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Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African-American Students

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Title: Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African-American Students


1
Dreamkeepers Successful Teachers
ofAfrican-American Students
2
Professor Gloria Ladson-BillingsUniversity of
WisconsinDreamkeepers Successful Teachers
ofAfrican-American Students
  • Researchers conclude that students are less
    likely to fail in school if they feel positive
    about their culture and majority culture.
    (Ladson-Billings, 11)

3
What do we mean by the word culture?
Individuals vary within all cultural groups.
There is a dominant culture and many
subcultures.
  • Culture is an integrated set of norms by which
    human behaviors, beliefs, and thinking are
    organized.
  • Culture is a set of standards and control
    mechanisms with which members assign meanings,
    values and significance to things, events and
    behaviors.
  • TEACHERS CULTURAL LENS How do you interpret
    the world based on your cultural experiences?
    What cultural skills, beliefs, values, and
    behaviors do you bring to your interactions with
    the world? How will you view difference?

4
Key beliefs and values in mainstream American
culture (Spindler, 1963, 1990)
  • 1. Puritan morality (respectability, thrift,
    duty)
  • 2. Work-success ethic (hard work defines our
    worth)
  • 3. Individualism (leads to self-reliance, free to
    act, and originality)
  • 4. Achievement orientation (set higher and higher
    goals)
  • 5. Future-time orientation (sacrifice today for
    the future)
  • 6. Equality of opportunity (everyone gets a fair
    chance to participate)
  • 7. Value of honesty
  • 8. Openness of the American socioeconomic
    structure upward mobility is possible based
    on merit
  • 9. Sociability

5
If students cant read, teachers can conclude
that they have limited abilities. But
generalizations about cultural difference in
learning styles give teachers a different
explanation for failure.
  • Native Hawaiian children have a talk story
    style of expressing themselves at home.
  • Traditional reading approaches are not as
    effective when teaching young Native Hawaiian
    students to read.
  • Teachers who incorporate the talk story in
    reading lessons are more successful.
  • Professor Kathy Au (UIUC graduate in Curriculum
    and Instruction) and now teaches at the
    University of Hawaii

6
Cultural Mismatch- (Tozer, 421) can occur in
schools for Native American students
(generalizations about a culture)
  • In general, the larger Native American culture
    is
  • Not a competitive people, but cooperative.
  • Values tribal life over acquisition of material
    goods.
  • Native American Learning styles
  • They learn at home by observation, not trial and
    error.
  • Interpreted by teachers as lack of initiative
  • They learn respect for elders, limit direct eye
    contact.
  • Eye contact expected.

7
Teaching Approaches--culturally relevant or
culturally responsive teaching, multicultural
approaches
  • http//www.youtube.com/watch?vnGTVjJuRaZ8feature
    related 440
  • Professor Gloria Ladson-Billings

8
Cultural Subordination Theory focuses on the
relationships between the childs cultural group
and the dominant society the power relations
between different social groups.
  • Awareness of cultural subordination of some
    minority groups supports a move from a cultural
    deficit model to a cultural difference model in
    schools.
  • Cultural Difference Theory
  • Cultures are different
  • ASSET THEORY OF DIFFERENCE
  • One is not better than another
  • All cultures contain skills and behaviors
  • Recognizes the multicultural aspect of American
    culture
  • Seeking success in mainstream culture, while
    retaining other cultural connections.

9
According to Ladson-Billings what main views do
culturally relevant teachers hold about learning?
(Tozer, 430 and Ladson-Billings,
33)http//www.youtube.com/watch?vccEu7r2IwM0
340
  • CAUTION These look simple, but are complex
    ideas.
  • Conceptions of themselves and others.
  • Recognize that culture impacts everyones
    learning.
  • Conceptions of social relations.
  • Social relations impact motivation, why we learn,
    interpretations, how the community views the
    school.
  • Conceptions of knowledge.
  • Knowledge is constructed, useful, changing,
    linked to experiences.

10
Ladson-Billings suggests that all of us learn and
understand through cultural filters.
RECOGNIZING CULTURE AS PART OF THE PROCESS OF
LEARNING
  • Recognize the role that culture plays in how we
    see the world.
  • The way we read the world is culturally
    mediated.
  • Know thyself, and understand others.

11
One of the most important theories of Chapter
13is Cultural Difference Theory, which has led
to the development of Culturally Relevant
Teaching Approaches
  • Direct classroom implications.
  • Asks teachers to examine their own cultural
    filters and how these filters influence teaching.
  • Addresses how students learn.
  • Provides a profile of a culturally competent
    teacher.
  • http//www.youtube.com/watch?vnGTVjJuRaZ8feature
    related 440
  • What is culturally responsive or culturally
    relevant teaching?

12
Ladson-Billings conducted a one-year study of 8
of the most successful teachers in minority
schools. What was the cultural reference of the
8 teachers in her study? 5 Black 3 White
  • 8 teachers
  • All 5 African American teachers demonstrated
    close cultural reference with the African
    American community
  • 1 white teacher had a bicultural orientation
  • 1 white teacher had a African American
    orientation
  • 1 white teacher had a white cultural reference
    BUT in school sought out African American
    teachers and encouraged students to share their
    cultural background in the classroom.

13
Cultural reference means- the cultural group
that the teacher most closely identified with,
who were her friends inside and outside of
school, what kinds of social activities did she
participate in, which neighborhood and
communities did she frequent.
14
Cultural Referents- How integrated in daily life?
15
No simple recipe Culturally Relevant Teachers
According to Ladson-Billings (E-Reserves)Two
pages in Chapter 13 See Tozer page 430 and 431
Education that is multicultural and social
reconstructionist Emphasis is on WHAT and HOW
we teach.
  • Believe in the intellectual capacity of all
    students, all students are capable of success.
  • Hold beliefs about minority students that all can
    learn (and hold them to high expectations).
  • See themselves as part of the community in which
    the students live.
  • See teaching as giving back to the community.
  • Maintain fluid, equitable teacher/students
    relationships.
  • Demonstrate a connectedness to all students.
  • Develop a community of leaders among students.
  • Encourage students to learn collaboratively
  • Is passionate about learning.
  • Views the curriculum critically.
  • Scaffolds or builds bridges that facilitates
    students learning.
  • Believes that assessment needs to be
    multifaceted.
  • Committed to providing readiness and support
    necessary for learning.

16
Why is Ladson-Billings concerned about the
education of minority students? African
Americans still dream of quality education for
their children.
  • Achievement gap of minority students
  • Poor outcomes for many minority students--higher
    dropout rates
  • Resegregation of schools since 1980s (de facto
    separate schools) means greater isolation for
    all students
  • Low funding in many schools serving minority
  • Few teachers of color (less than 10)
  • Lingering effects of cultural deficit theory on
    teachers (no attention to structural
    inequalities, teaching approaches, school
    practices and policies)

17
As a researcher interested in teacher education,
Ladson-Billings asked
  • Are schools really attending to the education of
    minority students?
  • Do cultural differences matter in the learning
    process?
  • Are teachers being prepared to work with students
    from different cultural backgrounds?
  • She hopes that culturally relevant teaching
    approaches help all teachers work more
    effectively with students from different cultural
    backgrounds.

18
Can cultural background and race/ethnicity be
ignored in the classroom?Ladson-Billings
maintains that http//www.youtube.com/watch?vccE
u7r2IwM0 340
  • Cultural background and race/ethnicity are part
    of a students identity.
  • Given the significance of race and color in
    American society it is impossible to believe that
    a classroom teacher does not notice the race and
    ethnicity of the students (Ladson-Billings, 33).
  • Ladson-Billings advocates an awareness of
    cultural differences in planning and instruction.

19
What does Ladson Billings mean bydysconsciousnes
s?
  • Dysconsciousness means, as teachers, we
    recognize the privilege of some children and the
    disadvantage for other children, but we fail to
    challenge the status quo, or accept PRIVILEGES
    FOR SOME AS A GIVEN OR INEVITABLE
    (Ladson-Billings, 32).
  • ENID LEE suggests challenging the status quo in
    schools
  • Curriculum changes that study the SOURCES of
    discrimination
  • Involving students in social change in their
    neighborhoods
  • Giving minority parents more voice in school
    decisions
  • Examining who is hired at a school
  • Equipping students and parents to combat racism
    and ethnic discrimination.

20
Multicultural Approaches to Teaching
  • Enid Lee suggests that Anti-Racist, Multicultural
    Education means to examine the biases of our own
    education,
  • Examine what is considered normal (Is normal
    excluding some people?).
  • Ask Who benefits from the status quo? How can
    more people benefit from social institutions?

21
What does this statement mean to you?
  • Ladson-Billings believes that culturally
    relevant teaching does not represent a kind of
    separatism, reverse racism, or special privileges
    to the African American community, but rather
    compares culturally relevant teaching to
    middle-class demands on schools to serve their
    communities.

22
  • Ladson-Billings believes that teachers should not
  • treat EQUALITY as
    SAMENESS.

23
  • Cultural Relevant Teaching
  • Not an easy prescriptive method of teaching.

24
CULTURAL DIFFERENCE THEORYCultural difference
theory respects and values differences.
  • Cultural Mismatch- (Tozer, 421) can occur in
  • Subject matter
  • Learning styles
  • Ways of knowing and demonstrating knowledge
  • Attitudes toward authority
  • Modes of behavior
  • Socializing patterns--Speech Patterns, Manners,
    Values
  • When there is a mismatch, then some accommodation
    is needed for learning to occur.
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