Date of Award

5-1-1998

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Social Work

Degree Name

M.S.W.

First Advisor

Dr. Sarita Chukwuka

Abstract

This study examined the coping techniques of African American children within an elementary academic setting to determine how western teaching styles effect the child's problem solving skills.

The study was based on an understanding that the educational system was created on a foundation of prejudice and that current teaching styles are not compatible with the innate learning styles of African American children.

A qualitative study was conducted to analyze the student generated responses to two case vignettes. Informal interviews were completed utilizing 15 African American 2nd and 3rd grade students participating in an Atlanta based after school program.

The researcher found that among the majority of the 2nd and 3rd grade students, there were overwhelming concerns with teacher and peer relations as opposed to concerns with teaching style.

The conclusions drawn from the study suggest that social relationships as opposed to teaching styles, play a major role in how African American children process and ultimately cope with various school related stressors. The results alluded to a need for social workers to further investigate the communal nature of African American children and the effects it may have on their cognitive processing.

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