educational policy. If school achievement is not dependent on family structure or income, parents can learn to inculcate school survival skills in their children. Clark offers specific suggestions and strategies for use by teachers, parents, school administrators, and social service policy makers, but his work will also find an audience in urban anthropology, family studies, and Black studies.
How Girls Achieve
Sally A. Nuamah Harvard University Press, 2019 Library of Congress LC1481.N83 2019 | Dewey Decimal 371.82
Winner of the Jackie Kirk Award Winner of the AESA Critics’ Choice Award
“Blazes new trails in the study of the lives of girls, challenging all of us who care about justice and gender equity not only to create just and inclusive educational institutions but to be unapologetically feminist in doing so. Seamlessly merging research with the stories and voices of girls and those who educate them, this book reminds us that we should do better and inspires the belief that we can. It is the blueprint we’ve been waiting for.” —Brittney C. Cooper, author of Eloquent Rage
“Nuamah makes a compelling and convincing case for the development of the type of school that can not only teach girls but also transform them…An essential read for all educators, policymakers, and parents invested in a better future.” —Joyce Banda, former President of the Republic of Malawi
This bold and necessary book points out a simple and overlooked truth: most schools never had girls in mind to begin with. That is why the world needs what Sally Nuamah calls “feminist schools,” deliberately designed to provide girls with achievement-oriented identities. And she shows how these schools would help all students, regardless of their gender.
Educated women raise healthier families, build stronger communities, and generate economic opportunities for themselves and their children. Yet millions of disadvantaged girls never make it to school—and too many others drop out or fail. Upending decades of advice and billions of dollars in aid, Nuamah argues that this happens because so many challenges girls confront—from sexual abuse to unequal access to materials and opportunities—go unaddressed. But it isn’t enough just to go to school. What you learn there has to prepare you for the world where you’ll put that knowledge to work.
A compelling and inspiring scholar who has founded a nonprofit to test her ideas, Nuamah reveals that developing resilience is not a gender-neutral undertaking. Preaching grit doesn’t help girls; it actively harms them. Drawing on her deep immersion in classrooms in the United States, Ghana, and South Africa, Nuamah calls for a new approach: creating feminist schools that will actively teach girls how and when to challenge society’s norms, and allow them to carve out their own paths to success.
In Identity Politics of Difference, author Michelle R. Montgomery uses a multidisciplinary approach to examine questions of identity construction and multiracialism through the experiences of mixed-race Native American students at a tribal school in New Mexico. She explores the multiple ways in which these students navigate, experience, and understand their racial status and how this status affects their educational success and social interactions.
Montgomery contextualizes students’ representations of their racial identity choices through the compounded race politics of blood quantum and stereotypes of physical features, showing how varying degrees of "Indianness" are determined by peer groups. Based on in-depth interviews with nine students who identify as mixed-race (Native American–White, Native American–Black, and Native American–Hispanic), Montgomery challenges us to scrutinize how the category of “mixed-race” bears different meanings for those who fall under it based on their outward perceptions, including their ability to "pass" as one race or another.
Identity Politics of Difference includes an arsenal of policy implications for advancing equity and social justice in tribal colleges and beyond and actively engages readers to reflect on how they have experienced the identity politics of race throughout their own lives. The book will be a valuable resource to scholars, policy makers, teachers, and school administrators, as well as to students and their families.
Understanding the causes of the racial achievement gap in American education—and then addressing it with effective programs—is one of the most urgent problems communities and educators face.
For many years, the most popular explanation for the achievement gap has been the “oppositional culture theory”: the idea that black students underperform in secondary schools because of a group culture that devalues learning and sees academic effort as “acting white.” Despite lack of evidence for this belief, classroom teachers accept it, with predictable self-fulfilling results. In a careful quantitative assessment of the oppositional culture hypothesis, Angel L. Harris tested its empirical implications systematically and broadened his analysis to include data from British schools. From every conceivable angle of examination, the oppositional culture theory fell flat.
Despite achieving less in school, black students value schooling more than their white counterparts do. Black kids perform badly in high school not because they don’t want to succeed but because they enter without the necessary skills. Harris finds that the achievement gap starts to open up in preadolescence—when cumulating socioeconomic and health disadvantages inhibit skills development and when students start to feel the impact of lowered teacher expectations.
Kids Don’t Want to Fail is must reading for teachers, academics, policy makers, and anyone interested in understanding the intersection of race and education.
One child in five in America is the child of immigrants, and their numbers increase each year. Very few will return to the country they barely remember. Who are they, and what America do they know?
Based on an extraordinary interdisciplinary study that followed 400 newly arrived children from the Caribbean, China, Central America, and Mexico for five years, this book provides a compelling account of the lives, dreams, and frustrations of these youngest immigrants. Richly told portraits of high and low achievers are packed with unexpected ironies. When they arrive, most children are full of optimism and a respect for education. But poor neighborhoods and dull--often dangerous--schools can corrode hopes. The vast majority learn English--but it is the English of video games and the neighborhood, not that of standardized tests.
For some of these children, those heading off to college, America promises to be a land of dreams. These lucky ones have often benefited from caring mentors, supportive teachers, or savvy parents. For others, the first five years are marked by disappointments, frustrations, and disenchantment. How can we explain their varied academic journeys?
The children of immigrants, here to stay, are the future--and how they adapt will determine the nature of America in the twenty-first century.
An avalanche of recent newspapers, weekly newsmagazines, scholarly journals, and academic books has helped to spark a heated debate by publishing warnings of a “boy crisis” in which male students at all academic levels have begun falling behind their female peers. In Learning the Hard Way, Edward W. Morris explores and analyzes detailed ethnographic data on this purported gender gap between boys and girls in educational achievement at two low-income high schools—one rural and predominantly white, the other urban and mostly African American. Crucial questions arose from his study of gender at these two schools. Why did boys tend to show less interest in and more defiance toward school? Why did girls significantly outperform boys at both schools? Why did people at the schools still describe boys as especially “smart”?
Morris examines these questions and, in the process, illuminates connections of gender to race, class, and place. This book is not simply about the educational troubles of boys, but the troubled and complex experience of gender in school. It reveals how particular race, class, and geographical experiences shape masculinity and femininity in ways that affect academic performance. His findings add a new perspective to the “gender gap” in achievement.
The Parent-Child Home Program, a pre-preschool home visiting program, has grown greatly since the first edition of Messages from Home was published in 1988. This expanded and updated edition shows the continued success of this program-spearheaded by the late Phyllis Levenstein-which prepares at-risk children for school success, overcoming educational disadvantage.
Since The Parent-Child Home Program was founded in the 1960s, it has enriched the cognitive, social, and emotional school readiness of tens of thousands of children. The Program's methods, its theoretical underpinnings, and its impressive results are presented in detail. The success stories of both parents and children make inspiring reading. The combination of lively writing and data-driven scientific rigor give it both broad appeal and academic relevance.
Achievement tests play an important role in modern societies. They are used to evaluate schools, to assign students to tracks within schools, and to identify weaknesses in student knowledge. The GED is an achievement test used to grant the status of high school graduate to anyone who passes it. GED recipients currently account for 12 percent of all high school credentials issued each year in the United States. But do achievement tests predict success in life?
The Myth of Achievement Tests shows that achievement tests like the GED fail to measure important life skills. James J. Heckman, John Eric Humphries, Tim Kautz, and a group of scholars offer an in-depth exploration of how the GED came to be used throughout the United States and why our reliance on it is dangerous. Drawing on decades of research, the authors show that, while GED recipients score as well on achievement tests as high school graduates who do not enroll in college, high school graduates vastly outperform GED recipients in terms of their earnings, employment opportunities, educational attainment, and health. The authors show that the differences in success between GED recipients and high school graduates are driven by character skills. Achievement tests like the GED do not adequately capture character skills like conscientiousness, perseverance, sociability, and curiosity. These skills are important in predicting a variety of life outcomes. They can be measured, and they can be taught.
Using the GED as a case study, the authors explore what achievement tests miss and show the dangers of an educational system based on them. They call for a return to an emphasis on character in our schools, our systems of accountability, and our national dialogue.
Eric Grodsky, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Andrew Halpern-Manners, Indiana University Bloomington
Paul A. LaFontaine, Federal Communications Commission
Janice H. Laurence, Temple University
Lois M. Quinn, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
Pedro L. Rodríguez, Institute of Advanced Studies in Administration
John Robert Warren, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
In The Ocean in the School Rick Bonus tells the stories of Pacific Islander students as they and their allies struggled to transform a university they believed did not value their presence. Drawing on dozens of interviews with students he taught, advised, and mentored between 2004 and 2018 at the University of Washington, Bonus outlines how, despite the university's promotion of diversity and student success programs, these students often did not find their education to be meaningful, leading some to leave the university. As these students note, they weren't failing school; the school was failing them. Bonus shows how students employed the ocean as a metaphor as a way to foster community and to transform the university into a space that valued meaningfulness, respect, and critical thinking. In sharing these students' insights and experiences, Bonus opens up questions about measuring student success, the centrality of antiracism and social justice to structurally reshaping universities, and the purpose of higher education.
Helicopter parents—the kind that continue to hover even in college—are one of the most ridiculed figures of twenty-first-century parenting, criticized for creating entitled young adults who boomerang back home. But do involved parents really damage their children and burden universities? In this book, sociologist Laura T. Hamilton illuminates the lives of young women and their families to ask just what role parents play during the crucial college years.
Hamilton vividly captures the parenting approaches of mothers and fathers from all walks of life—from a CFO for a Fortune 500 company to a waitress at a roadside diner. As she shows, parents are guided by different visions of the ideal college experience, built around classed notions of women’s work/family plans and the ideal age to “grow up.” Some are intensively involved and hold adulthood at bay to cultivate specific traits: professional helicopters, for instance, help develop the skills and credentials that will advance their daughters’ careers, while pink helicopters emphasize appearance, charm, and social ties in the hopes that women will secure a wealthy mate. In sharp contrast, bystander parents—whose influence is often limited by economic concerns—are relegated to the sidelines of their daughter’s lives. Finally, paramedic parents—who can come from a wide range of class backgrounds—sit in the middle, intervening in emergencies but otherwise valuing self-sufficiency above all.
Analyzing the effects of each of these approaches with clarity and depth, Hamilton ultimately argues that successfully navigating many colleges and universities without involved parents is nearly impossible, and that schools themselves are increasingly dependent on active parents for a wide array of tasks, with intended and unintended consequences. Altogether, Parenting to a Degree offers an incisive look into the new—and sometimes problematic—relationship between students, parents, and universities.
Even high-performing students sometimes need assistance to transform their high school achievement into a higher education outcome that matches their potential, especially when those students come from vulnerable backgrounds. Without intervention, many of these students, lost in the transition between secondary school and higher education, would not attend selective colleges that provide greater opportunities. Potential on the Periphery profiles the Simmons Memorial Foundation (SMF), a grassroots non-profit organization co-founded by author Omari Scott Simmons, that promotes college access for students in North Carolina and Delaware. Simmons discusses how the organization has helped students secure admission and succeed in college, using this example to contextualize the broader realm of existing education practice, academic theory, and public policy. Using data gleaned from interviews with past student participants in the programs run by the SMF, Simmons illuminates the underlying factors thwarting student achievement, such as inadequate information about college options, limited opportunities for social capital acquisition, financial pressures, self-doubt, and political weakness. Simmons then identifies policy solutions and pragmatic strategies that college access organizations can adopt to address these factors.
From the day they arrive on campus, college students spend four years—or sometimes more—making decisions that shape every aspect of their academic and social lives. Whether choosing a major or a roommate, some students embrace decision-making as an opportunity for growth, while others seek to minimize challenges and avoid risk. Practice for Life builds a compelling case that a liberal arts education offers students a complex, valuable process of self-creation, one that begins in college but continues far beyond graduation.
Sifting data from a five-year study that followed over two hundred students at seven New England liberal arts colleges, the authors uncover what drives undergraduates to become engaged with their education. They found that students do not experience college as having a clear beginning and end but as a continuous series of new beginnings. They start and restart college many times, owing to the rhythms of the academic calendar, the vagaries of student housing allocation, and other factors. This dynamic has drawbacks as well as advantages. Not only students but also parents and faculty place enormous weight on some decisions, such as declaring a major, while overlooking the small but significant choices that shape students' daily experience.
For most undergraduates, deep engagement with their college education is at best episodic rather than sustained. Yet these disruptions in engagement provide students with abundant opportunities for reflection and course-correction as they learn to navigate the future uncertainties of adult life.
Middle- and upper-middle-class students continue to outpace those from less privileged backgrounds. Most attempts to redress this inequality focus on the issue of access to financial resources, but as Producing Success makes clear, the problem goes beyond mere economics. In this eye-opening study, Peter Demerath examines a typical suburban American high school to explain how some students get ahead.
Demerath undertook four years of research at a Midwestern high school to examine the mercilessly competitive culture that drives students to advance. Producing Success reveals the many ways the community’s ideology of achievement plays out: students hone their work ethics and employ various strategies to succeed, from negotiating with teachers to cheating; parents relentlessly push their children while manipulating school policies to help them get ahead; and administrators aid high performers in myriad ways, even naming over forty students “valedictorians.” Yet, as Demerath shows, this unswerving commitment to individual advancement takes its toll, leading to student stress and fatigue, incivility and vandalism, and the alienation of the less successful. Insightful and candid, Producing Success is an often troubling account of the educationally and morally questionable results of the American culture of success.
Nearly the whole of America’s partisan politics centers on a single question: Can markets solve our social problems? And for years this question has played out ferociously in the debates about how we should educate our children. From the growth of vouchers and charter schools to the implementation of No Child Left Behind, policy makers have increasingly turned to market-based models to help improve our schools, believing that private institutions—because they are competitively driven—are better than public ones. With The Public School Advantage, Christopher A. and Sarah Theule Lubienski offer powerful evidence to undercut this belief, showing that public schools in fact outperform private ones.
For decades research showing that students at private schools perform better than students at public ones has been used to promote the benefits of the private sector in education, including vouchers and charter schools—but much of these data are now nearly half a century old. Drawing on two recent, large-scale, and nationally representative databases, the Lubienskis show that any benefit seen in private school performance now is more than explained by demographics. Private schools have higher scores not because they are better institutions but because their students largely come from more privileged backgrounds that offer greater educational support. After correcting for demographics, the Lubienskis go on to show that gains in student achievement at public schools are at least as great and often greater than those at private ones. Even more surprising, they show that the very mechanism that market-based reformers champion—autonomy—may be the crucial factor that prevents private schools from performing better. Alternatively, those practices that these reformers castigate, such as teacher certification and professional reforms of curriculum and instruction, turn out to have a significant effect on school improvement.
Despite our politics, we all agree on the fundamental fact: education deserves our utmost care. The Public School Advantage offers exactly that. By examining schools within the diversity of populations in which they actually operate, it provides not ideologies but facts. And the facts say it clearly: education is better off when provided for the public by the public.
An illuminating, in-depth look at competition in suburban high schools with growing numbers of Asian Americans, where white parents are determined to ensure that their children remain at the head of the class.
The American suburb conjures an image of picturesque privilege: manicured lawns, quiet streets, and—most important to parents—high-quality schools. These elite enclaves are also historically white, allowing many white Americans to safeguard their privileges by using public schools to help their children enter top colleges. That’s changing, however, as Asian American professionals increasingly move into wealthy suburban areas to give their kids that same leg up for their college applications and future careers.
As Natasha Warikoo shows in Race at the Top, white and Asian parents alike will do anything to help their children get to the top of the achievement pile. She takes us into the affluent suburban East Coast school she calls “Woodcrest High,” with a student body about one-half white and one-third Asian American. As increasing numbers of Woodcrest’s Asian American students earn star-pupil status, many whites feel displaced from the top of the academic hierarchy, and their frustrations grow. To maintain their children’s edge, some white parents complain to the school that schoolwork has become too rigorous. They also emphasize excellence in extracurriculars like sports and theater, which maintains their children’s advantage.
Warikoo reveals how, even when they are bested, white families in Woodcrest work to change the rules in their favor so they can remain the winners of the meritocracy game. Along the way, Warikoo explores urgent issues of racial and economic inequality that play out in affluent suburban American high schools. Caught in a race for power and privilege at the very top of society, what families in towns like Woodcrest fail to see is that everyone in their race is getting a medal—the children who actually lose are those living beyond their town’s boundaries.
The Wallace Foundation’s National Summer Learning Study, conducted by RAND and launched in 2011, offers the first assessment of district-run voluntary summer programs over the short and long run. This report, the second of five that will result from the study, looks at how summer programs affected student performance on math, reading, and social and emotional assessments in fall 2013.
The circumstances affecting many African American males in schools and society remain complex and problematic. In spite of modest gains in school achievement and graduation rates, conditions that impede the progress of African American males persist: high rates of school violence and suspensions, overrepresentation in special education classes, poor access to higher education, high incidence of crime and incarceration, gender and masculine identity issues, and HIV/AIDS and other health crises.
The essays gathered here focus on these issues as they exist for males in grades K-12 and postsecondary education in Michigan. However, the authors intend their analyses and policy recommendations to apply to African American males nationally.
Although it recognizes the current difficulties of this population overall, this is an optimistic volume, with a goal of creating policies and norms that help African American males achieve their educational and social potential. In this era of widespread change for all members of American society-regardless of race-this book is a must-read for educators and policymakers alike.
While the most important measure of success for many degree-seeking students is the timely attainment of a Bachelor’s degree, there remains a host of other indicators of student success that vary by student population and students’ personal goals. Many of these smaller successes lead to the ultimate goal of graduation and are significant triumphs throughout the journey through higher education.
Success for All is a strategic guide for administrators and educators that offers methods for advising students through the myriad of challenges they face. Every bit of success contributes to the accomplishment of a larger goal, and this book highlights success at every level. It provides a specific roadmap to the research, services, and programs at the University of Nevada, Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College that support student success in undergraduate and graduate programs regardless of a student’s social, emotional, or prior academic experiences. Contributors discuss how to make students feel welcome in their social and educational environments and how to directly assist them with the timely completion of their degree. Administrators and educators demonstrate how these programs help make a positive contribution to the students and the institutions they serve while implementing practical solutions to increase graduation rates.
What Every Science Student Should Know
Justin L. Bauer, Yoo Jung Kim, Andrew H. Zureick, and Daniel K. Lee University of Chicago Press, 2016 Library of Congress Q181.A2B38 2016 | Dewey Decimal 507.1173
“I am often amazed at how much more capability and enthusiasm for science there is among elementary school youngsters than among college students. . . . We must understand and circumvent this dangerous discouragement. No one can predict where the future leaders of science will come from.”—Carl Sagan
In 2012, the White House put out a call to increase the number of STEM graduates by one million. Since then, hundreds of thousands of science students have started down the path toward a STEM career. Yet, of these budding scientists, more than half of all college students planning to study science or medicine leave the field during their academic careers.
What Every Science Student Should Know is the perfect personal mentor for any aspiring scientist. Like an experienced lab partner or frank advisor, the book points out the pitfalls while providing encouragement. Chapters cover the entire college experience, including choosing a major, mastering study skills, doing scientific research, finding a job, and, most important, how to foster and keep a love of science.
This guide is a distillation of the authors’ own experiences as recent science graduates, bolstered by years of research and interviews with successful scientists and other science students. The authorial team includes former editors-in-chief of the prestigious Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science. All have weathered the ups and downs of undergrad life—and all are still pursuing STEM careers. Forthright and empowering, What Every Science Student Should Know is brimming with insider advice on how to excel as both a student and a scientist.
The author of the best-selling book What the Best College Teachers Do is back with more humane, doable, and inspiring help, this time for students who want to get the most out of college—and every other educational enterprise, too.
The first thing they should do? Think beyond the transcript. The creative, successful people profiled in this book—college graduates who went on to change the world we live in—aimed higher than straight A’s. They used their four years to cultivate habits of thought that would enable them to grow and adapt throughout their lives.
Combining academic research on learning and motivation with insights drawn from interviews with people who have won Nobel Prizes, Emmys, fame, or the admiration of people in their field, Ken Bain identifies the key attitudes that distinguished the best college students from their peers. These individuals started out with the belief that intelligence and ability are expandable, not fixed. This led them to make connections across disciplines, to develop a “meta-cognitive” understanding of their own ways of thinking, and to find ways to negotiate ill-structured problems rather than simply looking for right answers. Intrinsically motivated by their own sense of purpose, they were not demoralized by failure nor overly impressed with conventional notions of success. These movers and shakers didn’t achieve success by making success their goal. For them, it was a byproduct of following their intellectual curiosity, solving useful problems, and taking risks in order to learn and grow.
Why Afterschool Matters
Nelson, Ingrid A. Rutgers University Press, 2017 Library of Congress LC205.N45 2017 | Dewey Decimal 371.82968073
Increasingly, educational researchers and policy-makers are finding that extracurricular programs make a major difference in the lives of disadvantaged youth, helping to reduce the infamous academic attainment gap between white students and their black and Latino peers. Yet studies of these programs typically focus on how they improve the average academic performance of their participants, paying little attention to individual variation.
Why Afterschool Matters takes a different approach, closely following ten Mexican American students who attended the same extracurricular program in California, then chronicling its long-term effects on their lives, from eighth grade to early adulthood. Discovering that participation in the program was life-changing for some students, yet had only a minimal impact on others, sociologist Ingrid A. Nelson investigates the factors behind these very different outcomes. Her research reveals that while afterschool initiatives are important, they are only one component in a complex network of school, family, community, and peer interactions that influence the educational achievement of disadvantaged students.
Through its detailed case studies of individual students, this book brings to life the challenges marginalized youth en route to college face when navigating the intersections of various home, school, and community spheres. Why Afterschool Matters may focus on a single program, but its findings have major implications for education policy nationwide.
Teachers of first-year composition courses do essential work. Teaching argumentation and conventions of university-level writing; demystifying citation and punctuation; promoting reading comprehension and analysis. Yet such skills, as important as they are, do not reflect the full scope of our discipline. Some of the best learning in composition coursework relates to students' growth as successful individuals able to live and write in a complex world. Composition instructors demand civil discourse and respect for diversity. They coach students in time management and the creative process. They build up confidence, break down learning obstacles, and promote self-examination. The essays found in Writing Pathways for Student Success, written by and for instructors of college writing, examine life lessons that both students and instructors learn from first-year composition courses.
Contributors: Lori Brown, Kathryn Crowther, Casie Fedukovich, Rachel Anya Fomalhaut, Lynée Lewis Gaillet, Christopher Garland, Ruth A. Goldfine, Pamela Henney, Rachel McCoppin, Deborah Mixson-Brookshire, Karen Bishop Morris, Sarah O’Connor, Abigail G. Scheg, Lisa Whalen