Harper, S. R., & Davis III, C. H. (2012). They (Don’t) Care about Education: A Counternarrative on Black Male Students’ Responses to Inequitable Schooling.Educational Foundations, 26, 103-120.
Little is known about Black male students who graduate from high school, enroll in college, aspire to earn degrees beyond the baccalaureate, and espouse commitments to various career pathways in the field of education (teaching, school administration, education research, the professoriate, education policy, and so forth). What compels these men to care so much about education, despite what is routinely reported in the literature about their gradual disinvestment in schooling and comparatively lower rates of educational attainment? This question was pursued in the study upon which this article is based. This article is based primarily on a systematic content analysis of essays written by 304 Black male undergraduates attending colleges and universities across the United States. Each applied to participate in the University of Pennsylvania’s Grad Prep Academy, an initiative for college juniors who aspire to earn Ph.D.s in the field of education. The results reveal three themes that build upon each other to show an uncommon perspective on Black male students’ encounters with and responses to inequitable schooling: (1) awareness of educational inequities; (2) beliefs in education as the great equalizer; and (3) purposeful pursuits of the Ph.D. in education. (Contains 3 tables.)
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