Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

'Acting White' Does Not Affect Minority Student Achievement, Study Finds

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

'Acting White' Does Not Affect Minority Student Achievement, Study Finds

Article excerpt

COLUMBIA, MO.

Whether listening to heavy metal music or weaving khakis, many minority students in schools throughout the United States are accused of "acting White." If these accusations lead students to avoid "acting White" by shunning academic achievement, educators see a major problem. A researcher at the University of Missouri-Columbia found that minority students, though bothered by the accusations, did not avoid academic achievement. In fact, many of these students were competing for high grades.

Dr. David Bergin, associate professor of educational psychology at MU, and University of Toledo professor Helen Cooks, Studied African American and Mexican American students in various urban, public and private high schools, which were predominantly Black, predominately White or racially balanced. They interviewed eighth-graders who had applied for high school scholarship-incentive programs. The researchers conducted follow-up interviews with the same students during their junior or senior year of high school or their freshman year of college. Bergin and Crooks predicted student achievement might falter in the yews between the interviews if peers accused them of "acting White. …

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