Against the Odds: How "At-Risk" Students Exceed Expectations

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Wiley, Nov 10, 1998 - Psychology - 192 pages
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Bempechat's well-written book takes a fresh look at vital questions about the academic achievement of minority children. Her examination of academically successful children within several different ?at-risk' ethnic groups yields unconventional and original insights about how children are socialized for schooling. A valuable contribution to the literature on achievement and motivation in multiethnic nations!
?Herbert P. Ginsburg, Jacob H. Schiff Foundation professor of psychology and education, Teachers College, Columbia University

From an original position that isolates the factors which predict academic performance, Harvard professor Janine Bempechat shatters the myths about success and failure among poor and minority students. With sound analysis and practical advice, Bempechat gives parents, educators?and anyone interested in the well-being of children?hope and inspiration as they strive for academic excellence in children.

Focusing on the factors that contribute to academic success?rather than analyzing the conditions that lead to failure and underachievement?Bempechat's book is a unique contribution to the understanding of societal and cultural effects on learning. Against the Odds reveals that high-achieving children, no matter what their ethnic or cultural background, have similar perceptions about their parents' educational beliefs and practices. And, surprisingly, Bempechat's research counters the commonly held view that academic success is tied primarily to an individual's belief in effort.

Written for teachers, psychologists, counselors, mentors?anyone interested in the welfare of children?Against the Odds is a guide to help create policy and curricula that will foster excellence and enable children?rich, middle-class, poor, minority, nonminority?to achieve their full potential.

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Learning from Poor and Minority
Misguided Notions About Underachievement
The Critical Role of Parents

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About the author (1998)

JANINE BEMPECHAT is an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Psychology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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