A voice for the unheard achievers: an exploration of the educational narratives of achieving Black Caribbean adolescent males in secondary mainstream education

Simon, Sasha-Louise (2019). A voice for the unheard achievers: an exploration of the educational narratives of achieving Black Caribbean adolescent males in secondary mainstream education. University of Birmingham. Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.

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Abstract

Literature spanning four decades has focused upon the problematic narrative of Black Caribbean pupils as underachievers in the UK. Rhamie (2012) argued for research to shift this narrative to provide a more balanced portrayal of Black Caribbean (BC) pupils to examine their achievement rather than perpetuating stereotyped narratives associated with BC pupils, particularly males (Demie and Mclean, 2017) as educational failures.

In response, this research explores the retrospective and current subjective educational narratives of achieving Black Caribbean adolescent males in secondary mainstream education, ascertaining the key influencers in their educational experiences. Moreover, participants’ future life outcomes and aspirations were explored eliciting how their educational experiences had influenced their perceptions of the future. Young people’s (YP’s) narratives were ascertained through semi-structured narrative interviews with four male students. A multiple case study design was adopted to avoid representing BC males’ experiences as a homogenous group.

Achievement was viewed in broader terms by participants alongside academic achievement. Themes such as parental expectation, engagement and targeted support reinforced the importance of the home environment. Furthermore, the interaction between home and school domains remained prevalent in participant’s narratives. In school, themes of competition, peer influence and teacher involvement contributed both positively and negatively to the educational experiences within participants’ narratives. Original findings highlighted adverse experiences such as bullying contributing to additional challenges such as behavioural difficulties and other vulnerable experiences which participants detailed as significant in their educational narratives.

Wider support systems served as protective for participant’s limiting the long-term impact of negative situations on educational outcomes. The themes highlighted strategies used to support and hinder their achievement over time and the impact of key influences in their educational trajectory and perceptions of their future life outcomes. The thesis examines the key implications of the findings and critically evaluates the use of narrative methodology and analysis in the research with young people and its relevance within this study. Implications for educational professionals and Educational Psychologists (EPs) are outlined.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.
Supervisor(s):
Supervisor(s)EmailORCID
Bozic, Nick MUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Licence: All rights reserved All rights reserved All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education, Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/9755

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