Monitor on Psychology - October 2011 - (Page 28)
BY LE A WI NERMAN • Monitor staff
Los Angeles. When given access to resources and opportunities, they can fare better than American-born students. “When some of them are not doing well, it’s not because of lack of aspiration, it’s because of lack of opportunities,” he said. • Too few leaders of color. “Until we get more AfricanAmerican and Latino students through the academic pipeline, then our nation will fail to cultivate the human resources it needs for the 21st century,” said A. Wade Boykin, PhD, of Howard University. Solving the problem will involve making classroom changes on many levels, he said, including improving students’ confidence and belief that they can learn and succeed academically. • A failure to support ESL students. Students whose native language is not English often fall behind because they are expected to learn math, history and other subjects before they fully know the language, said Samuel Ortiz, PhD, of St. John’s University. These students would be better served, he argued, if schools taught them content in their native language while gradually transitioning into English-language classes. The education gap is actually similar to the health gap in the United States, pointed out Steven Quintana, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In some ways the two mirror each other — minorities in this country generally have poorer health outcomes than whites. But, he said, health disparities often result from minorities having less contact with health professionals, while educational disparities result from “problematic contact” that might be harder to change. n
MONITOR ON PSYCHOLOGY • OCTOBER 2011
Despite decades of work, the educational achievement gap between whites and ethnic minorities continues, said speakers at an APA convention session.
n average, African-American and Latino students in the United States score lower on tests of academic achievement than their white counterparts. The troublesome data show up at every grade level and across the academic spectrum, from reading to math, and the disparities have frustrated educators for decades. “We’ve spent more than half a century trying unsuccessfully to address the achievement gap,” said Frank C. Worrell, PhD, at APA’s 2011 Annual Convention. “I’m convinced that’s because we’re looking for one cause. And we need to look at many causes.” Worrell, a school psychology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, spoke at a convention panel that examined new research on causes of the achievement gap — and potential solutions. Other problems the speakers cited included: • A lack of diversity in schools. Schools are more segregated now than at any time in the past 40 years, said Sandra Graham, PhD, of the University of California, Los Angeles. Such lack of diversity is bad for students, she argued, as it can make students in the minority group feel more vulnerable. It can also breed cultural mistrust and a sense of discrimination that could influence the achievement gap, she suggested. • A failure to support immigrant students. These children come to the United States with a wide variety of educational, socioeconomic and other backgrounds and often with high goals, said Andrew Fuligni, PhD, of the University of California,
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - October 2011
Monitor on Psychology - October 2011
Subtle and stunning slights
From the CEO
Live science on the showroom floor
Zimbardo re-examines his landmark study
Ready, set, mentor
Attention students and ECPs: Self-care is an ‘ethical imperative’
Suicide risk is high among war veterans in college, study finds
Psychotherapy is effective and here’s why
From toilet to tap: getting people to drink recycled water
What’s ahead for psychology practice?
A push for more accountability is changing the accreditation process
Peer, parental support prove key to fighting childhood obesity
Popular media’s message to girls
Bullying may contribute to lower test scores
A consequence of cuckoldry: More (and better) sex?
Manatees’ exquisite sense of touch may lead them into dangerous waters
Building a better tomato
How will China’s only children care for their aging parents?
‘Spice’ and ‘K2’: New drugs of abuse now on the market
Many suspects don’t understand their right to remain silent
Boosting minority achievement
Where’s the progress?
And social justice for all
Helping new Americans find their way
Segregation’s ongoing legacy
A new way to combat prejudice
Retraining the biased brain
Suppressing the ‘white bears’
How to eat better — mindlessly
Protect your aging brain
Must babies always breed marital discontent?
The danger of stimulants
Keys to making integrated care work
Is technology ruining our kids?
Facebook: Friend or foe?
The promise of Web 3.0
NIMH invests in IT enhanced interventions
PsycAdvocates work to safeguard key programs
The psychology of spending cuts
APA’s strategic plan goes live
Vote on bylaws amendments
Monitor on Psychology - October 2011