Running Head: Rites of Passage Programs as Strength-based Interventions to Increase Mathematics and Science Achievement among Low-Income African American Youth

By Cirecie West-Olatunji, Lauren Shure, Rose Pringle, Thomasenia Adams, Adriana Baratelli, Katie Milton, Dimple Malik Flesner and Dadria Lewis.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The achievement gap between low-income African American students and their more affluent White peers is of concern for educators. Prior efforts have utilized a deficit-oriented perspective rather than focusing on the strengths of this population. The purpose of this paper is to present rites of passage programs as effective tools for increasing mathematics and science achievement among low-income African American youth. Using culturally appropriate pedagogy as a lens, the authors discuss previous interventions and present rites of passage programs as an alternative to Western-oriented instructional practices for these students.

Keywords: Rite of Passage, Mathematics Achievement, Science Achievement, Culturally Diverse Youth, Culturally Appropriate Pedagogy

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 9, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 596.366KB).

Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji

Assistant Professor, Counselor Education, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Cirecie A. West-Olatunji, Ph.D. currently serves as Assistant Professor of Counselor Education at the University of Florida. Dr. West-Olatunji is also president of CCMA, an educational consulting firm dedicated to the development of programs that focus on cultural identity and awareness. As a nationally recognized speaker, trainer, and author in the area of culture-centered, theory, research, and practice, she has provided consultation and training in Osaka, Hiroshima, Tottori, and Fukuoka cities in Japan in the area of culturally relevant anti-bias education for young children. Cirecie West-Olatunji has also provided educational consultation to a PBS children’s television show on diversity through KCET-TV in Los Angeles, CA (“Puzzle Place”). Dr. West-Olatunji is a graduate of Dartmouth College and attended Teachers College of Columbia University where she pursued graduate studies in the area of Multicultural Counseling Psychology. Cirecie West-Olatunji is president-elect of the Association for Multicultural Counseling & Development.

Lauren Shure

doctoral student, Counselor Education, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

Lauren Shure is a fourth year doctoral student in the counselor education department at the University of Florida. Her research concentrates on the relationship between counselor positionality, cultural competence, and academic achievement among culturally diverse student populations.

Dr. Rose Pringle

Associate Professor, Teaching and Learning, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

Dr. Pringle is an associate professor of science education. Her research interests include sciene teachers’ subject knowledge and science specific pedagogy.

Dr. Thomasenia Adams

Associate Professor, Teaching and Learning, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

Dr. Adams is an associate professor in the School of Teaching and Learning. Her research interests include teachers’ mathematics content knowledge, multicultural mathematics, and mathematics as a language.

Adriana Baratelli

Doctoral Student, Counselor Education, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

Adriana Baratelli is a fifth year doctoral candidate in the department of Counselor Education. Her research interests include body image and self-concept among South American women.

Katie Milton

Doctoral Student, College of Education, Department of Teaching and Learning, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

Katie Milton is a first year doctoral student with a focus in science education. She is most interested in issues of gender and race equity in elementary and middle school science.

Dimple Malik Flesner

post-doctoral research associate, College of Education, Department of Special Education, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

Dimple Malik Flesner is a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Florida. She works under the Project RITE (Research in Teacher Education) grant in the Department of Special Education. Her research interests include inclusion, teacher learning and teacher collaboration with focus on qualitative methodology. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s in special education and child development, and a doctorate in special education.

Dadria Lewis

Doctoral Student, College of Education, Department of Counselor Education, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

Dadria Lewis is a graduate counseling student at the University of Florida specializing in marriage and family Counseling. Her research interests include the exploration of effective counseling interventions for children and adolescents using an ecosystemic approach to impact student learning.

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