A study on academic achievement
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This research study explores the narratives of academic achievement of African American students in the South. Specifically, this study conveys the narratives of four student participants, ranging from the sixth to the ninth grades. All of them were recruited from the Young Scholar’s Club (YSC), which was a program for enhancing K-12 students’ academic excellence. The recruited student participants and their mothers, who were selected by their students as the most significant people in their achievement, were interviewed. Along with the interviews, the messages that the student participants heard from the program were collected by recording observation notes of the behaviors of the student participants in the program. A narrative inquiry was conducted for the collection, analysis, and understanding of the student participants’ interviews and the program observation notes. Bourdieu’s theory of cultural capital and Yosso’s theory of cultural wealth are used for theoretical perspectives. By the narrative inquiry, these findings were identified: first, the varied definitions of the four students’ academic achievement tend to be reduced into the obtainment of high scores on standardized tests; second, the placement in academic track is a symbolic capital in school, and then, the holders of the capital can earn exclusively benefits which help them achieve high in schools; third, racism apparently do not affect the participants’ lives as students; however, in reality, the participants tend to pretend not being influenced by racism; fourth, the participants’ volumes of capitals tend to determine their achievement in schools though they and their parents search for the best combination of their capitals to succeed in schools.