The impact of a multicultural curriculum upon student achievement: perceptions of potential dropouts who graduated from North Carolina's first early/middle college high school Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Watlington, Tony B.
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • The purpose of this qualitative research study was to identify and describe former students’ perceptions of how a multicultural curriculum impacted their academic achievement. These 10 Black graduates formerly were drop-outs or potential drop outs who graduated from North Carolina’s first early/middle college high school, The Early/Middle College at GTCC-Jamestown (EMC-GTCC-J). This school, like other Learn and Earn early/middle college high schools across the state, is required to have a rigorous and relevant curriculum, to serve a diverse student body, and to decrease drop outs and increase four year graduation rates (NSP, 2004a). Through student interviews using Banks’ (2001) five dimensions of multicultural education, the researcher described the degree to which the school’s structure and multicultural curriculum did or did not provide new ways to meet the academic and affective needs of under-represented students by affirming their race, gender, class, and cultural differences. The analysis of these data revealed four emergent themes that include (a) race/class neutral curriculum, (b) positive relationships and colorblind equality, (c) learning styles that influence equity pedagogy, and (d) the need for increased curriculum and staff diversity. The researcher’s analysis of these four emergent themes suggests that they are intertwined with three broad, related themes that have been widely discussed in the literature on school reform: (a) positive teacher-student relationships, (b) hidden curriculum, and (c) assimilation and socialization. Descriptions from student interviews will contribute to the scholarly literature on multicultural education and its implementation in early and middle college high schools. These descriptions suggest that issues of race, class, gender, and cultural differences among students ought to be further defined in the relevance component of the rigor, relevance, relationships instructional framework that is currently used in these schools. In addition to having pedagogical, policy, leadership, and dropout reform implications, the findings of this study suggest a need for more qualitative studies to assess the efficacy of multicultural curricula in new early and middle college high schools that, since 2001, continue to proliferate across the state of North Carolina.
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  • In Copyright
  • Malloy, William W.
  • Open access

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