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Title: Action pedagogy : an action research study in successful pedagogy for African-Caribbean male students in a U.K. secondary school
Author: Whitburn, Robin
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 2007
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The achievement of African-Caribbean boys in UK schools has been a cause for concern for decades, and there is still considerable evidence that they are not achieving as well as their contemporaries. This study seeks to listen to the voices of students themselves in order to fathom pedagogical approaches that engender educational success for Black male students. The study has been inspired by American literature that focused on successful pedagogy with African-American students. Recent trends within the UK have moved schools closer towards proscribed practices within classrooms, and the 'behavioural objectives' approach has assumed hegemonic authority. This study uses a philosophical typology from Hannah Arendt to critically examine the nature of pedagogy in secondary schools, and suggests an approach in `action' pedagogy that would bring greater success to Black male students. My students' discussions produced three key factors for such success: caring teacher-student relationships, going beyond the curriculum; feedback and 'push': and teacher expectations; they also produced characteristics of a prototype of a successful teacher for such young men. These ideas were combined with Arendt's to produce two types of pedagogy: labour and action. The latter is suggested as most helpful to Black male students, with its emphasis on agency for students and teachers; dialogue and coconstruction of knowledge; and creativity and diversity in the curriculum that values students' cultures, by both ethnicity and age. The conformity and accommodation demanded by a labour pedagogy, typified by the current technicist agenda, is unlikely to see many Black male students thrive. The importance placed on student-teacher relationships, at the heart of action pedagogy, will need teachers to pay as much attention to the values and attitudes that they convey towards young Black males as they might to the competences of their lesson plans and behaviour management strategies. Professional dialogue will be needed to help teachers handle the ambiguities of 'cool' adolescent behaviour and the call for care and encouragement in learning, but teachers and young Black male students can find creative paths to academic success and personal development through action pedagogy in UK secondary schools, where they have so often stumbled and failed along the way.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available