Top 5 Reading Highlights

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by ChelseaKinder
Last updated 6 years ago

Elementary School
Beginning Readers

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Top 5 Reading Highlights

Top 5 Reading Highlights Engaging African American Males in ReadingAfred W. Tatum


The video to the left is of Alfred W. Tatem discussing how education is failing African American students.

"Literacy can define a person's path through life."Alfred W. Tatum





"African American male students often exhibit various cultural-specific coping mechanisms—such behaviors as acting tough, failing to retreat from violence, avoiding self-disclosure, and dissociating from school. These students are often subject to disproportionate and sometimes unfounded grade retentions and suspensions because teachers and administrators misinterpret these behaviors and find them offensive."

"These adolescents must also deal with negative stereotypes in and out of school, a scarcity of positive role models, and a lack of culturally competent instruction and direction."

"Students in such neighborhoods are often too consumed with concerns about mortality and safety to think seriously about either schooling or their uncertain futures."

"Although curriculum is often a significant consideration for improving education outcomes for African American males, specific texts and text characteristics that should inform curriculum selection are strikingly absent."

"We need to shore up the resilience of African American adolescent males, particularly struggling readers attending public schools in low-income areas."

It is crucial for teachers to understand the root of the problem and what is bothering a student rather than just isolating him from the classroom. We (teachers) have to adapt to our student's upbringing, not the other way around.

It is important for the classroom to represent the students especially when there is little positive representation of thier race or gender in the outside world/community. Representation can be in books, posters, and etc.

Often teachers over-react with negative consequences when students are coming to school on time, grumpy in the classroom or not completing homework assignments. The real issue is often lack of safety, transportation, shelter, family or food outside the home.

When planning for the upcoming school year and the curriculum, teachers should be selecting text that African American males can be engaged with and that have been proved effective to reaching adolescents.

As a Kindergarten teacher of 24 African American students in a Title One school, this quote really hit home. We (teachers) have a huge job ahead of us and it MUST be taken seriously.


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