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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Taking it to the stage: Performing arts education and African American male academic identity development

  • Author(s): Walton, Calvin Wesley
  • et al.

This case study examines the relationship between school-based performing arts participation and academic identity development for African American male high school students. Participants addressed how their engagement in a school-based performing arts program influenced their academic achievement and school experiences. The researcher used African American Male Academic Identity Development theory, a proposed framework, to address the following questions: What are the experiences of African American males who participate in school-based performing arts programs? How do performing arts education experiences influence the academic identity development of African American male high school students? Based upon the data derived from this study the author argues that school-based performing arts participation may improve academic performance, engender positive school experiences and encourage affirmative racial identity development for African American male high school students.  Findings from this study contribute to the body of literature on the relationship between arts education and academic achievement among African American males.

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