Shut up and Listen: Teaching Writing that Counts in Urban Schools

Shut up and Listen: Teaching Writing that Counts in Urban Schools

by Christopher Knaus
     
 

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Less than fifty percent of African American students graduate from high school. Their educational failure is built into the racial structure of curriculum, standardized testing, teacher preparation programs, and even teacher recruitment pathways. Shut Up and Listen argues that African American students should be taught to navigate and resist the racism

Overview

Less than fifty percent of African American students graduate from high school. Their educational failure is built into the racial structure of curriculum, standardized testing, teacher preparation programs, and even teacher recruitment pathways. Shut Up and Listen argues that African American students should be taught to navigate and resist the racism perpetuated in every aspect of society and schools, and that to do so requires the development and expression of a culturally-rooted voice as a foundation for multicultural, multilingual, democratic communities. Shut Up and Listen focuses on the voices, perspectives, and experiences of urban African American students - and on their writing, to remind educators of the power of voice, and how far schools are from addressing the reality of racism.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
«Christopher Knaus’ new work is a bold addition to the corpus of academic scholarship on urban education. ‘Shut Up and Listen’ provides a clarion mandate to ‘hear’ the lived experiences and cognitive perquisites of the children and families that subscribe to urban schools by zone, by choice, by lottery, or by districting. This book is a thunderous invitation to ensure that no child is left behind accidentally or intentionally. It is required reading for every urban educator.» (M. Christopher Brown II, President, Alcorn State University; Author, ‘The Children Hurricane Katrina Left Behind: Schooling Context, Professional Preparation, and Community Politics ’, Lang, 2007)
«Teachers will see their students’ faces and hear their unspoken thoughts in this book. District administrators, always ready for reform, need only read this text to gain insight around allowing students to be authentic within classrooms. Christopher Knaus takes the reader on a journey that is vivid and alive, but is also a true depiction of the way we, as educators, need to provide opportunities for our children’s voices to be heard. Finally!» (Rachelle Rogers-Ard, Manager, Teach Tomorrow in Oakland, Oakland Unified School District)
«Voice is the offspring of vision. If the ability to speak isn’t fully cultivated, then human capacity to dream envelops into the unexpressed nightmare. If heaven is to express, then we have condemned a generation of American youth to hell […] harness the voice of a child and you feel the world of the oppression of itself. Now, ‘Shut Up and Listen’.» (Lealan Jones, Youth Advocate, Writer, And Author Of ‘Our America: Life On The Southside Of Chicago’, 1997)
«If our educators and our politicians truly want to stop the so called ‘achievement gap,’ they need to understand what Christopher Knaus articulates in this book - that all of us ‘educators’ must truly shut up and listen to our youth, to their pain, to their truth, to their experience, to what they need in order to make school meaningful. His message here is real, raw, and needed. Knaus moves beyond the safety of theoretical discussion to model what relevant education looks like, and how it can empower our students to be critical, creative, constructive thinkers who will have the tools to make democracy work, and who will be able to live peacefully and respectfully in a very diverse, multicultural, multilingual world. Everyone who works with urban youth should read this book to be reminded that all of us must be held accountable for the welfare of our young people - from the classroom teacher to the counselor, principal, janitor, and school nurse.» (Deborah Cochrane, Director, Portland Teacher’s Program)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781433111235
Publisher:
Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
06/23/2011
Series:
Black Studies and Critical Thinking
Pages:
201
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Knaus studies and teaches in urban schools, working with African American and Latino youth to understand the silencing impact of racially biased curriculum and pedagogy. He earned his doctorate in multicultural education and policy from the University of Washington and has published numerous articles as well as poetry about the role of racism in shaping urban education. Dr. Knaus is currently Associate Professor in the College of Education at California State University East Bay, where he works to develop educator pipelines that identify and nurture culturally responsive urban educators of color.

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