A Framework for Black Masculine Caring
Edited By Lisa Bass
Chapter Three: Who Cares? The Ethic of Care for Black Boys in School
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The Ethic of Care for Black Boys in School
JULIA CAMILLE RANSOM AND JAMES EARL DAVIS
The ethic of caring is not readily associated as a philosophy among Black males or applied as practice with Black boys in schools, though statistical data suggest that it should be. For example, literature has shown that Black males are labeled most “at risk” in educational settings (Thomas & Stevenson, 2009), and have the highest high school dropout rate in the United States, just ahead of Latino males (Schott Foundation for Public Education, 2012). Additionally, Black males are more likely to score below proficiency in key subject areas on standardized tests (Howard, 2008) and to be placed in remedial and special education courses (Howard, 2008; Noguera, 2003; Thomas & Stevenson, 2009). Such low achievement can lead to eventual departure and disengagement from schooling. In fact, researchers have noted that Black students are overrepresented in discipline practices such as school expulsion and suspension (Fenning & Rose, 2007), and that Black boys, in particular, receive a disproportionate share of disciplinary measures (Thomas & Stevenson, 2009).
However, teacher expectations and student perceptions of caring can have an impact on academic engagement, academic self-efficacy, student behavior, and student-teacher relationships (Fowler, Banks, Anhalt, Hinrichs Der, & Kalis, 2008; Thomas & Stevenson, 2009; Tyler & Boelter, 2008). Given the importance of student-teacher relationships and how they affect the...
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