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Foreword by Bob Algozzine
Afterword by Robert Rueda
This insightful work offers case studies, observations, and solutions to the challenges presented by cultural diversity—a new approach that can bring excellence to all learners, all teachers, all parents, and all communities.
About the Author
1. Redefining "Good" Schools
2. Classroom Identifications and Referrals
3. Classroom Assessments and Accountabilities
4. Classroom Labels and Categories
5. Classroom Placements and Inclusions
6. Classroom Instructions and Interventions
7. The Dream School: The Good School
Posted February 10, 2002
In, It Even Happens in 'Good' Schools: Responding to Cultural Diversity in Today's Classrooms, Dr. Obiakor uses pertinent stories/cases that expose real life experiences in individuals and questions what it means to be a truly good school. His stories/cases vividly and painstakingly note the slow progress in systemic changes designed to address the issues of diversity and exceptionality. Essentially, he describes current practices in schools where students are misidentified, misassessed, mislabeled, miscategorized, misplaced, and misinstructed. As he points out, fairness, equity, appropriate treatment, and quality are scarce virtues in today's supposed 'good' schools. Dr. Obiakor advances the pivotal argument that 'good' schools ought to be learning communities and places where the potential of all students are maximized. In such communities, education takes on a holistic approach by considering each student's academic, social, emotional, and cultural needs. He continues the argument that goodness is defined by how a 'good' school addresses 'diversity'. Indeed, in this book, he advocates the no-one size fits all technique because of intra- and inter individual differences in students. We find this book to be a great contribution to the field. It details current classroom practices by all educators, and simultaneously calls for a change. This text has several unique qualities and stengths. It is not only an insightful text but also an eye opener with vivid comments, stories/cases, and practical solutions to issues/problems created by diversity. Dr. Obiakor suggests four basic operational dimensions that must characterize the 21st century dream school for the 'good' school phenomenon to be a reality. The 'good' school must function with a comprehenisve support model, be a learning community, a place to master the craft of teaching, and foster a multidimensional teaching and learning process. In addition, the 'good' school must not be defined puritanically. Such schools must embrace diversity in all programs and respond to changes in pedagogical methods. In our opinion, perhaps, what is most interesting and enlightening is Dr. Obiakor's use of his personal experiences, events, and that of other real people to capture the essence of the 'good' school phenomenon. This easy to read text can be used by all education programs desiring to respond to cultural diversity in this century. This will be a great addition to personal, public, private, and/or agency libraries.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 31, 2001
Dr. Festus Obiakor has taken previous research and writings of many of the top authorities in the field of education and addressed the problems of the past and the hope of the future within the education paradigm. He examines the cultural and racial impact of previous applications of programing within primary and secondary schools. He addresses teacher effective communication skills when interacting with all children of multiple racial groups, although he does not force this on teachers by calling it 'Communications 101.' Possibly the greatest and most impressive aspect of this book is that Dr. Obiakor does not only point out the past, and some present, problems in education, but he introduces helpful suggestions in responding to these problems. This is a unique quality of this book. Dr. Obiakor introduces various real cases to emphasize various concepts and situations that can no longer be tolerated. Then he approaches each situation with suggestions to address similar problems that may arise or presently exist at a particular school. This is a powerful resource that should be on every administrator's and teacher's reading list. With these types of resources becoming available, the 'Blame Game' is slowly being discovered as that monster preventing needed change in American education. Another thought while reading this book is Dr. Obiakor's unique and progressive paradigm shift from 'thinking in the box' to 'thinking outside the box.' This is an important approach when addressing many of the problems that exist in public and private education. In other words, if the system is broke fix it! It is obvious that the approaches in yesteryear are no longer the way of the present and future. In closing I think it is important to point out that this book focuses on the children. These children are from various cultures and racial groups and as such view the world differently. These differences are not so unique that the basic needs in life are unique in themselves, such as, need for interaction with parents, a show of love and affection by significant adults, clothing, food, a 'home,' a sense of security, etc. Rather, these differences are unique in the way they view authority, systems, and generally the world around them. Dr. Obiakor does an excellent job of addressing these later differences. My recommendation is that schools of education, teachers, education administrators, and individuals that interact with children as part of their profession should have this book, and review this book on a need basis. This is an invaluable resource.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.