Following the success of its best-selling predecessors, the Fourth Edition of Harriette Pipes McAdoo's Black Families retains several now classic contributions while including updated versions of earlier chapters and many entirely new chapters. The goal through each revision of this core text has been to compile a book that focuses on positive dimensions of African American families. The book remains the most complete assessment of black families available in both depth and breadth of coverage. Cross-disciplinary in nature, the book boasts contributions from such fields as family studies, anthropology, education, psychology, social work, and public policy.

African American Education: A Cultural-Ecological Perspective

African American education: A cultural-ecological perspective
John U.Ogbu

This chapter attempts to explain why Black children do less well in school than other children. I also discuss here the effects of perceptions and academic efforts on Black upward mobility, in particular, how school performance is related to Black perceptions of social, occupational, and educational opportunity structure. The first section outlines the problem and some of its current explanations, the second examines the structural context of the problem, and the third describes the cultural-ecological framework and the mechanisms of maintaining the disproportionately high rate of school failure. In the concluding section I consider some of the policy implications of the cultural-ecological perspective.

The Problem and Some Current Explanations

One baffling education problem in the ...

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