Change Is Gonna Come: Transforming Literacy Education for African American Students

Change Is Gonna Come: Transforming Literacy Education for African American Students

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Teachers College Press


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Change Is Gonna Come: Transforming Literacy Education for African American Students

While many books decry the crisis in the schooling of African American children, they are often disconnected from the lived experiences and work of classroom teachers and principals. In Change Is Gonna Come, the authors look back to go forward, providing specific practices that K-12 literacy educators can use to transform their schools. The text addresses four major debates: the fight for access to literacy; supports and roadblocks to success; best practices, theories, and perspectives on teaching African American students; and the role of African American families in the literacy lives of their children. Throughout, the authors highlight the valuable lessons learned from the past and include real stories from their own diverse family histories and experiences as teachers, parents, and community members.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807750841
Publisher: Teachers College Press
Publication date: 04/02/2010
Series: 0
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 810,013
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Carol D. Lee ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction: Hope, Literacy, and the State of African American Education Today 1

"I Hate School": Low Literacy and Low Life Chances 4

Narrow Definitions of Literacy and Literate Practices 6

Factors That Confound Literacy Achievement 8

Language Issues 9

Moving Forward With Hope 12

1 The Fight for Access to Literacy 13

Narrative Beginnings-Rev. M.T. Thompson: "Lifted from Red Clay by Red Words" 14

The Fight for Access in a Contemporary Classroom-Elena: "I Don't Belong in Special Education, and I'm Not Staying There" 15

Looking Back to Go Forward: A Historical Perspective 17

Government Intervention 33

The Struggle Continues 34

2 The Multiple Meanings of Success: Tensions, Conflicts, and Crises for African American Students 36

Narrative Beginnings-Jennifer D. Turner: "Success Is Tryin' to Make It in Two Worlds" 36

Stories from African American Elementary Students: Trying to Be "Cool" in Contemporary Classrooms 40

Looking Back to Go Forward: Reclaiming the Meaning(s) of Success 43

Multiple Meanings of Success 44

Resisting School Success 46

Reclaiming School Success 54

The Struggle Continues 63

3 Teaching African American Students: Approaches and Best Practices 64

Narrative Beginnings-Gwendolyn Thompson McMillon: Confidence + Culture Shock = Double Consciousness 64

A Contemporary Success Story-David Benjamin McMillon: "I'm a Brotha' Who Can Dance, Play the Drums, and Win the Science Fair" 67

Looking Back to Go Forward: Teaching Other People's Children 71

Best Practices for Teaching African American Students 80

Best Practices for Preparing Teachers to Teach African American Students 87

The Struggle Continues 92

4 Village or Villain: The Role of African American Families 93

Narrative Beginnings-Patricia A. Edwards: "A Family That Values Education" 93

A Contemporary Narrative: Literacy Learning Across Generations 97

Looking Back to go Forward: The Beginning of Parent Involvement in the United States 98

African American Parents' Responsibilities for Their Children 101

The American Family: A Changing Institution 109

Poverty and the Changing American Family 111

Struggling with Children and Parents 114

Dealing with Families: A Double Standard 119

Parents are Not All the Same 123

Learning About Cultural Issues Involving Families and Communities 127

The Need to Build Teams and Networks: The Struggle Continues 130

5 The Road to Redemption: Moving from Victims to Victors 132

Narrative Beginnings-Pat, Gwen, and Jen Committed to Making a Difference: "All of Us Are Smarter Than One of Us" 132

Contemporary Teachable Moments: Learning to Share 133

Looking Back to Go Forward: Summary of the Four Debates 135

Taking Steps to Build and Maintain a Healthy Village 136

A Call to Action: Am I My Brother's Keeper? 162

References 165

Index 189

About the Authors 201

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