The effects of a culturally relevant ethnic study program on the global self-concept of Black potential high school dropouts



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Social scientists have discussed the demoralizing influence of American society on the self-concept of black youngsters, but few have suggested and evaluated methods for improving the self-concept of the black youngster. The present study investigated the effectiveness of an alternative high school program, Ethnic Arts Center (EAC), designed to enhance the personal self-concept, racial-esteem, and school attitude of the black potential high school drop-out. The EAC was evaluated by the results obtained from the pre-tests and post-tests assessments of the subjects' personal self-concept, racial-esteem, school attendance and classroom environment attitude. Twenty males and twenty females, indicated as potential high school dropouts by their shcool counselor, participated in this study. Twenty subjects attended the EAC for the first time and .the remaining twenty subjects stayed in their regular schools to act as a control. The Tennessee Self-Concept Scale (Fisk, 1955), the Classroom Environment Scale (Moos and Tricket; 1976) and an unpublished Black Pride Scale (Lyons-Bailey) were used as instruments in this study. The results of the investigation indicated that the EAC significantly (.05) facilitated in the process of eliminating negative feelings which contributed to the low personal self-concept of the black youngster. In addition, the results suggested that the EAC helped to increase the level of racial-esteem, near to significance, through emphasizing the ethnicity of their students in their curriculum. Overall, the results of the present study indicated that there is a need for alternative ethnic study programs which focus on enhancing personal self-concept, racial-esteem, and school attitudes of the potential high school dropout.