W71 - The Role of Anticipatory Images in the Academic Achievement of Low-Income, Inner City Students James Davy - USA / Lucille Davy - USA
Lower levels of academic achievement and educational progress of low-income, inner city students is an affront to human dignity, a waste of human capital, and a threat to democracy. Despite structural teaching and learning reforms, which have improved the academic success of low-income, inner city students in recent years, large numbers of urban students fail to graduate from high school. While the fight for structural reforms continue, we must also include in the family of ideas innovative approaches to improving the academic achievement and progress of low-income, inner city students. During this session Dr. James Davy of Rutgers University Newark will present qualitative research which examines the role anticipatory images play in the academic achievement of low-income, inner city students. Cooperrider’s anticipatory principle and Seligman’s theory of prospection suggest that humans project images ahead of themselves and then use them to guide their actions and behavior. Davy’s research describes how anticipatory images work in tandem with pragmatic prospection techniques, such as mental simulation, implementation intentions, backcasting, mental contrasting, and if/then evaluation to fulfill the positive action equation of the positive image-positive action dynamic. Predicated on the positive deviance notion that lessons that can be learned from high academically achieving urban students, ten students who graduated from the Newark, New Jersey public schools at the top of their class and continued to excel in college, as well as the one person in each of their lives who most influenced their educational imaging and progress were interviewed as part of a qualitative study to determine whether anticipatory images were integral to their academic success. Dr. Davy’s research found that students do engage in a psychological process of framing positive anticipatory images of the future and use them to progress in the direction of their dreams. This session will describe their process for framing and using images for positive results. From an early age, students should be taught anticipatory competence skills and techniques to improve their academic performance and achieve their educational goals. During this session Dr. Davy and Lucille Davy, former Commissioner of Education for the State of New Jersey will interactively engage the audience in designing approaches to age appropriate anticipatory competency skill development in students.