The Black Students Guide to High School Success (Music Reference Collection; 60)
A multitude of complex factors contribute to students' at-risk status; many of these factors—crime, drugs, and poverty, among others—are beyond the control of educators. But educators do have the power to replace ineffective instructional practices. The strategies that follow have been demonstrated to be effective in increasing student achievement. Maintain high standards and demonstrate high expectations for all ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse students.
Teachers who express high expectations convey the belief that their students have the ability to succeed in demanding activities. Such teachers avoid repetitive rote learning; instead, they involve young people in novel problem-solving activities. They ask open-ended questions requiring students to use their judgment and form opinions. They choose activities where students must use analytic skills, evaluate, and make connections. They expect students to conduct research, complete their homework, and manage their time effectively.
Now that detracking and accelerated learning with support have been shown to be effective, teachers can confidently advocate for them. Hugh Mehan , p. According to Mehan , research has shown that the schools' practice of tracking neither provides students with equal educational opportunities nor serves the needs of employers for a well-educated workforce. Students from low-income and ethnic or linguistic minority backgrounds are disproportionately represented in low-track classes and they seldom move up to high-track classes.
Students placed in low-track classes seldom receive the educational resources that are equivalent to students who are placed in high-track classes. They often suffer the stigmatizing consequences of negative labeling. They are not prepared well for careers or college. In an attempt to provide greater educational equity, educators in California schools have been trying an alternative to tracking since the s.
In San Diego, one such program— Achievement Via Individual Determination AVID —has revamped the curriculum, course structures, and pedagogical strategies into "multiple pathways" to college and career so that students are better prepared and have more options when they complete high school. AVID "untracks" low-achieving ethnic and language-minority students by placing both low- and high-achieving students in the same rigorous academic program.
Students are taught explicitly how to study, how to work with teachers, and how to write college applications. These are skills often passed on by parents who have attended college, but they must be taught to students whose parents lack this form of "cultural capital. From to , 94 percent of AVID students enrolled in college, compared to 56 percent of all high school graduates. Jaime Escalante captured media attention with his success in teaching calculus to Hispanic students.
His high expectations for his students and their subsequent accomplishments were the subject of the film Stand and Deliver. Yet many teachers who will never be the subject of a Hollywood film have inspired and guided pupil achievement. When teachers believe that students can learn, they communicate these expectations explicitly, thus encouraging young people, and they also spend more time creating challenging activities.
They ask higher-order questions that require not only identification and categorization but also comprehension and analysis, application to other situations, synthesis, and value judgments. Heath and McLaughlin have found that one of the reasons for the effectiveness of after-school youth programs organized by community-based organizations is that staff members, often operating on a shoestring budget, depend on students to take some of the responsibility for activities. Young people plan, teach others, and perform a variety of tasks vital to the program.
When students are brought into the planning and become coaches for others, they are given "adult" responsibilities and challenges; everyone must be able to depend on everyone else to show up on time and do his or her part. In addition, involving students in the financial aspects of such operations whether by fundraising or making requests of foundations fosters involvement, responsibility, and the learning of math skills.
Students acquire social skills along with communication and performance skills. In such collaborative work, diversity of skills is seen as a resource for the entire group; everyone brings something different to the table.http://ays.chipichipistudio.com/hood-rates-gay-black.php
Diverse Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners
When journal writing is a required part of students' group responsibilities, they reflect on what they are learning, practice writing skills, and keep the staff informed of their individual progress and well-being. Show students you care by getting to know their individual needs and strengths and sharing their concerns, hopes, and dreams. Students tend to want to participate and do their best when a teacher is nurturing and caring. Nel Noddings advocates that when society around us concentrates on materialistic messages, "we should care more genuinely for our children and teach them to care" p.
Of course we want academic achievement for our students, she notes, but "we will not achieve even that unless our children believe they themselves are cared for and learn to care for others" p. Noddings describes a practice called "looping," where teachers stay with the same group of students for two or more years. By following the same group of students for two or more years, teachers get to know their students' needs and strengths better; trust develops between teacher and students and among classmates.
Looping also offers teachers the opportunity to provide more differentiated instruction, even tailoring lessons to individual children. Noddings's definition of caring "implies a continuous search for competence. Noddings suggests using integrated curricular themes to teach caring to students. In the domain of "caring for self" we might consider life stages, spiritual growth, and what it means to develop an admirable character; in exploring caring for intimate others, we might include units on love, friendship, and parenting; under caring for strangers and global others, we might study war, poverty, and tolerance.
Younger students also get excited when they learn that they can care for the environment through recycling projects, joining others in cleaning and beautifying local parks, starting a community garden, or planting a tree. These themes could be adapted for students from elementary school through high school. In addition, Noddings suggests alternative methods of staff organization in schools. Elementary students would benefit from having the continuity of the same teacher or a stable group of specialists for two or more years.
Even at the high school level, students might benefit if their teacher taught two subjects to the same 30 students rather than one subject to 60 different students. By learning the strengths and challenges each student faces, teachers can refer children and their families to community-based organizations that provide after-school homework help and programs in sports and the arts.
High-performing schools also tend to have systems in place to provide extra help for struggling learners or high-achieving students taking challenging coursework Viadero, , according to the NCEA's Just for the Kids Best Practices Studies and Institutes: Findings from 20 States. Teachers need support in this work. Developing communities of teachers focused on student work was another practice cited by the NCEA. Successful schools accomplish goals through collaboration.
The teachers in one Selma, California, high school hold "focus lesson meetings" in which educators from different disciplines meet and give feedback on one teacher's lesson plan, then try out the revision in one of their classes and give further feedback. Others have "scoring parties" to develop common ideas about what constitutes high-quality student work. Understand students' home cultures to better comprehend their behavior in and out of the classroom. Educators must understand and respect the many different ways of being a parent and expressing concern about the education of one's children.
For example, Gibson , reports that Punjabi immigrant parents in California believe it is the teacher's task to educate and that parents should not be involved in what goes on at school. Punjabi parents support their children's education by requiring that homework be done and ensuring that their youngsters do not "hang out" with other students but instead apply themselves to schoolwork. Even though the parents themselves may be forced to take more than one job, they do not allow their children to work so that they have time to complete their homework.
As a result, Punjabi students as a group have higher rates of graduation and college acceptance than other immigrant groups. Parental involvement is well established as being correlated with student academic achievement Epstein, Valenzuela and Dornbusch challenge "the dominant myth that academic achievement is obstructed by collective orientations. They suggested that when young people have relatives who have attended a U. Also, being part of a dense social network of relatives enhances the opportunity for "multiple alternatives for academic support.
Seek information about students' home cultures by asking them to interview their parents about their lives as children, the stories they remember, favorite poems, and family recipes. The results of these interviews can inform the teacher about the rich diversity in his or her classroom. The interviews also can be made into booklets and, subsequently, reading materials for the entire class to share. Parent-teacher organizations can hold meetings at times convenient for parents to attend, and they can provide translators for those who do not speak English.
A room in the school can be set aside for parents to meet and to discuss issues concerning their children's education or the school community. Teachers can visit parents in their homes, or they can use parent-teacher meetings as a time to discuss homework and discipline. Parents who are welcomed into the school in ways that are culturally appropriate for them become more accessible both as resources and as learners. Immigrant parents can learn both English as a second language ESL and survival skills for their new culture. Parents who are bilingual may be asked to translate for those who have not yet achieved fluency in a new language.
Parents who attend workshops can learn family literacy and math activities that enhance their own abilities to support their children's learning of these skills. When students see that their parents are respected by the school, there may be less of the conflict between home and school cultures that can cause a breakdown of discipline within the family.
Encourage active participation of parents or guardians. Parents and guardians are a child's first teachers, but they are not always aware of the ways in which they mold children's language development and communication skills. Children learn their language at home; the more interaction and communication they have at home, the more children learn. Teachers can support this crucial role by sharing information about the link between home communication and children's learning. For example, teachers can act as "culture brokers" by talking with parents to emphasize the key role they play in their children's education.
Teachers can assist parents in understanding the expectations of the school and their classroom as they elicit from parents their own expectations of teachers and students. Teachers also can suggest ways in which parents might converse more often with their children to prepare them for communication in the classroom. Parents may not be aware of how they support their children's academic efforts when they discuss the importance of education and take them to informal educational resources in the community.
Teachers play an enormously important role in referring parents to community resources such as children's museums, art and science museums, and community-based organizations that offer homework help and arts and sports programs. Children learn the importance of language in expressing ideas, feelings, and requests if parents or guardians respond to them and acknowledge their thoughts. Children also need guidance in learning patterns of communication that are necessary in the classroom, including how to make a request, ask a question, and respond to a question. If parents or guardians are literate in any language, they can read to their children in that language to encourage reading for pleasure and to help children begin to make the connection between oral language and reading.
Even if parents or guardians are not literate, they can use wordless books or create prose as they hold their children and "read" with them. Even the simplest evidence of caring about the importance of literacy pays huge dividends in a young person's schooling. Parents or guardians can take time to talk with their children about any activity they are doing together—eating a meal, for example—thereby encouraging language development. These conversations between parent and child are beneficial whether they are in the home language or in English. Parents or guardians can ask their children questions about whatever activity they are engaged in and how it relates to another activity, as well as ask how they feel about the activity or what they predict may happen next.
They are thus modeling the kinds of communication patterns that young people will use in school. At the same time, of course, simply giving children the gift of attention pays huge dividends. Programs in family literacy can help parents acquire or strengthen their own literacy skills, making them better able to assist their children's development of literacy. Other techniques, such as the use of recorded books, allow adults and children to learn reading skills together.
Children are encouraged to read when they see their parents reading and have their parents read to them. Quite simply, reading for fun encourages more reading. Their materials assist with parent involvement in schools; their website includes summaries of research on family involvement. For example, NNPS studies Epstein, showed that through high school, family involvement contributed to positive results for students, including higher achievement, better attendance, more course credits earned, more responsible preparation for class, and other indicators of success in school Catsambis, ; Simon, Catsambis and Beveridge analyses indicated that students in neighborhoods with high concentrations of poverty had lower math achievement test scores, but this effect was ameliorated by on-going parental involvement in high school.
NNPS studies at the high school level indicated that it is never too late to initiate programs of family and community involvement, as the benefits accrue through grade Similarly, Sheldon and Epstein b found that when teachers involve families in subject-specific interventions in reading and related language arts, "students' reading skills and scores are positively affected" cited in Epstein, , p.
Moreover, NNPS studies found "significant results of subject-specific family involvement [in homework] for students' science report card grades and homework completion" cited in Epstein, , p. Tap into students' backgrounds to enhance learning. Students' self-esteem and motivation are enhanced when teachers elicit their experiences in classroom discussions and validate what they have to say. Young people become more engaged in lessons when they are brought into the initial dialogue by being asked what they know about the topic and what they want to know.
If their questions are written down and used to form a guide for inquiry into the topic, students are far more likely to be interested in doing further research than if the questions simply come out of a text. The teacher also obtains a better understanding of students' previous knowledge about a subject—a pre-assessment, as it were—that can guide the planning of the subsequent lesson. One way in which teachers can ensure recognition of students' contributions is to use "semantic webbing.
For example, the teacher or one of the students might put the topic "culture" in a center circle on the chalkboard. Then, the recorder notes students' associations in circles around the center circle. As a next step, the class can discuss and connect with lines all the related aspects of "culture," making a web of relationships on the board. This work can be expanded by categorizing the subtopics. The teacher also can ask students what they want to know about the topic at hand.
Students' questions, recorded for later use, can serve as guides for research. Students are more likely to be interested in researching a topic when they begin with their own real questions. Those real questions lead them on an ever-widening path of investigation.
Implementing this strategy can be as simple as asking children to voice their questions about a given topic at the beginning of a lesson. After gathering student questions, the teacher can ask whether any student already has information about the topic. Before drawing on books and other resources, the students themselves can be resources by using their own knowledge and prior experiences. Choose culturally relevant curriculum and instructional materials that recognize, incorporate, and reflect students' heritage and the contributions of various ethnic groups.
Students' self-esteem is strengthened when they see and read about the contributions made by their own racial or ethnic groups to the history and culture of the United States. Whenever possible, teachers adapt the curriculum to focus lessons on topics that are meaningful to students. This kind of focus allows students to practice language, thinking, reading, and writing skills in real, meaningful, and interactive situations.
The Black Student's Guide to High School Success
Students also come to realize that teachers value and appreciate each child's culture and language. Teachers can select texts or, if necessary, supplementary materials such as children's literature written by a variety of authors that incorporate the perspectives, voices, historical events, poetry, artwork, journals, and illustrations of the range of racial and ethnic groups that make up U. Teachers can ask students to interview their parents about their history, including their culture, poetry, music, recipes, novels, and heroes.
The student can videotape, audiotape, or write the interview and share it with the rest of the class. In interviews conducted by the Latino Commission Rodriguez, , high school students observed that they feel left out when the curriculum of the school contains nothing that relates to their own culture. Conversely, they feel that both they and their culture are valued when their culture is included in the curriculum.
For younger students, children's books about young people in their own cultural context can provide avenues for discussion and comparison of the similarities and differences between the culture of their parents and that of the school or community in which they now live. Identify and dispel stereotypes. If the teacher allows sexist or racist language and stereotypes to pass unchallenged, students will be harmed in two ways: Teachers can select texts or supplementary materials to address the issue of stereotyping.
The supplementary materials should be written by a variety of authors who incorporate a wide range of perspectives on historical events, poetry, artwork, journals, music, and illustrations of women and men, as well as varied ethnic and racial groups. Teachers also can point out sexist language and ethnic, racial, or gender stereotypes in everyday instructional materials. Weis and Fine have documented the development of a sense of community and the contesting of stereotypes across the usual boundaries of race, class, and gender in two different school situations.
In the first, racial and class stereotypes dissolved in a 9th grade literature class guided by two teachers in a racially integrated public school in Montclair, New Jersey. The school has a range of socioeconomic groups, from those living in conditions of extreme wealth to those living in conditions of dire poverty. The school is tracked academically, but the world literature class documented by Michelle Fine was detracked. The teachers asked questions that demanded taking a position and defending it.
Students also were asked to develop a new perspective by getting inside the minds and emotions of the literary characters being studied and saying what they might say. Teachers guided the students over the semester as they developed a new consciousness of the range of abilities of their classmates, irrespective of race. Weis and Fine also documented an abstinence program among 8th grade girls in the Arts Academy, an urban magnet school in Buffalo, New York.
The students differed only in racial identity; all lived in conditions of poverty. However, they developed an identity as a group and distanced themselves from others of their same background who were taking a different path that they saw as unproductive hanging around men, smoking and drinking, and becoming pregnant at an early age. The group came to see that they shared common problems and could share solutions across racial lines. Through the facilitation of a staff member from the gender-based prevention outreach service Womanfocus, invited by the school guidance counselor, these girls came to share many aspects of their personal lives over the course of the semester.
Supporting one another, they planned to graduate from high school, go on to college, and succeed. In doing so, they contested the notions of femininity, victimhood, and race prevailing in their neighborhoods. Identifying and dispelling sterotypes can be as simple as pointing out examples of sexist language in everyday curriculum materials, such as the use of "man" for "human" or the use of the pronoun "he" in referring to both men and women.
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The teacher can move beyond simple awareness of such stereotypes by asking students how such language makes them feel. To encourage exploration of how it feels to be in another's shoes, the teacher also can ask students if they would like to be labeled "non-Eastern" because they live in the Western Hemisphere—just as many North Americans refer to those who live in the Eastern Hemisphere as "non-Western. The teacher can compare the dichotomy used in categorizations of racial groups in the United States i.
These striking differences lend themselves to a discussion of the social construction or definition of racial groups; students enjoy the opportunity to research the history and derivation of these definitions. Create culturally compatible learning environments. When the norms of interaction and communication in a classroom are very different from those to which students have been accustomed, they may experience confusion and anxiety, be unable to attend to learning, and not know how to appropriately seek the teacher's attention or participate in discussions. By acknowledging students' cultural norms and expectations concerning communication and social interaction, teachers can appropriately guide student participation in instructional activities.
The aspects of culture that influence classroom life most powerfully are those that affect the social organization of learning and the social expectations concerning communication.
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The organization of the typical U. Such whole-class instruction is often followed by individual practice and assessment. By contrast, Jordan reported on the results among Hawaiian students in public schools whose reading achievement improved greatly after culturally compatible classrooms were implemented through the Kamehameha Early Education Program KEEP.
In an ethnographic study of the students' home life, Jordan and colleagues in the Hawaiian Community Research Project in the late s and early s found that older siblings were responsible for taking care of younger siblings and doing tasks cooperatively in the home without direct parental supervision. Consequently, these educators structured their 3rd grade classroom into learning centers. After direct instruction from the teacher, small mixed-gender groups of four or five students could assist one another with tasks at the centers, without the direct supervision of teachers—similar to their home situation.
Meanwhile, the teachers worked with small groups of students using comprehension-oriented, direct instruction reading lessons using particular sociolinguistic and cognitive patterns and a system for managing child behavior which built on standard contingency management to assist the teacher in presenting herself as a person who was both "tough and nice," these being key attributes of adults that Hawaiian children like and respect. In a collaboration with the Rough Rock Demonstration School in Arizona, Jordan reported that the same approaches were tried with 3rd grade Navajo students, but the techniques did not work well with them.
They learned that in Navajo culture, boys and girls were expected to stay in same-gender groups. Also, because their dwellings were so far apart, they didn't have experiences with many children outside of school in peer companion groups as the Hawaiian children did. Thereafter, changes were made in the classroom organization, and the Navajo children were more comfortable working at learning centers with just one other child of the same gender. According to Tharp , teaching and learning are more effective when they are contextualized in the experiences, skills, and values of the community and when learning is a joint productive activity involving both peers and teachers.
Learning is furthered by "instructional conversations"—dialogues between teachers and learners about their common learning activities. A teacher notices that a Chinese American girl tends not to raise her hand to participate in discussions. The teacher discovers that the child is afraid to respond in front of the whole class because she is still learning English and worries that others will laugh at her.
The teacher divides the class into groups of four to do collaborative research so that the girl can practice speaking in English in a smaller group. Too often, when young people speak a language other than English and are learning English as a second language, teachers of ESL or reading in English may restrict their activities to the lowest level of decoding and phonics, levels that do not challenge students intellectually. Only when students have the opportunity to continue learning in their native language can they operate at their cognitive level and grow intellectually.
After reading a book or article in their native language, they can be challenged with comprehension, application, and analysis questions—the higher-order thinking skills. Moll, Diaz, Estrada, and Lopes found that the level of questioning is much more restricted in ESL reading groups than in native-language reading groups. Jordan, Tharp, and Baird-Vogt found that Hawaiian children's academic achievement increased when certain aspects of their home culture were integrated into the elementary classroom.
The use of a culturally appropriate form of communication called "talk story" engaged the students more fully. In addition, Hawaiian students were more comfortable in school when they were recognized as being able to take responsibility for maintaining the order and cleanliness of their classroom.
In their homes, Hawaiian children have many responsibilities for the care of younger siblings and cooperate in doing household chores. They felt more "at home" when they could come in early, straighten up the room, and set out other students' work for the day. Teachers made the classroom more culturally compatible by learning about the culture of the home. Use cooperative learning strategies. One of the most difficult issues faced by teachers in multiethnic classrooms is that students, particularly those from ethnic groups suffering social discrimination, tend to cluster in cliques based on ethnicity.
Students may observe that one peer group draws itself apart and, in reaction, may come to feel that they must do so as well. To break down this defensive withdrawal into ethnic groups, teachers need to give students time to get to know each other and to find that they share common ground, common problems, and common feelings.
One way to break down artificial barriers between students is to encourage them to participate in a small group over an extended period of time, collaborating on a shared activity with a shared goal that can only be achieved by working together. Children who have an opportunity to work in cooperative learning groups with fellow students of other races and ethnicities get to know those students as real people rather than as stereotypes. As students learn together and get to know one another, mutual respect and friendships can develop.
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The teacher assigns students to groups of five or six and gives each student a specific task in the scientific experiment they are to do collaboratively. One reads and sets up the materials for the experiment; one performs the experiment. Another student records their results, another illustrates their findings, yet another reads the recorded experience to the rest of the class, and so forth.
The social skills that support such cooperative learning must be taught. Students must learn to listen and give feedback, to manage conflict, to lead, to contribute, and to take responsibility for a part of the task. Teachers need to allow groups ample time to "process" their own performance in a task by talking about their interaction and how it could be improved.
Tasks that include positive interdependence as part of the activity—that is, tasks requiring each person in the group to be dependent on the whole group's doing well in order to achieve the goal—are more likely to be successful. Especially effective are "jigsaw" tasks, which cannot be completed unless everyone helps or unless each participant learns one piece of the job and teaches the others.
Cooperative learning is more than having students sit next to each other; it involves structuring young people's need to communicate, to get to know one another, and to work together. Capitalize on students' cultures, languages, and experiences. Learning is more likely to occur when young people's expectations about how to interact with adults and other children match the teachers' and administrators' expectations for such interaction.
Saravia-Shore and Martinez found that Puerto Rican high school dropouts who had succeeded in an alternative high school credited their increased achievement to the difference in the way adults treated them in each school. They reported that they felt they were treated as children in the regular high school, but the staff members of the alternative school treated them as adults. Specifically, their new teachers expected that they do their homework because they had enrolled in order to pass the GED examination.
Teachers in the alternative high school showed Diverse Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners an understanding of the students' cultural norm of having families at an early age and being responsible for other members of their family. Since they knew the students had genuinely pressing responsibilities including caring for their families and working to support them , they did not criticize students for being late to class, so long as their work was completed. Simply put, the students felt that the teachers in the alternative school understood their life experiences and cared about their success.
Jordan, Tharp, and Baird-Vogt have shown that when teachers incorporate the home culture's expected patterns of interaction and discourse, students feel more comfortable in school and participate more actively in learning situations. When students are used to caring for other children at home, they have a foundation for cooperative learning and peer teaching. They can succeed with cooperative learning and peer teaching if they are given the opportunity to use them and the support of the teacher.
If children are accustomed to having responsibilities in caring for their physical environment at home, they often feel comfortable in caring for and managing the school environment as well. Integrate the arts in the curriculum. Nothing makes learning come alive more than engaging students in arts activities that encourage dialogue on issues that are important to them. Providing opportunities for students to express themselves through the visual and performing arts enables them to learn about and develop their talents and multiple intelligences: Young children benefit from being encouraged to make sense of their world and their relationships through drawing and painting graphic images.
Encouraging students to use their imaginations and taking time to elicit their interpretations of visual arts through open-ended questions in a classroom setting is valuable in itself. Yet these conversations also enable students to understand, as they listen to other classmates, the multitude of interpretations that are possible when viewing the same work of art.
Parents can be invited to accompany their children as a group to an art museum and to observe the teacher asking children to describe what they see and what the artwork means to them. Once they've made such a visit, parents may be more comfortable taking their children back to the museum. Similarly, poetry can be a jumping-off place for discussions. Then, students can learn how to perform their own work.
Researchers summarized the results of programs that integrated the arts in curriculum in Critical Links: They agreed that "well-crafted arts experiences produce positive academic and social effects" p. In CAPE schools, teams of teachers and teaching artists planned and taught curriculum units that typically integrated a visual art form with an academic subject such as reading or social studies. The results "demonstrated that the low SES children in arts-integrated schools perform better than those in comparison schools in terms of [standardized tests of mathematics and reading] test scores" Deasy, , p.
DeMoss and Morris investigated the question of how the arts support cognitive growth in students. They found that "students from all achievement levels displayed significant increases in their ability to analytically assess their own learning following arts-integrated units," while "no such gains were associated with traditional instructional experiences" , p. Observations of final performances in the arts-integrated units corroborated students' own assessments. Students who had difficulties controlling their behavior and staying on task performed their parts in final events with seriousness and competency.
This finding held particularly true for those children hardest to reach by traditional approaches. These developments could have significant positive effects on students' general cognitive growth over time, particularly if students experience arts-integrated learning in their classrooms on a regular basis. A more recent study demonstrating the benefits of integrating visual arts in the curriculum on young children's cognitive development was reported in the New York Times Kennedy, Third grade students in the Learning through Art program sponsored by the Solomon R.
Guggenheim Museum were found to have "performed better in six categories of literacy and critical thinking skills—including thorough description, hypothesizing, and reasoning—than did students who were not in the program" Kennedy, , p. In this program, the Guggenheim Museum sends teaching artists to the schools where they collaborate with the teacher for 90 minutes per class one day a week over a or week period, helping students and teachers learn about and make art.
Groups of students are also taken to the Guggenheim two or three times in that period to see exhibitions. Posters of artwork can enliven a classroom and be a starting point for enriching conversations. If there are restrictions on displaying such work on the walls, use inexpensive foam core panels that fold out and stand up as the background for a classroom gallery.
Invite children to describe the artwork on the posters and create a story about what is happening in the pictures—what may have happened before and what may happen next. Children can learn how to mix primary colors, discovering the secondary colors that are created when any two primary colors are combined.
Children enjoy painting, whether it's finger paint for the youngest students or tempera paint for middle and high school students. Students can do collaborative arts projects, putting together individual pieces into quilts or developing murals. Lawrence uses art to interpret the history of African Americans who migrated from the South to the North during the early 20th century.
Such visual references to historical events bring social studies to life. Photography is another art form that children can learn from an adult, be it a teacher, a teacher's colleague, or a parent. Students can use disposable cameras to select locations, people, and objects from their environment to photograph; the photos can be posted in the classroom "gallery" and discussed or used to build a story, play, or poem.
Photographic "essays" are another way of sharing one's home culture with others. Middle and high school students enjoy "poetry slams" in which they compete to be the best performer of their own poems. Learning songs is another way to experience poetry. From the youngest children's songs of Woody Guthrie to favorite world folk songs to the songs of social justice in the Civil Rights Movement, music illuminates the human condition and makes social studies more memorable. Students can even read plays aloud in the classroom, and later the students themselves can write and perform plays for the class.
Caring for students includes positively influencing their decisions related to their physical well-being. Congress passed the Child Nutrition Act in June , requiring school districts to craft "wellness" policies. Such policies should include goals for nutrition education and ways to increase the physical activity of all students. Educators who are aware of the growing epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes are alarmed. According to Kleinfield a, p. A1 , "One in three children born in the United States [in ] are expected to become diabetic in their lifetimes, according to a projection by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The forecast for Latinos is even bleaker: Nationally, the growing problem of overweight youngsters affects minority students disproportionately. Childhood Type 2 diabetes, the most common form, is often linked to obesity. In the —04 Child Trends study, Compare their rate to the figure for black males Among girls ages 6—11, the highest percentage In the 12—19 age range, black females were the highest percent of overweight youngsters at Moreover, "Asians, especially those from Far Eastern nations like China, Korea, and Japan, are acutely susceptible to Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease" Santora, , p.
In addition, they develop Type 2 diabetes at far lower weights than people of other races; at any weight they are 60 percent more likely than whites to contract the disease. Teachers can help to counteract television commercials for fast food, larger portions, sodas, sugary snacks, and sedentary lifestyles that feed childhood obesity and often lead to diabetes, particularly among Asians, Latinos, and African Americans.
Unfortunately, "even as health authorities pronounced obesity a national problem, daily participation in gym classes dropped to 28 percent in from 42 percent in , according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention" Santora, , p. To promote healthier eating habits, teachers can assign research projects comparing the calories in fast foods in various restaurants, soft drinks including diet sodas , breakfast foods, and snacks fried versus baked chips, the nutrition facts about various kinds of microwave popcorn.
If each child researches one product, the class can create a chart comparing all of them. A similar class project could ask students to act as detectives, uncovering the amount of high-fructose corn syrup in various products by investigating and recording the information on the ingredients label. Teachers of older students can show the film Super Size Me , which puts a human face on the effects of fast foods and also contains information about nutritious foods. Teachers interested in making wellness a part of the curriculum can integrate units on the health benefits of food with complex carbohydrates beans and multigrain or whole grain bread compared to highly refined carbohydrates such as white bread and most pastas.
They also might help students investigate why eating apples and other fruits as snacks is healthy as well as delicious; the health benefits of leafy green vegetables; making sandwiches or wraps of roasted vegetables; the higher levels of mercury in larger fish compared to smaller fish; and the benefits of olive oil compared to butter and margarine. One school district in Texas used the Get FIT Families in Training program for a nine-week summer intervention camp for their students who were overweight.
For five days each week, students exercised, ate healthy snacks and lunches, and learned about good nutrition; their parents came to the school one night a week to learn about nutrition to support their children. The program, developed by Peggy Visio, a dietitian and adjunct professor, also introduced the 5th graders to dancing, kickboxing, yoga, swimming, and volleyball.
The benefits of involving parents are clear: Community-based organizations often sponsor summer camps and after-school programs. Taking part in sports; yoga; tai chi; or simple deep, slow breathing also helps reduce stress.
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Even inviting a well-informed parent or a teacher or a health professional from a local hospital to share information on healthy nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction will positively influence students in this area. Develop community ties and build community schools. Teachers can explore community schools as models for an educational approach that puts children at the center and addresses cognitive, social, emotional, and physical needs and strengths.
Community schools also offer "structured enrichment activities and acknowledge students' need for choice, control, competence, and belonging" p. Community schools open their classrooms to community-based organizations and resources that support children through after-school homework help and enrichment programs as well as supportive programs for parents, such as ESL, GED preparation, parenting courses, and parent and community leadership workshops in the evening. Some community schools have dental clinics on site; others have nurseries so that teenage mothers can complete school.
Some schools in high asthma areas have clinics in the school so students can get assistance and miss less school. Community schools make an array of community resources accessible to support children and families in reaching their potential. The ASCD Commission identified several nonschool factors that influence academic achievement such as nutrition, parent participation in their child's school, time watching television, mobility, and mothers' educational level. Important, too, is research by McLaughlin and colleagues showing that adolescents who participate regularly in community-based youth development programs—including arts, sports, and community service—have better academic and social outcomes as well as higher educational and career aspirations than other teens.
Chicago, Illinois, has one of the largest community school initiatives in the United States. Of Chicago's schools, now operate as community schools. They serve an average of 15, students and their families each year. A study by Blank and Berg , p. In Indianapolis, Indiana, a community high school started in now has 49 community partners. These organizations offer mental and physical health consultation, day-care and after-school programs, college preparation, and adult education programs. Their students' standardized test scores have risen 10 to 15 points every year since the program began.
The sophomores tested in outscored those in all the traditional high schools in Indianapolis. Incorporate multiple forms of assessment. In recent years, standardized testing has been used to drive school reform, with decidedly mixed results. Multiple indicators of academic performance and progress on schoolwork throughout the year should be a part of this approach. Valenzuela and colleagues suggest an approach that would take into account: The use of standardized testing alone tends to focus on output, neglecting the other two dimensions.
Students who live in communities of poverty often do not have the access to resources or highly qualified teachers that students in wealthier districts do. Thus, they are far from experiencing equal educational opportunity. Among many others, Hodgkinson has suggested that the focus of the current high-stakes standardized testing system is too narrow: An additional problem involves the heavy preoccupation with reading and math readiness skills and abilities in the early years of schooling.
While these skills are obviously important, factors that are less focused on academics, such as self-confidence, resilience, caring, emotional development, and supportive family members may be just as important. One of the hidden agendas here is that educational success will be defined by the student's ability to take standardized multiple-choice tests. Half of the elementary schools in Fairfax County, Virginia, are evaluating their kindergartners using an page report card, assessing language, reading, writing, math, science, social studies, health, movement, art, and music as well as social and emotional development.
Rather than checkmarks for "sometimes," "usually," and "consistently," parents are encountering terms such as "pre early emergent," "early emergent," "emergent," and "novice. They will need some help to understand the difference between seeing an "A" on their child's report card and looking at a child's stage of development, regardless of the advantage of getting a better feeling of what students are really learning.
Unless parents are prepared for this change, the desirable shift to see learning as growth, using a variety of clinical and statistical measures, may not catch on. The Just for the Kids Study of Best Practices NCEA, also noted that "all of the high-performing schools we visited draw data from multiple assessments and use those data to inform every decision. In addition to the outcome skills of reading and mathematics, most of us want our students to develop such habits of mind as questioning, observing closely, making connections, creating meaning, valuing their experience, identifying patterns, exhibiting empathy, and evaluating their own work.
Students become more aware of these capacities when they are identified, discussed, and assessed. Lincoln Center Institute has developed an assessment tool to assess habits of mind that are not measurable through standardized tests. Looking to the year history of philosophy and practice at the institute, Madeleine Fuchs Holzer developed definitions for nine capacities for imaginative learning.
For example, she defined "creating meaning" as creating interpretations on the basis of previous capacities such as questioning, noticing deeply, identifying patterns, and making connections , seeing these in light of others in the community, creating a synthesis, and expressing it in your own voice Holzer, Holzer shared the capacities with faculty from at least eight colleges and numerous elementary and high schools during the Lincoln Center Institute Summer Institute.
She encouraged and received feedback about them and revised the capacities through several iterations. The institute published the definitions of the capacities Holzer, and then asked a consultant, Drew Dunphy, to work with a group of teachers from the High School for Arts, Imagination and Inquiry in New York City to develop rubrics for the capacities. There are several advantages to working as a team to develop rubrics. Teachers can spot gaps in colleagues' efforts and work to strengthen them. In addition, when teachers develop and own an assessment instrument, students' goals and outcomes become more consistent.
By identifying the development of these capacities as their goal, teachers let students know that they value the expression of these innate qualities of thought and emotion. Another assessment that engages students in the process is the use of portfolios. Teachers and students can develop portfolios containing samples of their classwork and teacher-made tests over the year.
Asking students to review their portfolios bimonthly and select the best examples of their work for that time period coaches them in self-assessment and enables them to see their progress. The teacher can share these portfolios on parents' night to show how students are doing. In addition, if students don't perform well on a standardized test used in a high-stakes event, such as promotion to the next grade, their work samples could also be used to show that they are ready for the next grade. The term "linguistically and culturally diverse students" encompasses a vast array of young people.
As President John F. Kennedy famously suggested, America is a "nation of immigrants. Now that so many dual-language bilingual programs have been in place for the past 20 years, however, we can see that coming to a school that supports becoming bilingual and biliterate can actually be an advantage. As the world becomes more economically interdependent, the advantages of bilingualism and cross-cultural understanding are better understood. According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the number of high school students who are enrolled in foreign language programs in public high schools has grown steadily from —when 3.
Recent research has redefined the nature of how we understand the educational vulnerability of linguistically and culturally diverse students. Stereotypes and myths have begun to give way, laying a foundation on which to reconceptualize existing educational practices. Current thinking emphasizes the value of speaking more than one language. Rather than being considered "disadvantaged" as speakers of a language other than English, such students are now being considered potentially bilingual and biliterate.
The first language L1 is now considered a base on which English language learners ELLs can build "additive" bilingualism learning a second language [L2] while becoming literate in their first language and eventually literate in both. Teachers wishing to see evidence of the effectiveness of various programs for ELLs should be aware of the work of Thomas and Collier , who conducted the most comprehensive longitudinal research study to date on the long-term academic effectiveness of eight different K—12 programs for language-minority students, as well as English monolingual students who participate in two-way immersion also called dual-language programs.
Thomas and Collier researched English as a second language ESL , transitional bilingual education, developmental bilingual education DBE , one-way one group learning bilingually and two-way two groups learning each other's language as a second language bilingual programs, as well as the placement of ELLs in mainstream classes. Their report of their study from to covers six sites in the United States. In researching more than , student records each year, they converted standardized test scores into normal curve equivalents and percentages.
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Chapter 2. Diverse Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners
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