Gender Risks and Education: The Particular Classroom Challenges for Urban Low-Income African American Boys

  • Thomas D
  • Stevenson H
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Our purpose for this chapter is to examine these realities and to summarize extant research on issues pertaining to gender risks and schooling, with attention given to the academic and classroom social challenges faced by African American boys attending primary and secondary schools serving economically disadvantaged urban neighborhoods. Drawing on recent empirical findings and discourse in education and the social sciences, we first review research on gender inequities in education. This includes an analysis of gender and racial disparities in classroom opportunity structures and school discipline procedures that place urban low-income African American males at great risk for poor academic outcomes. This is followed by a discussion of the ways in which social processes within classrooms—namely, interactions with teachers—converge in complex ways with general academic challenges to increase risk for adjustment difficulties across multiple domains of functioning. Next, we examine the emotional and cultural coping strategies used by African American male students to manage emotional, behavioral, and performance difficulties associated with inequitable teacher practices in education. Last, we make recommendations for future research and for interventions tailored to students most likely to experience negative academic and behavioral outcomes owing to disparities in education across lines of gender, race, and social class.

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  • D. E. Thomas

  • H. Stevenson

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