From Rage to Hope: Strategies for Reclaiming Black & Hispanic Students

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An effective teacher can give children, especially Black or Hispanic children, something many of their parents may be unable to give them: hope. With hope, there is reason to look to tomorrow.

Kuykendall invites grads to be ‘merchants of hope’ - The Chronicle Magazine - Lewis & Clark

Without hope, life is meaningless. Without 6. When young people lose hope, they often develop anger, bitterness, frustration, feelings of alienation, and in some instances, even rage. Moving From Rage to Hope There is a growing rage among too many of our youth that has caused many of us to live in fear and apprehension. Yet this rage can be diminished. We, as a nation, have a chance. We, as educators, have a chance to recapture the ultimate joy our profession can, and must, provide. We can make life more meaningful by motivating all students to experience school success as never before.


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Taking Down the Barriers The barriers to school success that confront so many Black and Hispanic students can be eliminated. How exciting it must be for school officials to realize they have such great opportunities to enrich the lives of children who lack hope. However, the education of these children should concern all of us.

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School officials must not bear the full burden of educating our youth. All of us, working together, must prevent the tragic and Solution Tree Press. It provides suggestions to those educators who may have the interest and intent, but lack the information they need to make a significant difference in the lives of many of their students.

This book is also for those individuals who share a common concern about the future of our youth and the future of our nation. For those Merchants of Hope who dare to make a difference, this book is another resource to add to an existing repertoire of techniques. The ideas presented in this book will help committed Merchants of Hope:. Develop an understanding of how teacher expectations are formed and how they often contribute to student failure. The worksheets in the appendix are intended to facilitate your efforts to assess your attitudes and behaviors as well as those of the youth you desire to reach.

Hopefully, the insight and inspiration you gain will only enhance the gratification you feel as you join many other Merchants of Hope in reclaiming Black and Hispanic students and thus reclaiming our future. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Not only were we shocked and shaken by the very horror of such heinous acts of terrorism, we were reminded, yet again, of our fear of different people, different religions, different cultures, and different values. While many Blacks and Hispanics have long been familiar with the sting of racial profiling, Arab Americans and those who look like Arab Americans have now also discovered the acute hurt associated with the victimization and unequal treatment that result from racial or religious bias, discrimination, and prejudice. Prior to that fateful morning, America was still struggling with issues of racism.

Only two generations removed from the Solution Tree Press. We are all products of our own cultures. It is not unusual for us to see people, situations, and things the way we have been conditioned to see them. All too often, innocently and inadvertently we draw conclusions about others based on prior conditioning and our own limited cultural perspectives. This is especially dangerous in a school or classroom setting. For example, a teacher raised believing that people who wear glasses are smarter than those who do not, would, inadvertently, engage in behavior that would reveal to her students those feelings and beliefs.

Similarly, a teacher raised to believe that an only child is more likely to be a loner and underachiever than a child born in a large family is likely to make inferences and behavioral choices that reflect his belief. The challenge all Merchants of Hope—anyone who enriches the life of another—face is unique. We must be able to step outside of our own cultural orientation so that we can develop a greater appreciation for and a better understanding Moreover, the atrocities of slavery, the race riots of the s, the deportation of Hispanic Americans to Mexico in the s, the detainment of Japanese Americans in the s, and the terrors of Jim Crow from the s through the s are painful reminders of the polarization and racial animus that have plagued this country because of our inability to deal effectively with differences.

It is this inability to deal with differences that often leads to injustice, unequal treatment, and in some cases too many, in fact even death. Despite the steady increase of different races within this country, there are many Americans who stubbornly refuse to accept—let alone embrace—our growing and rich diversity. In spite of our long-term preoccupation with educational equality count the years since the passage of the U. Supreme Court decision in Brown Vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas , there is still widespread unequal and unjust treatment of some different and diverse students in many of our educational institutions.

Inequality in the Classroom In too many classrooms, Blacks and Hispanics are still being seen as passive, docile, dependent, non-enterprising, inferior, and less attractive than Whites. Children often receive the message through classroom instruction and teacher behavior that all a racial minority has to do to succeed in school is to adopt the requisite culture of the dominant society Dickerman, Dickerman found that children have been taught to emulate and pay tribute to those who conform to middle-class, mainstream cultural standards of heroism.

Individuals whose heroism involved fighting oppression, preserving cultural integrity, or combating social Solution Tree Press. Most importantly, teachers must be able to embrace the use of a variety of teaching strategies that reflect individual and institutional appreciation of cultural diversity and learning style differences. Each educator will have to answer this question. Importantly, each educator must also understand the consequences of the inability to deal with student differences.

The Effects of Character Education on Student Behavior (2002)

This inability will not only impact negatively on student attitudes about the teacher, but it will also most assuredly impact negatively on the classroom performance of the student. Teacher Attitudes Teacher attitudes do have consequences. Once teachers develop low expectations and the accompanying negative behavior, they send signals to students that suggest the student is not capable of success in a given subject area. A similar study of teacher behavior on the attitudes of urban youth Many educators still respond to students who are different in predictable ways—they isolate them, ignore them, retain them, suspend them, expel them, and in far too many instances, they fail to love them or teach them.

A quick analysis of the continued and frequent use of tracking, ability-grouping, suspension, and low-level instructing for Black and Hispanic students begs the question we must again ask ourselves: What is the purpose of teaching? How far are we willing to go in providing diverse youth with the motivation and skills they will need for success in a technocratic society? Students were likely to go to great lengths to avoid teachers who they felt had placed them in uncomfortable and humiliating positions Cooper et al. The diagram below shows this cycle.

A brief discussion of these critical areas of difference is necessary. Prior Achievement There have been numerous studies on the impact of prior student achievement on teacher attitudes and expectations. In assessing teacher evaluations of students, Murray, Herling, and Staebler found that teachers are influenced by the initial performance of their students.

There is even evidence that some Black children receive lower grades than White children—even when they have identical academic performance. Obviously, the reverse is also true. An effective teacher generally has an attitude brimming with confidence and encouragement. With the right attitude, with a fond appreciation of the individuality, uniqueness, and ability of every student, a teacher can ensure student success. Some mature emotionally before other children their age, and others develop certain academic and nonacademic skills before their peers.

Too much emphasis is placed on facilitating simultaneous achievement gains. Children who are unfortunate enough to develop responsibility and understanding later in their childhood—or in adolescence—are at a regrettable disadvantage in school if teachers are judging them on the immaturity they showed in their early years. Such emphasis on differing academic competencies among primary children is not only unfair, but it is also dangerous. Many students come from homes where parents are unaware that they should teach their children how to read Solution Tree Press.

Although most educators know that students learn and grow at different rates, many educators still have expectations that all students will develop academic competencies at or about the same time. Children are often penalized for a slow academic start. Many of these children lose the belief that they will ever achieve skill mastery. It is important that all educators accept differences in growth and development. Such acceptance, however, should not discourage efforts to enhance student achievement.

For example, few educators are likely to show indifference to children who are physically bigger or smaller than other children their age. Educators often accept the fact that boys are likely to develop gross motor skills faster than girls, but many educators develop lower expectations when boys fail to develop fine motor skills at the same pace as their female counterparts. Learning style differences may not affect ability, but they do affect performance.

Prior Behavior Not only are many youth penalized for their lack of prior knowledge as opposed to their lack of ability , but many Black and Hispanic youth are penalized for not knowing how to behave in school or for exhibiting behavior that is too different from that of their White counterparts.

The behavioral problems of many Black and Hispanic youth often reflect cultural differences. Cultural conflict and behavioral problems are more likely to emerge when these youth are unaware of expected cultural or communicative norms.

From Rage to Hope: Strategies for Reclaiming Black & Hispanic Students

Despite the intentions of the students, decisions are made about their behavior based on the interpretation and perspective of those in positions of authority within the schools. For example, many Black children are enthusiastic and assertive in school when they are required to be passive and non-expressive. Some teachers are likely to react to this enthusiasm by engaging in negative dominant behavior, Many parents have been socialized to believe that it is up to the schools to develop academic skills and motivation in their children.

While there are rules and procedures that must be followed, too many teachers have established as their priority the maintenance of order in the classroom. This means that children who are naturally quiet, docile, and unexcited have an advantage. Those children who question and challenge teachers or who display emotional swings are often psychoanalyzed and, worse, disciplined to the point that they no longer want to be in our classrooms or to be productive members of our society. Students who have previously made mistakes in judgment or behavior are often dealt with unfairly from then on.

A survey of counselors in several urban school districts revealed that decisions often are made about guilt in student infractions based on previous student behavior Kuykendall, A student who has improved his or her behavior is unlikely to get the benefit of the doubt in many schools.


  1. the sum of the t-th powers of the first integers from 1 to n.
  2. Kuykendall invites grads to be ‘merchants of hope’;
  3. The Effects of Character Education on Student Behavior (2002)?
  4. Teachers must remember that every child has a right to be judged based on current situations and circumstances, not on previous mistakes. Prior Placement Much has been written and said about the negative impact of tracking, ability grouping, and use of negative student labels such as slow, uncooperative, unmotivated, immature, irresponsible. As early as , experts were documenting the powerful impact of labels and placements on diminishing expectations in students.

    Rosenthal and Jacobson Solution Tree Press. Many educators react to children who are different by placing them in low-achievement ability groups and low tracks. All too often, Black and Hispanic youth are placed in low-level tracks, ability groups, and special education classrooms when they fail to show mastery of the mainstream culture, when they show a disrespect for school authority, when they lack self-control or an interest in course content, or when they fail to get along with the teacher and other classmates.

    Many of the placements and labels often used to describe Black and Hispanic youth are subjective and grossly unfair.

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    Other students especially primary children may be unaware that excessive energy, enthusiasm, and excitement are not allowed in many classrooms. While there are children with learning disabilities, the reality is that many of the Black and Hispanic youth who seem disabled simply learn differently and must be taught differently if they are to succeed. If a teacher already has a negative attitude about a particular culture or race, the placement of a racially or culturally different child in a special Socioeconomic Status During the s, there was a great deal of research on the impact of social class on teacher expectations.

    As noted previously, the research of Ron Edmonds found that schools can enhance student achievement regardless of home influences or socioeconomic status. I can speak from personal experience on the need to move away from such damaging terminology. Once, in a mixed audience of educators and counselors, a teacher complimented me on my academic and professional success.

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