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Title: Rising to the top : a developmental-ecological case study exploring the development of underrepresented young black men in higher education
Author: Wilson, Bianca Sebiana Bailey
ISNI:       0000 0004 7969 8287
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2018
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Research on the educational development of young black men and other underrepresented students has explored many areas but has overwhelmingly addressed this topic through a Bourdiesian lens, exploring the role of social inequalities and disadvantage on their education (Archer & Francis, 2007; Byfield, 2008; Dumangane, 2017; Reay, Crozier & Clayton, 2009; Rollock, 2007, 2012). While this approach is justified as Bourdieu's theory of capital (1986) provides insight into the social inequalities that exist in society, it does little to highlight the role of the individual on their development (Bronfenbrenner, 1979, 2005) and how their sense of agency, their efficacy and their motivations influence their engagement and experiences (Deci & Ryan, 2000). This thesis sought to address this, investigating black male educational development from a developmental-ecological viewpoint (Bronfenbrenner, 2005). Through an instrumental case study evaluation (Stake, 1995) of the Amos Bursary, a charitable organisation supporting underprivileged young black men from London, this study drew on US research (Renn et al., 2003; Renn & Arnold, 2003; Arnold, Lu & Armstrong, 2012) to explore the relationship between the developing young black man and their environment on their educational and career development. Moving away from the metanarrative of young black men as underachievers towards one where achievement and success are possible (Harper, 2012), this study used mixed qualitative methods such as graphic methods (Bagnioli, 2009) and participatory evaluation methods (Douthwaite et al., 2008) to explore the role of the environment in supporting young black men to become hopeful for the future (Little, Snyder & Wehemeyer, 2006) and to become more competent in their ability to navigate the system (Renn & Arnold, 2003; Bronfenbrenner, 2001b). It concludes with the presentation of DETUS (Developmental-Ecological-Theory for Underrepresented -Students), a theory for positive underrepresented student development that can be used by professionals and researchers to support more students to achieve their goals.
Supervisor: Humphris, Debra ; Irving, Lucy Sponsor: Imperial College London
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral