African American Culture and Heritage in Higher Education Research and Practice

By Kassie Freeman | Go to book overview

Improving the life chances of students entering schools from more stressful neighborhoods is more complex, and rightly so, as these students enter school with additional baggage. However, that does not mean that they are incapable of learning; some successful urban school programs have discouraged such thinking. Providing continuous learning for this population means understanding how to make appropriate, abrupt pedagogy shifts that promote viable, sustained learning.

Over the past years, policymakers and practitioners have acknowledged the deterioration of America's public schools, especially inner-city schools in indigent neighborhoods. However, seeking viable solutions that would benefit all students has been difficult, even in the past, when conditions were less complex for students. Yet under the most depressed school situations, some program models have succeeded in improving school performance of urban students. Generally, program models that emphasize a collaborative approach that integrates the services of parents, community, and teachers report more sustained school success for urban youth.

Finally, higher education institutions must prepare prospective teachers to better utilize parents, family, and community support services. This merger is paramount in view of the economic and social changes confronting teachers today. Not only will community supporters serve as a buffer for stressful life events, but they could be relied on to mediate differences between the teachers' and their students cultures. Moreover, such supporters, if they understand the cultural environment of urban youth as well as the culture of the schools, can be critical in helping teachers create learning strategies for students based on the everyday context of their lives.


REFERENCES

Bernard H. W. ( 1972). Psychology of learning and teaching ( 3rd ed.). New York: McGraw- Hill.

Bourdieu P. ( 1977a). "Cultural reproduction and social reproduction". In J. Karabel & A. H. Halsey (Eds.), Power and ideology in education (pp. 487-511). London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Bourdieu P. ( 1977b). Outline of a theory of practice. New York: Oxford University Press.

Bourdieu P., & Passeron J. C. ( 1977). Reproduction in education, society and culture. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Brice-Heath S. ( 1988). "Language socialization". In D. T. Slaughter (Ed.), Black children and poverty: A developmental perspective (pp. 29-58). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Bronfenbrenner U. ( 1979). The ecology of human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bronfenbrenner U. ( 1986). Alienation: And the four worlds of childhood. Phi Delta Kappan, 67,430-435.

Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. ( 1988). An imperiled generation: Saving urban schools. Princeton: Author.

Chase-Lansdale P. L., Wakschlag L. S., & Brooks-Gunn J. (Eds.). ( 1995). Escape from poverty: What makes a difference for children. New York: Cambridge University Press.

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