The Effect of Personal Philosophy on Orientation Toward School: African American Students' Views of Integrationist Versus Nationalist Philosophies

J. Ron Nelson, John G. Nicholls, Kenneth Gleaves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

A total of 130 African American students in Grades 4 through 8 were interviewed about the merits and educational consequences of adopting the philosophies of integrationism and nationalism. Simplified presentations of the perspectives of Shelby Steele and Malcolm X were used to represent these philosophies. The students generally responded positively to the communal aspect of Malcolm X's position and Steele 's suggestion that no grudges should be heldforpast injustices by Whites. Students believed that adopting a particular philosophy would influence an individual's orientation toward learning and motivation for school. Overall, students believed that persons who adopted the philosophy of Malcolm X would be more motivated to do schoolwork and more willing to collaborate with classmates in learning. Students, however, tended to expect more positive consequences from the philosophy they preferred. Older students, more than younger ones, rejected the notion that teachers should promote one particular philosophy over the other.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-357
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Black Psychology
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Applied Psychology

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