The purpose of this National Science Foundation (NSF) Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Minority Post-Doctoral Fellowship Starter Grant is to provide continued support for the Socialization Psychometric Evaluation Project (SEP, NSF Postdoctoral Award 010920) that explores how faith communities and other organizations assist parents in educating and raising their children. This project has two goals: 1) to confirm the psychometric properties of three racial socialization scales using a southern community sample, a predominantly white college sample, and a historically black college sample (the SEP), and 2) to initiate the first steps of a longitudinal research project designed to link several community and faith-based institutions in efforts to promote educational outcomes targeting students of color (the Schools and Faith Communities Project, SFCP). The racial socialization scales include the African American Church Scale, the Parental Version of the Racial Socialization Scale, and the Adolescent Version of the Racial Socialization Scale. The first goal is to examine and cross validate the psychometric properties of these scales with three distinct samples as well as assess the criterion-related validation with psychosocial variables such as destigmatization, discrimination, self-esteem, and academic achievement for the college samples. Emerging information from the informal interviews with clergy, key informant interviews, and parent and adolescent focus groups from the SEP and the SFCP was conceptualized to improve science and mathematics achievement among elementary students with the specific goal of enhancing student scores on state and national accountability examinations. The purpose of this project is to develop and evaluate a theoretically based after-school intervention targeting African American students between the ages of 5-10 residing in Raleigh, North Carolina. The SFCP, a pilot intervention, will be a collaborative effort among two local churches in Southeastern Raleigh, North Carolina, North Carolina State University (NSCU), Wake County School District, and several community-based organizations. Consistent with the interdisciplinary goals and broader impacts of NSF, this intervention will explore strategies to engage students in inquiry-based science and mathematics methods aligned with state and national standards. In this study, the implementation of the after-school intervention will (a) employ trained undergraduates through service learning under the supervision of certified teachers to provide advocacy, mentoring and tutoring, (b) increase the targeted students' exposure to science, mathematics, and computer technology, (c) engage these students in applied activities through an experiential-based model, and (d) incorporate culture activities emphasizing the accomplishments of people of color in science and mathematics related fields. Intellectual Merit: The intellectual merit of this project integrates undergraduate and graduate students in a theoretically guided research study in which they will learn research methodology, data management and verification, and statistical analyses. In addition, the students involved with the SCFP will enroll in a one-year service learning course to mentor and tutor elementary students in science, mathematics, and reading. The service learning curriculum will additionally incorporate critical pedagogy, communication skills, and inquiry-based instruction concerning math and science. The undergraduate tutors, recruited from the sciences and social sciences, will learn communication skills and how to effectively engage elementary students in inquiry-based science and mathematics activities. In this project, certified teachers and graduate students will be a content resource and mentors to the undergraduate students. Broader Impact: The project will include an interdisciplinary research team representing students with diverse interests and backgrounds. The partnership among the community-based organizations, faith communities, public schools, and NCSU will strengthen efforts to improve educational outcomes among African American elementary students. The Wake County School District and community-based organization will gain immediate and future benefit from this partnership through the implementation of a community wide inquiry-based science and mathematics after-school program.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Social and Economic Sciences (SES)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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John P. Perhonis
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North Carolina State University Raleigh
United States
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