Date of Award

Spring 2000

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2000 Monique A. Carter. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Black Studies, Psychology


The motivation behind this paper stems from the author’s teaching experience with three students. One of the three students is a girl, and since the author’s arrival at her school, the child’s work has improved considerably. The other two students, however, are males and despite the author’s continuous efforts to help them, their interest in education was and still is lacking. Given the state of education today and the horrifying statistics concerning the education of African-American students, the author believes that Booker T. Washington's experience teaching in the Black Belt of Alabama shortly after reconstruction, would lend some insight to the problems facing African-American students today. For example, Washington's philosophy and methods of a vocational-based education can be used today. Washington's focus on vocational work and moral improvement could act as a refreshing break from traditional education while at the same time helping those students who are considered to be at risk. Although the phrase "student at risk" can consist of almost any student in the United States, given "A Nation at Risk," this thesis focuses on those students who were like the two students in the author’s class. These students are African-American (specifically male) and students who show symptoms of having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As the author reflected upon her experience with these students, three questions came to mind: why is traditional education failing these students? What is traditional education missing that these students so desperately need? And, how can one make education more effective for these students? These questions, and more, will be examined in this thesis.