Critiquing the Educational System and Proposing Alternatives for Positive Change in Black Communities: Lessons from Three Role Models for Public Schools in New Jersey
Taj P. Smith
Thesis DT 3.5 2006 S659
xvi, 201 leaves: ill.; 28 cm
Educators who engage in improving the conditions of Black youth through formal education and its measures, such as funding, test scores, grades and behavior, may underestimate the extent to which the European hegemonic framework is a determining factor. Like most institutions founded by White males of America, the nature of formal education and its ideology, I argue, is the main reason for low educational achievement amongst the Black youth. Often the Black community or youth themselves are seen as the problem. There is a need to seriously analyze the meaning of school in order to understand why the majority of Black students remain in poor academic standings.
Thus, I suggest that we learn from past experiences to find a solution to put an end to the mis-education of Black children and stagnating development of Black communities. By using the educational experiences and works of Mary McLeod Bethune, John Henrik Clarke, and Malcolm X, it is possible to turn around the apathetic attitudes which Black youth have towards education. As a blueprint for academic achievement and community development, the three historical figures’ own transformation from marginalization to agency can create the necessary motivation and systematic approach to re-establishing a Black consciousness and a relevant educational experience.