Invictus Minds: A Critical Heuristic Case Study of Giftedness in the African-American Male
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The purpose of this critical heuristic case study was to explore the phenomenon of “giftedness” as experienced by African American males in K-12 public schools through the analysis of their schooling experiences. A research goal of this study is to provide K-12 educators with more finite description of how this phenomenon is experienced in order to assist national educational systems in supporting the growth and development of African American males while also increasing their recruitment and retention in gifted programs. There is one central question that guided this study with three sub-questions. The research question to be answered was: What do the experiences of gifted African American males in public school systems suggest about strategies needed to promote their success, recruitment and retention in Gifted and Talented programs? The case studies of six African American male students that were identified as “gifted” and attending a school in a K-12 public school system was utilized explore the research questions. The specific data sources that were utilized for the study was (1) participant autobiographies; (2) official documents; (3) semi structured interviews; (4) theoretical focus group interviews; and (5) participant observations outside of the school setting. The primary method of data analysis was the six basic phases in the heuristic process of phenomenological analysis: (a) initial engagement, (b) immersion, (c) incubation, (d) illumination, (e) explication and (f) creative synthesis (Moustakas, 1990). Four themes were discovered as a result of the study: (1) Symbiotic Psychosocial Relationships, (2) Phalanxial Educational Ecosystems, (3) Gifted Systems, and (4) The Student Success Course each working together to help shape the experience of giftedness. Final implications and suggestions for improvement are presented through the Jigsaw Framework for African American Male Support which is designed as a way to help all African American males to be successful in their schooling experiences---gifted, unidentified gifted, or non-gifted.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Review of the literature -- Methodology -- Findings: the unheard voices and stories of the invictus minds -- Conclusions and recommendations -- Appendix A. Consent for participation in research study -- Appendix B. Assent for participation in research study -- Appendix C. Parent/guardian invitation to participate in research study -- Appendix D. Demographic survey -- Appendix E. Semi-structured interview guide -- Appendix F. Focus group interview guide -- Appendix G. Observation guide -- Appendix H. SS-IRB approval