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Teach! Change! Empower!
Solutions for Closing the Achievement Gaps



© 2009 | 152 pages | Corwin

"Teach! Change! Empower! takes the concepts of diversity and change—which are often complex, abstract, confusing, and not salient to many teachers who struggle with the meaning of these concepts in actual classroom practices—and uses them as a framework for something that is very real to teachers: the achievement gap."
—Barbara Heuberger Rose, Associate Professor
Miami University

"Readers are challenged to think about themselves and their role in addressing achievement gaps in a non-blaming manner. Carl Grant does an outstanding job of incorporating the work of a number of researchers."
—Maria Whittemore, Minority Achievement Coordinator
Frederick County Public Schools, MD

Narrow the achievement gap by affirming diversity and engaging in a process of personal change!

The achievement gap illustrates restricted life chances and choices for many students, and only by addressing these inequities can we enable all learners to reach their fullest potential. Teach! Change! Empower! provides a powerful, step-by-step process for making the changes necessary to close the achievement gaps in your school!

This innovative resource offers a wealth of strategies and action plans to help teachers reflect on their own beliefs about diversity and power and turn those reflections into actions. Educators can put into practice ideas that challenge the status quo, including:

  • Culturally relevant curriculum and environments for students
  • Caring with a social-political consciousness within a culture of learning
  • Cooperative professional development for teachers, administrators, and staff
  • Democratic student involvement

Initiate change in your classroom that fosters lifelong learning in yourself, your students, and your school!

 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Getting the Most out of the Book
 
Part 1. The Harder Work of Teaching
 
1. The Achievement Gap
What is the Achievement Gap and Why Must It Be Eliminated?  
The Multiplicity and Intersectionality of Gaps  
Effects of the Academic Achievement Gap  
Action Plan 1: Revisiting the Struggle for Closing the Achievement Gap with Fresh Eyes  
 
2. Diversity and Power
Diversity  
Affirming Diversity  
All Teachers Need to Learn about Diversity  
Power in the Context of Change  
Where is Power in Your School?  
Action Plan 2: Affirming Diversity in Your Classroom & Power Structures in Society  
 
3. Caring With Socio-Political Consciousness
Becoming Socially Critical  
Fostering a Caring Community Among Students  
Action Plan 3: Caring with Socio-Political Consciousness  
 
4. Acknowledging the Change/Transition: Step One
Mobility and Change: A New and Different Time  
Multiple Teacher Roles & Change  
Changing the Markers of Achievement  
Action Plan 4: Goals for Change  
 
5. Reacting to Change/Transition: Step Two
Strong Feeling and Mixed Emotions  
Searching to Connect With Student Knowledge and Experiences  
Nervous Reactions to Racism and Other “Ism”s  
Reactions are Influenced by Context and Settings  
New Teachers Need Help  
Action Plan 5: Reacting to the Change - Confronting Our Biases and Conditioning  
 
6. Investigating the Change/Transition: Self Investigation - Step Three
Teacher Multicultural Attitude Survey (TMAS)  
Knowledge of Self: Self-Understanding and Self-Acceptance  
Multicultural Personality for Affirming Diversity  
Teacher Personal Dispositions Toward Diversity  
Knowledge About the School Community  
Attitudes and Dispositions of Teachers Who Work to Close the Achievement Gaps  
Reflection 6.4  
Action Plan 6: Self-Investigation  
 
7. Investigating the Change/Transition: Program Investigation
The Achievement Reform Movement  
Action Plan 7: Program Investigation  
 
8. Implementing Change: Step Four
Knowledge Base for Closing the Achievement Gaps  
Knowledge of Curricular Content: A Strong Subject Matter Base  
Knowledge About Teaching: Pedagogical Content Knowledge  
Pedagogical Skills for Closing the Achievement Gaps  
Teacher Pedagogical Skills Survey  
Reflective Skills  
Action Plan 8: Teacher Knowledge About Content and Pedagogy  
 
Part 3. Change/Solutions in Practice
 
9. Cultural Competence
Culturally Relevant Curriculum  
Reflection 9.3  
Action Plan 9: Cultural Competence and Culturally Relevant Teaching  
 
10. Change/Solution in Practice: Four Examples
 
Conclusion
 
References
 
Index

"Teach! Change! Empower! takes the concepts of diversity and change—which are often complex, abstract, confusing, and not salient to many teachers who struggle with the meaning of the concepts in actual classroom practices—and uses them as a framework for something that is very real to teachers: the achievement gap. This connection both increases salience to the teacher and gives him or her a greater motivation for examining and understanding the impact of diversity and change."

Barbara Heuberger Rose, Associate Professor
Miami University

"This book is easy to read and holds the reader's attention. The tools for self assessment and interactive discussion are outstanding. Readers are challenged to think about themselves and their role in addressing achievement gaps in a non-blaming manner. Carl Grant does an outstanding job of incorporating the work of a number of researchers in a way that readers easily see the connections between the researcher's work and the achievement gap."

Maria Whittemore, Minority Achievement Coordinator
Frederick County Public Schools, MD

"The foundation of this work is helping individuals understand themselves racially and how racism works institutionally, and how we can build on this knowledge to create culturally responsive pedagogy. The hundreds of teachers and principals we work with will find this book extremely helpful."

Peter T. Wilson, President
Education Equity Consultants, LLC
Key features
  • Presents a powerful change process designed to affirm student diversity and address achievement gaps
  • Encourages teacher self-knowledge with the inclusion of a Teacher Multicultural Attitude Survey as well as opportunities for reflection in every chapter
  • Guides teachers in gaining pedagogical skills that will serve them in addressing achievement gaps Provides numerous examples ("best practices") of teachers and schools that provide culturally relevant instruction
  • Template for Action includes a week-by-week plan for personal and institutional transformation

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1: The Achievement Gap


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