Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education

First Advisor

Dr. William Viall


This study had as its primary purpose the investigation of the effect of black studies courses upon the self-concept of Negro high school students, Specifically, it was intended to determine if selfconcept enhancement followed completion of black studies courses and if this enhancement effect was further related to prior academic achievement, A secondary purpose was to determine if self-concept enhancement was related to the sex of the student, There were two subsidiary purposes. One was to see if different black studies courses had different effects upon the self-concept of the students and the other was to determine if the four instruments used were independent measurements of differing aspects of the self-concept.

The instruments used were the Self-Concept of Ability Scale which yields a measure of the student's perception of his ability to achieve in the academic aspects of school, the Personal Control Scale which yields a measure of that aspect of the self-concept that is involved in an individual's view of himself that is reflected in his feelings about internal versus external controls, the Delay of Gratification Scale which measures that aspect of the self-concept related to the individual's willingness to forego immediate rewards for the sake of later increased rewards and a Self-Concept Semantic Differential which yields a measure of the favorableness of the self-concept on several evaluative scales.

The subjects used were Negro high school seniors in a large, urban, integrated high school, Those students who had elected one of two black studies courses offered were included. Those assigned to a black studies course the first semester made up the experimental groups while those who were to take a black studies course the following semester were the control groups. Pretest and posttest administrations of the four instruments were provided for all students and a percentage change score was computed for each student for each of the four instruments. These scores made up the dependent variables.

The relationships between treatment groups and the relationships among treatment groups and the independent variables of sex and level of achievement were analyzed using a two-way analysis of variance model, Correlation matricies were used to determine the degree to which instruments yielded independent results and the comparative effect of the two black studies courses was studied in a descriptive fashion.

The data obtained in the study, when analyzed, indicated that while black studies might have self-concept enhancement effects that they did not affect all the measured aspects of self-concept and that the effects were not always in the desired direction. It was concluded that black studies, as a curriculum tool for self-concept enhancement, should be approached with caution, The instruments used did measure different aspects of self-concept and that one course, Afro-American History had a greater effect upon self-concept than did Black Literature , the other black studies course.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access