Improving SOL Scores of Minority Students in Granby Elementary School in Virginia

Central Research Question

How can the problem of low SOL scores of minority students in Granby Elementary School in Virginia be solved?

Title of the first journal article:
Psychosocial keys to African American achievement? Examining the relationship between achievement and psychosocial variables in high achieving African Americans.
Title of the second journal article:
Pedagogy of empowerment: Student perspectives on critical multicultural education at a high-performing African American school.
What do these articles have in common?
There are several common features between the two articles that can be mentioned. First, the articles focus on the same broad topic. The major topic of the article by Dixson et al. (2017) is the factors that affect the academic underachievement of African American students. The major topic of the article by Wiggan and Watson-Vandiver (2019) is the influence of the curriculum on the achievement of African American students. Thus, both studies discuss the academic achievement of students in schools. Second, as can be seen from the research topics of the articles, both studies focus on the academic achievement of African American students. In other words, the broad population under the analysis of the studies is common. However, the populations under analysis differ, as the study by Dixson et al. (2017) focuses on a public school, while Watson-Vandiver (2019) uses a sample from a private school.
Third, both studies acknowledge that there is a significant gap in the academic achievement of minority students and their White counterparts. Fourth, both articles focus on the academic achievement of high-performing students. The article by Dixson et al. (2017) uses a sample of high-achieving African American students in a public school. The study by Wiggan and Watson-Vandiver (2019) uses a sample of random students from a high-achieving private school. In other words, instead of focusing on the reasons for underachievement and factors that contribute to the failure of African American students, both studies focus on factors that contribute to the success of students. Finally, both articles have similar limitations of generalizability since they focus on samples from a single school. Using small non-diverse samples limits the applicability of findings, which negatively affects the value of research findings.
How are the results of thesetwo articles different?
The results of the two articles are difficult to compare, as the narrow research questions of the articles were different. The article by Dixson et al. (2017) is a quantitative study that aimed at assessing psychological factors that affect the academic achievement of students. The article by Wiggan and Watson-Vandiver (2019) describes research that assessed how curriculum contributed to the academic achievement of African American students. The study by Dixson et al. (2017) concluded that psychological factors, including grit, growth mindset, ethnic identity, and other group orientation, had no significant effect on the academic achievement of high-performing African American high school students after controlling for age, sex, and socio-economic status. The study by Wiggan and Watson-Vandiver (2019) concluded that the curriculum of cultural empowerment is a facilitator of the academic achievement of African American students. Thus, the results of the studies differ considerably, as they touched upon different factors that affected the academic achievements of African American students.
It should also be mentioned that the quality of the results was different due to the difference in utilized methods. The study by Dixson et al. (2017) utilized quantitative methods to test four hypotheses. Thus, the results of the study did not support any of the hypotheses demonstrating that psychological factors had no significant influence on the academic achievement of students. Wiggan and Watson-Vandiver (2019) used qualitative methods to generate ideas about how characteristics of curriculum affected the academic achievement of students. Therefore, the result of the study was new ideas about what features of the curriculum could improve the academic achievement of African American students. However, these new ideas were not tested, which limits the reliability of the findings.
How does this information relate to your proposed study? Be specific.
The information provided above is related to my proposed study in several ways. First, both articles provide support to the notion that there is a significant gap between the academic achievement of African American students, which is crucial for my study, as it is based on this assumption. Second, the studies demonstrate different approaches that can be used to address the research question. On the one hand, quantitative analysis, such as multiple regression, can be used to test the correlations between different variables measured using questionnaires. On the other hand, qualitative methods, including analysis of semi-structured interviews and essays, can be used to tackle the problem. Third, both studies suggest that I can focus on high-achieving students in my study as a sample for obtaining relevant data.
Fourth, the results of the studies demonstrate which areas of research are promising and which should be avoided. In particular, the article by Dixson et al. (2017) shows that assessing the effect of psychological variables on SOL test results in Granby Elementary School would probably lead to no significant results. Thus, designing interventions that address the psychological state of students in Granby elementary school is unlikely to lead to significant improvements in the SOL scores of minority students. At the same time, promotion of the curriculum change in Granby Elementary School can be effective for improving the results of SOL scores, as it found that a curriculum that supports cultural empowerment positively influences the academic achievements of African American students. However, the results of the studies should be used with caution due to the limitations in reliability and validity of their findings. Finally, it is crucial to take into consideration the socioeconomic status (SES) of the students, as both studies pay special attention to the effect of SES on the academic achievement of African American students.
Paste the reference and link to the first article here.
Dixson, D. D., Roberson, C. C., & Worrell, F. C. (2017). Psychosocial keys to African American achievement? Examining the relationship between achievement and psychosocial variables in high achieving African Americans. Journal of Advanced Academics, 28(2), 120-140. Web.
Paste the reference and link to the second article here.
Wiggan, G., & Watson-Vandiver, M. J. (2019). Pedagogy of empowerment: student perspectives on critical multicultural education at a high-performing African American school. Race Ethnicity and Education, 22(6), 767-787. Web.

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