Impact of learning orientation on African American children's attitudes toward high-achieving peers

Derrick Marryshow, Eric A. Hurley, Brenda A. Allen, Kenneth M. Tyler, A. Wade Boykin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined Ogbu's widely accepted thesis that African American students reject high academic achievement because they perceive its limited utility in a world where their upward mobility is constrained by racial discrimination. Boykin's psychosocial integrity model contends that Black students value high achievement but that discrepancies between their formative cultural experiences and those imposed in school lead them to reject the modes of achievement available in classrooms. Ninety Black children completed a measure of attitudes toward students who achieve via mainstream or African American cultural values. Participants rejected the mainstream achievers and embraced the African American cultural achievers. Moreover, they expected their teachers to embrace the mainstream achievers and reject those who achieved through high-verve behavior. Results suggest that Boykin's thesis is a needed refinement to Ogbu's ideas. They indicate that Black children may reject not high achievement but some of the mainstream cultural values and behaviors on which success in mainstream classrooms is made contingent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-618
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychology
Volume118
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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