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SES - Volume 19 ✤ Number 1 ✤ Fall 2007 ✤ pp 66–89...

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66 Volume 19 Number 1 Fall 2007 pp. 66–89 t Increasing Academic Motivation in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students From Low Socioeconomic Backgrounds Maria Kaylor & Margaret M. Flores University of Texas at San Antonio There are increasing numbers of students who are culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) in U.S. schools. Students who are CLD do not share the dominant language and/or culture, and they face many obstacles that contribute to their experi- ences of failure in school. Students from CLD backgrounds are more likely than their peers to leave school prior to graduation. Students who are CLD may face issues with academic perfor- mance (Knesting & Waldron, 2006), lack of school engage- ment (Caraway, Tucker, Reinke, & Hall, 2003), and behavioral problems. Additionally, students from low socioeconomic areas and students who are Hispanic or African American are more likely to fail and drop out of school (Adam, 2004). Specifically, Hispanic students comprise the largest group of dropouts at 8.9% (National Center for Education Statistics [NCES],
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Copyright © 2007 Prufrock Press, P.O. Box 8813, Waco, TX 76714 summary Kaylor, M., & Flores, M. M. (2007). Increasing academic motivation in culturally and linguistically diverse students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Journal of Advanced Academics, 19, 66–89. According to research, students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds have lower rates of high school graduation and university attendance. There is little research regarding interventions to address these issues. The current study compared the effects of two programs designed to increase academic motivation. Forty-seven high school female athletes from culturally and linguistically diverse and economi- cally disadvantaged backgrounds participated in the study. The pro- grams were implemented over a 12-week period, 2 days per week within the school day. One group received instruction using a program that was designed by the school’s physical education faculty. The other group received instruction using the Possible Selves program (Hock, Schumaker, & Deshler, 2003). The researchers investigated the effects of the programs with regard to the students’ level of hope for the future as measured by the Children’s Hope Scale (Snyder et al., 1994), records of the students’ grades and number of administrative behavioral referrals, students’ self-reports about their participation, and researchers’ evaluation of the students’ goals. The results did not indicate a differ- ence in the students’ hopes for the future. There was little difference in overall grade point averages and no difference in behavioral referrals between the two groups. The students’ perceptions of their participa- tion in the programs were similar. However, the students in the Possible Selves group indicated that they received more support from an adult during their program, and they reported higher levels of effort toward academics than the comparison group. The most significant finding was a difference in the quality of goals written. The Possible Selves group wrote goals and action plans that were more specific and realistic.
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