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Black Deaf Students

A Model for Educational Success

Carolyn E. Williamson

Publication Year: 2007

Contemporary research has identified resilience — the ability to rebound and learn despite obstacles and adversities — as a key element to success in school. Black Deaf Students: A Model for Educational Success searches out ways to develop, reinforce, and alter the factors that encourage resilience in African American deaf and hard of hearing students. To find the individual characteristics and outside influences that foster educational achievement, author Carolyn E. Williamson conducted extensive interviews with nine African American deaf and hard of hearing adults who succeeded in high school and postsecondary programs. Until now, the majority of studies of African American deaf and hard of hearing students concentrated upon their underachievement. The only success stories available involved high-achieving African American hearing students. To create an effective model in Black Deaf Students, Williamson focuses on the factors that contributed to her subjects’ successes in postsecondary programs, what they viewed as obstacles and how they overcame them, and their recommendations for facilitating graduation from postsecondary programs. Her work gives “voice” to a group rarely heard in research, which enables readers to view them as a heterogeneous rather than homogeneous group. Their stories provide vital information for parents, school personnel, community stakeholders, and those enrolled in education and mental health preparation programs. In addition, the insights about how these adults succeeded can be useful in facilitating positive outcomes for students who are going into two-year colleges, vocational training, and work settings.

Published by: Gallaudet University Press

Title Page

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Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-

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Preface

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pp. vii-x

This study is a retrospective view of the protective factors that are critical to African American deaf and hard of hearing students’ successful transition through postsecondary programs. The data come from a qualitative study of nine African American men and women...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

This book is dedicated to my mother, Ida Minerva Williams; my grandmother, Mamie Estelle Washington; and my uncle, John C. Cabot. They taught me the importance of God, love, positive family and other relationships, open communication, academic...

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Introduction

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pp. xi-

Resilience i s the ability to rebound and achieve healthy development and successful learning despite obstacles and adversities. It is the ability to persevere through the challenges and stress that occur in today’s world (Benard, Amsden, & Diaz, 2002;...

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1 At-Risk Factors and Resilience

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pp. 1-23

A comprehens ive and collaborative educational approach needs to be taken to improve the educational achievement of African American students. Large achievement gaps in educational outcomes still persist between diverse groups, and by some measurements,...

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2 Backgrounds of Successful Postsecondary Graduates

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pp. 24-36

The participants in this study* are all African American deaf and hard of hearing college or university graduates. They have encountered obstacles that could have interfered with their academic achievement; however, they persevered, overcame these...

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3 Protective Factors in the Family

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pp. 37-67

The African American family has been the subject of many studies that have focused on the weakness of the family structure and culture. Historically, African American families have had to overcome major obstacles to obtain an education for their children...

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4 Individual Characteristics

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pp. 68-81

The participants of this study are resilient. They know and accept who they are without any reservations. They are both African American and deaf or hard of hearing, and they feel at ease in both cultures and have positive interpersonal relationships...

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5 The Role of Schools in Resilience

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pp. 82-108

The school plays a paramount role in the development of children in their intellectual, social, physical, and emotional development. This development is enhanced when the educational setting has in place protective factors that help develop and reinforce...

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6 Protective Factors in Postsecondary Programs

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pp. 109-126

Postsecondary programs across the nation are seeking ways to improve recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of minorities. Predominately White colleges and universities have initiated programs specifi cally to increase the graduation rates of...

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7 Community Protective Factors

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pp. 127-135

The African American community and cultural organizations were credited with giving care and support, setting high expectations, and providing positive reinforcement and resources. VR and the church also provided the participants with care and support...

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8 Overcoming Obstacles

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pp. 136-149

The participants discussed specifi c obstacles that interfered with their successful transitions through elementary school, high school, and postsecondary programs. These obstacles included lack of understanding of Deaf culture and sign language; lack of academic readiness; negative infl uences; lack of faculty and...

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9 A Resilience Program Model

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pp. 150-169

The data from this research suggest that the participants were resilient individuals. Protective factors in their lives helped them become resilient, and these factors facilitated their successful transitions through elementary school, high school, and postsecondary programs. Much can be learned from the data in this...

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10 Conclusions and Recommendations

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pp. 170-180

In this study, the African American deaf and hard of hearing participants described the protective factors that their parents, schools, postsecondary programs, community organizations, and other stakeholders provided for them. These protective factors contributed to their academic preparation for postsecondary programs and their...

Appendix

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pp. 181-190

References

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pp. 191-202

Index

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pp. 203-211


E-ISBN-13: 9781563683831
E-ISBN-10: 1563683830
Print-ISBN-13: 9781563683510
Print-ISBN-10: 1563683512

Page Count: 228
Illustrations: 6 tables, 1 figure
Publication Year: 2007