Brilliant Teaching: Using Culture and Artful Thinking to Close Equity Gaps

Brilliant Teaching: Using Culture and Artful Thinking to Close Equity Gaps

by Adeyemi Stembridge
Brilliant Teaching: Using Culture and Artful Thinking to Close Equity Gaps

Brilliant Teaching: Using Culture and Artful Thinking to Close Equity Gaps

by Adeyemi Stembridge


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Think like an artist and design a classroom that works—well—for everyone

In Brilliant Teaching, you will come to understand that equity—when we view it from an informed, multi-layered, and artistic perspective—is the essential purpose of teaching. As education thought leader Dr. Adeyemi Stembridge argues, true equity does not need to defend or justify itself against detractors. Teaching for equity means creating student-centered opportunities that match the social, political, and economic context of the learning environment. Informed by both theory and extensive collaboration with K-12 teachers, Brilliant Teaching will help you develop a deep understanding of culture, one that you can leverage in order to be responsive to students.

This book draws from a range of disciplines, including but going well beyond the post-modern and critical-theory-based discourse that dominate conversations today. Brilliant Teaching also pulls from art theory, cultural psychology, cognitive science, and learning theory, as well as classic historical texts within education. With this broad foundation, Dr. Stembridge offers an empowering, engaging approach that educators can use to help learners reach their own goals, and to move society onward and upward.

  • Discover practices that you can use to provide vulnerable students with high quality, effective, and meaningful learning opportunities
  • Learn to empathize with and respond to your students in a way that will engage and empower them in rigorous learning experiences
  • Embrace artful thinking and an integrated understanding of culture in your approach to equity in the classroom
  • View the K-12 classroom with a more expansive mindset and fresh ideas from an expert educator

For K-12 educators, preservice teachers, parents, school board members, and policymakers, this book is a breath of fresh air and inspiration in a world where culturally responsive teaching is increasingly recognized as a must.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119901129
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 07/06/2023
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 86,767
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Dr. Adeyemi Stembridge is an educational consultant specializing in equity-focused school improvement. He works with districts around the country to identify root causes of achievement gaps and formulate pedagogy and policy-based efforts to redress the underperformance of vulnerable student populations. Dr. Stembridge holds a PhD in Educational Leadership from the School of Education, Teaching, and Health at American University, a Master of Arts degree in Literature from Old Dominion University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Norfolk State University.

Table of Contents



Do I, or Do I Not, Take This Picture?

What Is This Book About?

To Whom Am I Speaking?

Part One: Culturally Responsible Artmaking Teaching

Chapter 1: What Does It Mean to Think Like an Artist?

What Is Artmaking?

Social Learning

Notes on Artmaking: Influence and Inspiration


Chapter 2: Defining Equity...and the Problem of Fairness

A Problem of Fairness

Measured by Outputs

Quality and Effectiveness

Difference ≠ Deficits

What Schools Can Do

Notes on Artmaking: The Heart of Equity


Chapter 3: Shifting Paradigms

Equity Problems of Practice



Notes on Artmaking: Layered Methodologies


Chapter 4: Artmaking—As an Equity Issue

What Does It Mean to Understand?

The Role of Culture Relative to Achievement

Notes on Artmaking: Composition


Part Two: The Culturally Responsive Artmaking Teaching (In) You

Chapter 5: 12 Days of Instruction

Seating Charts, Volcanoes, and Different Glimpses of Themselves

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Notes on Artmaking: Ordinary Resurrections


Chapter 6: Improvisation

Make It into a Melody


Imprint the Memory

Notes on Artmaking: Have Students Translate the Melody


Chapter 7: Story

Our Job Is To Be a Storyteller...

The Star of the Show

The Story Unfolds as a Question...

Notes on Artmaking: The Power of Story


Chapter 8: Audience

A Captive Audience

A Good Classroom Is Supportive of New Ideas...

In Defense of Incentives

Notes on Artmaking: Incentives Are Not the Reward


Chapter 9: The Art of Culturally Responsive Assessment

A Culture of Responsive Assessments

Why Are Performative Assessments More Equitable than Traditional Standardized Assessments?

Measure It Performatively...

Notes on Artmaking: “They Weren’t Taking Cues Off of Me.”



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