The relationship among race, gender, and high school students' self-efficacy in English language arts

Angela Ruth|Bowers White, Fordham University

Abstract

Although there is no simple explanation for the minority achievement gap, the shocking facts are a reminder that yet another generation of Black children may pass through school without acquiring essential skills and knowledge. Academic achievement of Black students is not at the same level as White students, a racial gap that is the nation's most critical educational issue, generating a sense of urgency among educators and policy makers. Additionally, the achievement gap between boys and girls has captured the attention of researchers as the discrepancy in success and behaviors expands. Black students continue to experience less academic success than their white peers. Similarly, males experience less academic success than females. ^ Researchers, K–12 teachers and administrators, politicians, and others have offered recommendations and strategies regarding the best way to educate Black students and improve their academic progress. What is missing from this equation is the perspective from the students themselves. Although research has been conducted on students' self-esteem in an effort to improve academic achievement, substantial research indicates that it is academic self-efficacy and not self-esteem that is the major component for school success. ^ This study sought to determine factors that affect an individual's self-efficacy or understanding of their potential for achievement. Two factors, race and gender, were hypothesized as major contributors to an individual's self-efficacy. A causal-comparative research design was used to consider the presumed cause-and-effect relationships between race and gender on students' self-efficacy. Interrelationships were addressed through the research question “What is the relationship among race, gender, and high school students' self-efficacy on the English Language Arts Regents Examination.” Participating students completed the White Bowers English Language Arts Self Efficacy Scale and the outcome of the self-efficacy scale was measured against their success on the 11 th grade New York State English Language Arts assessment along with the scores achieved on the 4th and 8th grade English Language Arts Assessment. ^ The study confirmed that White students have higher levels of self-efficacy in English Language Arts than Black students, female students have higher levels of self-efficacy in English Language Arts than male students, and that White females have the highest levels of self-efficacy while Black males have the lowest levels of self-efficacy. ^

Subject Area

Education, Language and Literature|Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Education, Sociology of|Education, Administration

Recommended Citation

Angela Ruth|Bowers White, "The relationship among race, gender, and high school students' self-efficacy in English language arts" (January 1, 2008). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3361370.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3361370

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