Wednesday, February 25, 2015

why do black and latino males lag behind in math (and reading)? (poor study habits)

an interesting article from from psychology central. professor catherine riegle-crumb (University of Texas, Austin) explores how black and latino males fare in high school math classes compared to their female counterparts, finding that a tendency to ignore institutional cues can lead to both positive and negative outcomes:
 While Black males are not encouraged by high grades in freshman math classes, Black females are able to overcome potentially demoralizing scores. Compared with white males, African American and Latino males receive lower returns from taking Algebra I during their freshman year, reaching lower levels of the math course sequence when they begin in the same position, Riegle-Crumb writes. Riegle-Crumb tracked the progression of more than 8,000 students who enrolled in Algebra 1 as freshmen in high school. Black and Latino groups have lower enrollment rates in math courses than Whites and Asian Americans, but attrition was unexpectedly high even among those who began in comparable positions. Black males seem to have little response to positive feedback or good grades, Riegle-Crumb finds, while Black females seem undeterred by low grades, despite their original disadvantage. Her findings support the idea that minority students may be less responsive to institutional feedback whether positive or negative. Researchers have argued that minority students may reject the educational system. Black students may feel uncomfortable and unsupported in academically intense environments dominated by white students. Furthermore they may experience a phenomenon called stereotype threat, that is, buying into negative academic stereotypes about their race-ethnicity. 

ok, so you buy into the stereotype threat? 

what stereotype? this is a fact. what must be done is bite the bullet. there is nothing intrinsic about this problem other than social conditioning. whatever the factors: poor schooling, mediocre teachers, late start, lack of self-esteem. all that is understood. but that's not the end of the story.

what needs to be done now is fix the problem: acquire the right study habits!

and how do i acquire the right study habits, you may say? i have a good idea and will share it with you.

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