Up Where We Belong: Helping African American and Latino Students Rise in School and in Life

Overview

Up Where We Belong

"All students deserve to have great teachers and an outstandingK-12 education. Unfortunately, this is not the experience ofcountless students throughout the nation, especially America'sstepchildren. Instead of shaking our heads and ignoring thesituation, there is much work that each adult can do to bring aboutreform."
—Gail L. Thompson

What will it take to get all students–even the mostdisenfranchised–engaged in school and ...

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Overview

Up Where We Belong

"All students deserve to have great teachers and an outstandingK-12 education. Unfortunately, this is not the experience ofcountless students throughout the nation, especially America'sstepchildren. Instead of shaking our heads and ignoring thesituation, there is much work that each adult can do to bring aboutreform."
—Gail L. Thompson

What will it take to get all students–even the mostdisenfranchised–engaged in school and motivated to learn andachieve?

In Up Where We Belong, Gail Thompson asked the studentsin a low performing school to be candid about their high schoolexperiences. Using this information and relying on data fromquestionnaires and focus groups, Thompson discovered a huge gap inperception between how teachers and students view their experienceof school. The book explores this disparity, and uncovers some ofthe reasons for students' low achievement, apathy, and frustration.Most important, she offers vital lessons for transformingschools–especially for underachieving kids and students ofcolor.

Throughout the book Thompson passionately discusses thecontroversial aspects of race relations in school. From thenegative perception of black boys to well-meaning but misguidedattempts to honor diversity through ethnic history activities,Thompson shows how every little thing matters. While this may soundalarming at first, it also means that all teachers, parents, andschool leaders have it within their power to improve studentachievement by reflecting on their own perceptions and developingpractices and policies that really motivate students to connectwith learning.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"….a good read with practical points of consideration forthose in the K-12 field of education." (MulticulturalReview, Fall 2008)

"Most importantly, the author offers a variety of substantivesuggestions for moving ahead students…" (CoastViews)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787995973
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/23/2007
  • Series: The Jossey-Bass Education Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,006,374
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Gail L. Thompson is associate professor ofeducation at Claremont Graduate University and a respected speaker, workshop presenter, and consultant. Her research has focused on beliefs and perceptions about African-American students. She is the author of Through Ebony Eyes: What Teachers Need to Know But Are Afraid to Ask About African American Students from Jossey-Bass, African American Teens Discuss Their Schooling Experiences and What African American Parents Want to Know. She is also co-author of Exposing the Culture of Arrogance in the Academy. She lives in Rialto, California.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments.

About the Author.

Introduction.

PART ONE: IN THE CLASSROOM.

1. "You Can Tell If They Care": Why Students Need Caring andHighly Qualified Teachers.

2. "It Would Be Nice to Learn Something About My Culture": APlea for a Culturally Relevant and More Interesting Education.

3. "It Don't Make No Sense to Give Us All These Tests": StudentEffort, Achievement, and Attitudes About Standardized Tests.

4. "They Just Think We're Loud": How Discipline Policies andPractices Can Affect Students' Attitudes About School.

PART TWO: ON THE SCHOOLYARD.

5. "We Just Can't Seem to Get Along": Race Relations onCampus.

6. "You Don't Know If They're Gonna...Bust a Columbine onEverybody": Why Schools Won't Ever Be Entirely Safe.

7. "Everybody's Intimidated by Us": A Candid Conversation withAfrican American Males.

8. "This Place Is Nasty": How the School's Physical EnvironmentCan Contribute to Student Apathy.

PART THREE: OUT IN THE WORLD: BEYOND THE CLASSROOM AND THESCHOOLYARD.

9. "Yes! They Do Care About My Education": Parent Involvement inSchools.

10. "They Should Worry More About Our Future": Why America'sStepchildren Need a College Preparatory Curriculum.

11. The Truth Can Set Us Free! Seven Lessons I've Learned AboutSchool Reform in America.

Bibliography.

Appendix A: Teacher Demographics.

Appendix B: Student Demographics.

Appendix C: Additional Information About the StudentQuestionnaire Respondents.

Appendix D: Teacher Questionnaire Results.

Appendix E: Student Questionnaire Results.

Appendix F: Classroom Management Exercise 1.

Appendix G: Classroom Management Exercise 2.

Index.

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