Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 2013 Issue »

    Dirt on My Record

    Rethinking Disciplinary Practices in an All-Black, All-Male Alternative Class

    Na’ilah Suad Nasir, kihana miraya ross, Maxine McKinney de Royston, Jarvis Givens, and Jalessa N. Bryant
    In this empirical study, the authors draw on classroom observations and interviews with twenty-three Black male ninth graders in an urban district to focus on the nature of disciplinary practices in an all-Black, all-male manhood development class. While scholars have identified the “discipline gap” as a salient aspect of the experience of Black male students in schools, few studies offer insight into the nature of disciplinary practices in spaces that Black male students view as supportive and positive. Existing studies also rarely capture African American male student perceptions of classroom and school discipline at the high school level. Utilizing Althusser (1971) and Leonardo (2005) to theorize about the racialized nature of discipline in schools, the authors find that a reframing of discipline within this alternative setting provides a counternarrative to how Black male students are typically perceived to respond to school discipline. The authors argue that, led by a “hero teacher,” the manhood development class functions as an example of “transformative resistance” (Giroux, 2001), changing how Black male students perceive themselves.

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    Na’ilah Suad Nasir is an associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where she holds the Williams Chair in African American Studies and the Birgeneau Distinguished Chair in Educational Disparities in the Graduate School of Education. Her program of research focuses on issues of race, culture, and schooling. She is the author of Racialized Identities: Race and Achievement for African-American Youth (Stanford University Press, 2012) and coeditor, with Paul Cobb, of Improving Access to Mathematics: Diversity and Equity in the Classroom (Teachers College Press, 2006). She has also published numerous articles in such scholarly journals as the American Educational Research Journal, Teachers College Record, Educational Researcher, and Journal of the Learning Sciences.

    kihana miraya ross is a Chancellor’s Fellow and a doctoral candidate in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Her program of research focuses on race, repression, and resistance within urban schools. Most recently she worked as a graduate student researcher examining all-black, all-male learning spaces in an urban school district and helped to facilitate a multiyear project with the College Board and the National Writing Project exploring classroom-based responses to race and gender inequities in public schools.

    Maxine McKinney de Royston is a National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellow in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research examines how opportunities to learn and equity-oriented pedagogies are shaped by sociohistoric discourses around race, culture, and schooling. Her current work draws on situative and sociopolitical perspectives to analyze educational reform ideologies and practices in mathematics classrooms and whole-school contexts.

    Jarvis Givens is a doctoral student in the African American studies department at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on the history of African American education from 1865 to 1965, with particular interests in the educational thought of Carter G. Woodson, African American textbooks, and curricula in segregated black schools. He works as a graduate student researcher through Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education and is looking at all-black, all-male learning spaces in a California school district. Jarvis was awarded the prestigious Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in 2012 and currently serves as a graduate mentor for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program at UC Berkeley.

    Jalessa N. Bryant is a teaching fellow for Citizen Schools, an educational nonprofit organization that focuses on twenty-first-century skill development, college-to-career connections, and access to caring adults for middle school students. As the regional College Readiness lead, she supports implementation and leadership of curriculum for the 8th Grade Academy and high-quality college-related events and opportunities and promotes pathways to high school. Bryant plans to pursue a graduate degree in school psychology.
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    Fall 2013 Issue

    Abstracts

    After Fisher v. University of Texas
    Implications for Education Research, Theory, and Practice
    From the Editors
    McIntosh as Synecdoche
    How Teacher Education’s Focus on White Privilege Undermines Antiracism
    Timothy J. Lensmire, Shannon K. McManimon, Jessica Dockter Tierney, Mary E. Lee-Nichols, Zachary A. Casey, Audrey Lensmire, and Bryan M. Davis
    Democracy under Fire
    Voter Confusion and Influences in Colorado’s Anti–Affirmative Action Initiative
    Amy N. Farley, Matthew N. Gaertner, and Michele S. Moses
    From Bureaucracy to Profession
    Remaking the Educational Sector for the Twenty-First Century
    Jal Mehta
    Dirt on My Record
    Rethinking Disciplinary Practices in an All-Black, All-Male Alternative Class
    Na’ilah Suad Nasir, kihana miraya ross, Maxine McKinney de Royston, Jarvis Givens, and Jalessa N. Bryant

    Book Notes

    Education, Justice, & Democracy
    Edited by Danielle Allen & Rob Reich

    Creating Innovators
    Tony Wagner (supplementary video material produced by Robert A. Compton)

    Inside the Black Box of Classroom Practice
    Larry Cuban

    Youth Held at the Border
    Lisa (Leigh) Patel