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This text presents a compassionate view of teaching in an urban setting with practical suggestions, recommendations, and examples for powerful and effective teaching aimed at improving student academic performance.
Each chapter explores major considerations related to educating students of diverse cultures typical of urban classroom settings. Preservice teachers are able to better understand the complex social, academic, emotional, and economic factors that define today’s urban classrooms. The needs of urban schools–their students, teachers, community supporters, and stakeholders–are identified and various strategies are explored.
1. The History of Urban Education.
The Early Years.
What is Urban?
The Colonial Era.
The Southern Colonies.
The Industrial Era.
Pressure of Economic Growth.
The Common School and Free Public Education.
The Post Civil War Years.
The Continued African American Struggle.
Separate But Equal Schools.
America and the World Awaken to Injustice.
Recognition of Human Rights.
The Brown Decision Mandates Desegregation in Schools.
Racial Integration/Educational Equity Gain Federal Support.
A Nation at Risk.
American Education in Jeopardy.
America Reacts to ‘Re-Invent’ Its Schools.
U.S. “Gets Tough” by Enforcing Academic Standards.
2. Educational Perspectives.
Realities of Urban Education.
The Effects of Poverty.
Shifting Educational Paradigms.
Federal Policies Respond to Growing Needs.
Twenty-First Century Urban Educational Realities.
Preparing Pre-service Teachers.
Congruence in Teacher Attitudes, Beliefs, and Expectations.
Assimilationist v. Culturally Relevant Pedagogy.
Understanding and Dealing with Urban Children.
Resistance to Diversity Training.
Star Teachers vs. Quitters and Failures.
Star Schools, Districts and States.
Culture, Ethnicity, and Learning Styles.
The Importance of Teacher Understandings.
Learning Styles and Instruction.
Profiles of Diverse Groups.
Applications of Learning-Style Differences.
Assimilator Teaching Methods and Strategies.
Converger Teaching Methods and Strategies.
Accommodator Teaching Methods and Strategies.
Diverger Teaching Methods and Strategies.
3. Characteristics of Urban Schools.
The World of Urban Children.
Changing Urban Demographics.
Urban Homes and Neighborhoods.
Home and Neighborhood Influence School.
The Status of Teachers in Urban Schools.
Urban Teacher Issues.
Influence of Culture and Social Class.
The Fallacy of Tracking.
Best Urban Teacher Behavior.
The Role of Parents.
Need for Family Relationships.
Need for Role Models.
Parents as Partners.
School Building Facilities.
A Problem of Major Magnitude.
School Facilities Dilemma.
Overcrowding and Class Size Issues.
Facilities Influence Learning.
4. The Urban Teacher.
Unique Urban Characteristics.
Importance of Urban Teachers.
Characteristics of Urban Students.
Teachers and the Urban Culture.
Establishing Relations Between and Among Home, School, and Community.
Urban Teacher/Urban Student Bias or Prejudice.
Winning Features of Urban Teachers.
Attributes of Effective Urban Teachers.
Demonstrating Care and Concern for Students.
Strategies for Urban Classrooms.
Excellent Teacher Strategies.
Communicating Expectations and Followup.
Keeping the Classroom Under Control:
Assisting Students in Need of Help:
Clearly Explaining Assignments, Content, and Expectations.
Varying Classroom Activities.
Incorporating the Students’ Out-of-School Experiences.
Ways to Better Practice.
Establishing the Classroom Environment.
Fostering a Comprehensive “Learning Community.”
Teaching in the Multicultural Environment.
Overall Instructional Quality.
Effective Instructional Delivery Choices.
Various Delivery Methods.
Guided Inquiry-Based Learning.
5. URBAN TEACHERS AS LEADERS.
A Case for Teacher Leaders.
Leadership and School Reform.
Bureaucracy in Schools.
Principals as Leaders.
Teachers as Leaders.
New Leadership Paradigm.
Components of Effective Leadership.
The Need for Organizational Vision.
Establishing the Vision.
The Effectiveness of Teams.
Building the Team.
Frustrating Elements of Teams.
Understanding Resistance to Change.
Dealing with Change.
Assessing Conflict Situations.
The Importance of Listening.
6. Classroom Management in the Urban Setting.
“Culturally-Sensitive,” Urban Classroom Management.
Understanding Urban Culture.
“At Risk” Student Classroom Behavior.
Impact of At Risk Variables on Students in the Classroom.
Attitudes of Effective Urban Teachers.
Recognizing Urban Diversity.
Accommodating Diverse Learners’ Needs.
Modeling Appropriate Behavior.
Classroom Setting and Environment.
Establishing the Basics.
Motivating Urban Students in the Classroom.
Maintaining and Respecting Order.
Planned Class Activities.
Assignment Modifications and Accommodations.
Classroom Rules and Procedures.
Daily Classroom Strategies.
Teachers Guiding Students for Self-Management.
Teachers Offer Students Limited Choices.
Teachers Encourage Classroom Responsibilities.
Teachers Focus on Problem-Solving Skills.
Teachers’ Providing Kind and Firm Action.
Teachers’ Asking vs. Telling.
Teachers’ Actions vs. Words.
Classroom Offering “Time-Out.”
Facilitating Smooth Transitions.
The “Safe” Classroom.
Conflict, Aggression, and Violence.
Good Teacher Practices.
Establishing the Educational Environment.
Establishing Effective Classroom Collaboration.
Varying Instruction for Best Overall Learning and Behavior Management.
Teaching Students Learning Strategies: Metacognitive Skills.
Improving Communication via Teaching Listening Skills.
7. Instruction for Urban Settings.
Cultural Consciousness and Effective Teaching.
Positive Views of Student Learning.
The Role of Teacher Expectations .
Teacher Beliefs Affect Student Achievement.
Improving Student Performance.
Scaffolding in Student Achievement.
The Role of Critical Pedagogy.
Teachers as Change Agents.
Teachers as Social Justice Advocates.
One Size Does Not Fit All.
Global Learning Style.
Analytical Learning Style.
Concept Attainment as a Key to Higher Learning Levels.
Moving Beyond Facts and Details.
Figure 7.1Annotated Bibliography on Sociocultural Knowledge.
8. Assessment and Evaluation.
Assessment and Evaluation Defined.
Tools and Processes of Assessment.
Adding Value to Measurement: Evaluation.
History of Assessment.
Early Beginnings of Testing.
Standardized Tests/Assessments Emerge.
Public Support for Schools Based on Test Scores.
Rationales for Assessment.
The “Big Games” As Educational Assessments.
Purposes for and Benefits of Assessment.
Purposes for and Benefits of Evaluation.
Designing Culturally-Sensitive Tests that Discourage Bias.
“Backward” Drafting: The End Determines the Means.
Varieties of Classroom Assessments.
Creating Higher Order Test Questions.
Frequent Assessments as Diagnostic Tools.
Engaging Students in the Assessment Process.
Factors Affecting Student Performance on Assessments.
Getting Students “Testwise.”
Followup Corrective Instruction and Enrichment Activities.
Adopting Sound Testing Practices.
Incorporating Technology with Assessments.
Types of Assessments.
Standardized Achievement Tests.
Assessments and The Achievement Gap.
Advantages of Standardized Tests.
Disadvantages of Standardized Tests.
Classroom Assessments — Non-Standardized or Normed.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Teacher-Made, Classroom Assessments
High-Quality Classroom Assessment.
Uses of Assessment.
Teaching to the Test vs. Testing What I Teach.
Using Assessments to Improve Instruction and Student Learning.
Current Assessment Issues.
No Child Left Behind.
Types of Standards per NCLB.
Categories of Achievement.
“Good Start, Grow Smart” and Head Start Initiatives.
Figure 8.1: Types of Teacher-Monitored, Classroom Assessments.
Figure 8.2: Strategies That Assist Students to Perform Best on Assessments.
9. Partnerships that Work in Urban Settings.
Collaborations and Partnerships.
Establishing Cooperative Ventures.
Partnership Types and Models.
Examples of Involvement that Benefits Schools and Students.
Types of Family, School, and Community Involvement.
Project SITE SUPPORT.
University of Tennessee — Chattanooga.
Challenges to Educational Partnerships.
Orientation and Training for Teachers/Pre-service Teachers.
Promoting Positive Home-School Relationships.
Additional Collaborative Solutions to Urban Problems.
Full-time Family Partnership Specialist.
10. Opportunities for the Future.
Changes for Better Educational Opportunities.
From Past to Present.
Chief Goal: Meeting High Expectations.
Regard for “Intrinsic Worth” of All Students.
Success in School.
The Educational Victory Achieved.
Considerations for Educational Progress.
Recommendations for Teaching in the Multicultural Environment.
Taming Tendencies or Factors Leading to “Teacher Burnout.”
Mentoring Programs Are a Must.
Continuing Need for Professional (Staff) Development.
Facts and Ideas and Advice.
Understandings to Live By.
Figure 10.1: Strategies and Activities that Focus on Diversity Issues.
Figure 10.2: Techniques that Can Alleviate Job Stress.
Figure 10.3: Ways for Teaching Materials to Reflect Classroom Information Effectively.