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New Project Forum report on Principal Preparedness to Support Diverse Learners

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Journal Article: The Black-White "achievement gap" as a perennial challenge of urban science education: A sociocultural and historical overview with implications for research and practice

Journal Article » The Black-White "achievement gap" as a perennial challenge of urban science education: A sociocultural and historical overview with implications for research and practice


Academic Achievement, Blacks, Racial and Ethnic Differences, Science Education, Sociocultural Factors, History, Social, Deprivation, Teacher Student Interaction, Teaching Methods, Theories, of Education, Urban Environments, Whites


Norman, Obed; Ault, Charles R., Jr.; Bentz, Bonnie; Meskimen, Lloyd


2001, Dec


Explores the academic achievement gap between African American and White students in urban science classrooms. History shows that this gap existed for groups other than African Americans. The authors examine how historical and sociocultural factors in the manifestation and eventual disappearance of the gap for these groups may shed light on the present problem. The authors conclude that the sociocultural position of groups is crucial to understanding the scholastic performance of students from various backgrounds. A research framework and research questions are presented, drawing on J. Ogbu's cultural-ecological theory, as well as goal theory and identity theory. These theories focus here on student responses to societal disparities. The authors' goal is to better define the problem, and to further research-based classroom practices that will reduce and eventually eliminate the achievement gap. They identify gaps in society and in the schools. By understanding the genesis of the gap, and by harnessing students' responses to societal disparities, learning can be maximized, and the achievement gap can be reduced, if not eliminated entirely. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA )