Individual Presentation or Panel Title

Narrative Reflections on Developing Academic Self-Concepts in Foster Children

Abstract

In this narrative study, I explored the process of developing academic self-concepts in former foster children. I interviewed adults from various states, ages, and ethnicities regarding their high school experiences. The research questions included information about (a) events and experiences as they relate to developing academic self-concept; (b) events and experiences as they interact with personal relationships to influence self-perceptions; and (c) participant insights to improve schooling for current and future foster children. The conceptual framework included elements from Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory and Turner’s social categorization theory. Prior to the study, conceptual framework consisted of three elements that contributed to high school completion: caregiving relationships, academic self-concepts, and school climate. Findings from the study indicated that caregiving relationships and events outside of school contributed to high school completion more than academic self-concepts and school climate. Primary themes included a sense of belonging, academic motivation, and difficulty dealing with stress. Themes also revealed that academic self-concept may develop prior to high school and be conducive to resilience. Resilience was the strongest contributor to high school completion. Educators may use the results of this study to inform efforts for improving curriculum, instruction, and school climate concerning students living in foster care.

Presentation Description

In this session we will discuss insights from narratives of former foster children. In particular, we will explore student self-perceptions as they relate to academic achievement and resilience. We will also discuss curriculum as it pertains to social-emotional development, resilience, and nontraditional families.

Keywords

Narrative research, academic self-concept, school climate, resilience, foster care

Location

Magnolia Room A

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Jun 11th, 9:15 AM Jun 11th, 10:30 AM

Narrative Reflections on Developing Academic Self-Concepts in Foster Children

Magnolia Room A

In this narrative study, I explored the process of developing academic self-concepts in former foster children. I interviewed adults from various states, ages, and ethnicities regarding their high school experiences. The research questions included information about (a) events and experiences as they relate to developing academic self-concept; (b) events and experiences as they interact with personal relationships to influence self-perceptions; and (c) participant insights to improve schooling for current and future foster children. The conceptual framework included elements from Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory and Turner’s social categorization theory. Prior to the study, conceptual framework consisted of three elements that contributed to high school completion: caregiving relationships, academic self-concepts, and school climate. Findings from the study indicated that caregiving relationships and events outside of school contributed to high school completion more than academic self-concepts and school climate. Primary themes included a sense of belonging, academic motivation, and difficulty dealing with stress. Themes also revealed that academic self-concept may develop prior to high school and be conducive to resilience. Resilience was the strongest contributor to high school completion. Educators may use the results of this study to inform efforts for improving curriculum, instruction, and school climate concerning students living in foster care.