Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males

By Freeman A. Hrabowski III; Kenneth I. Maton et al. | Go to book overview

5
Parenting and Educating for Success in Math and Science: From Early Childhood to College

My father was a carpenter . . . When we first learned area in math class I remember he was talking about digging a hole for concrete, and he gave me the dimensions and told me to figure out the volume and stuff like that. He asked me how much cement we would need. Just little things like that, which intrigued me and jogged my interest. And I always knew that I didn't want to be a carpenter because I didn't want to work out in the sun, but I wanted to do something like that. And then I found out that engineering was that field.

The young males we focus on in this book have generally been high achievers in all disciplines. In this chapter we explore in depth what has led to their success in math and science, where they have achieved at the very highest levels. However, the lessons from this chapter can be applied to academic achievement in general. Yes, strong coursework and high grades in mathematics and science courses in high school, along with high SAT scores in math, are two of the primary criteria that led to their admission to the UMBC Meyerhoff Scholars Program. But these youth have often achieved across the board. 1

As discussed in the first chapter, education and careers in math and science are becoming increasingly important in our technical and technologic society, and African Americans are extremely underrepresented in these fields. To help increase the representation of Blacks in math- and science-based occupations as well as other professions, we consider it important to identity the factors that led to the success in math and science of the Black students with whom we spoke. Our hope is that such understanding will contribute to the success of future generations of African Americans in these disciplines.

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Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - Successful African American Males and Their Families 3
  • 2 - Father-Son Relationships: The Father's Voice 23
  • Summary 57
  • 3 - Mother-Son Relationships: The Mother's Voice 62
  • Summary 95
  • 4 - The Son's Perspective 101
  • Summary 137
  • 5 - Parenting and Educating for Success in Math and Science: from Early Childhood to College 148
  • Summary 166
  • Summary 170
  • Summary 184
  • Summary 187
  • 6 - Parenting African American Males for the Twenty-First Century: What We Have Learned 188
  • Appendix a Overview of Study Procedure 206
  • Appendix B National Science Foundation Minority Student Development Programs 209
  • Notes 211
  • References 227
  • Index 237
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