The Editor’s Corner
Gloria Swindler Boutte, Ph.D.
University of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
Hakim M. Rashid, Ph.D.
Professor of Human Development and Psycho-Educational Studies
This issue of the African American Learners Journal includes two articles that examine issues related to home cultural orientation, time perspective and school related attitudes of African American children. Together, these topics provide a window on family, individual, and school dynamics that significantly affect the school experiences of African American learners.
In the first article, Sean Coleman explores the role of communalism as a home socialization factor that has significant implications for the school learning context. Coleman’s study of African American third and fourth graders clearly demonstrates that communalism as a value socialized at home must be considered in the development of classroom environments that are culturally responsive. He insightfully makes the case that an individualistic orientation is not the path to African American school success.
In the second article, Detris Adelabu looks at gender differences in the time orientation, optimism and feelings of school belonging among high achieving low income African American adolescents. Her study provides critical insights into the ways in which boys and girls differentially view these factors. A focus on high achieving students is noteworthy in its contribution to a counter narrative that focuses on success within students from lower socioeconomic statuses.
Taken together these two articles, with their focus on cultural orientation and gender differences, contribute to the increasing recognition that within group differences in African American learners must continue to be a focus of research. Happy Reading!