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Paperback The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children Book

ISBN: 0787903388

ISBN13: 9780787903381

The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children

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Book Overview

Education, like electricity, needs a conduit, a teacher, through which to transmit its power-- i.e., the discovery and continuity of information, knowledge, wisdom, experience, and culture. Through the stories and experiences of eight successful teacher-transmitters, The Dreamkeepers keeps hope alive for educating young African Americans. --ReverAnd Jesse L. Jackson, president and founder, National Rainbow Coalition In this beautifully written book...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Teaching African American Children

Today's urban public schools in the United States are filled with hopeful, eager students who are considered in the racial minority while many of the teachers they will encounter are white and female. In most cases, they do not share the same experiences nor view the world through the same lenses. In some cases, they are worlds apart. Ladson-Billings has constructed a book that provides insights, concepts and ideas that address the bridging of the cultural gap between African American students and teachers assimilated into the majority culture. This book is smart and useful as it addresses what all teachers can do to teach African American children with cultural competence. I strongly recommend this book to parents, prospective teachers, new teachers, veteran teachers and teacher-educators.

Who are the successful educators of AA children?

I love this book. It's such an eye-opener and thought provoker. I relish each page because The Dreamkeepers is loaded with deep-felt subjective reality. Ladson-Billings is on the mark: a multicultural approach to teaching children is what teachers should use to establish expectations for their students. I would hope other authors, students of education and educators are reading the works Kathryn Au and Courtney Cazden. They bespeak Ladson-Billings plea to an approach to education that will result in fairness to all children, all cultures. I was somewhat perplexed about Ladson-Billings seeming insinuation in some areas of the book that black educators make better teachers of black children than white teachers. I think often we find some black teachers aren't the best educated either. I don't think a blanket statement should be made in favor of black teachers as the best educators of black children. I wouldn't be in favor of black immersion schools, which seems to be a suggestion in her book. I think Ladson-Billings should study the demography and the educators therein. In particular in the South, we'd not always find teachers (black nor white) ready for the classroom. Standardized tests scores prove that that southern children are behind the rest of the country, but I believe this is the fault of the teacher who not only is unaware of the importance of learning about the culture of the child, but also about becoming as well educated as he/she can be in subject matters before entering the classroom. I think schools, curriculum, and teachers (black and white) are at fault for failure. Again, I loved the book, even if I wasn't in whole-hearted agreement with all of its premises.

A Much-Needed Book and a Great Resource for All Teachers

All too often, African American students are blamed as the ultimate cause of their own academic failure. Proposed reasons can span from ethnic or racial inferiority, to home neglect, to simple lack of motivation, or the notion that some students are just better than others. I refuse to accept that the reasons offered above have everything to do with the disproportionate numbers of students of African heritage who consistently perform below the national averages on standardized tests and measures. I refuse these notions because I look to my brothers and sisters and I see intelligence, I see beauty, and I see wisdom. In The Dreemkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children by Gloria Ladson-Billings, the author explores the issue of successful teaching of African American students. The text is based upon extensive research of eight excellent teachers of African American students. Ladson-Billings provides a colorful "snapshot" of each teacher. Through extensive qualitative research, she draws forth the common ideologies subscribed to by these teachers. These ideals are encompassed under the umbrella notion of "Culturally Relevant Teaching." This important piece is thoroughly explored in the text. Helpful comparative tables are interwoven throughout the book, which contrast Culturally Relevant Ideologies with the traditional Assimilationist Methods. This book is a valuable resource to all teachers, and can serve as a helpful model for qualitative researchers. Despite the unnecessary summaries which conclude each chapter, the text is very readable. I was impressed with the sincerity in the author's voice. Ladson-Billings acknowledges her own subjectivity in the Preface. "I have written this book in three voices: that of an African American scholar and researcher; that of an African American teacher; and that of an African American woman, parent, and community member." (x) Her use of story to convey ideas makes the book compelling and a quick read. Additionally, in several chapters, she offers clear and extended examples illustrating the finer points of Cultural Relevance in teaching. These examples are set off by bold type, and correspond directly to points previously highlighted in easy-to-read tables. As a resource, this format is especially helpful. At the end of the text, she provides two appendixes, one describing methodology, and the other describing the community in which the study took place. As a qualitative researcher, I found Appendix A, about methodology, to be particularly helpful after reading the excellent study. Traditionally, research has focused upon white students and then generalized to the entire population. This book focuses on African American students, and the author is careful not to make any sweeping generalizations about that population, or the American population at lar

A very inspirational tool for young aspiring educators.

Currently I am a student at Macon State College, and I am enrolled in the Introduction to Education Course 2000 and my major is Middle School Education. I really enjoyed the book and its' content. I think the book provided excellent examples of how culturally relevant teaching could help not only African American students but all student involved in the program. The book caused me to look back in retrospect at my primary years of education. I've seen a great number of people that probably could have benefitted from this teaching style. I don't think it would hurt to try this teaching method if it will help decrease the dropout and illiteracy rate present in todays' society. Usually, I sell back books after the semester is over, but I think this one I will keep as reference material when I eventually become a teacher. I highly recommend this book to all aspiring educators.

Excellent, easy reading and cultural relevant

Ladson-Billings, wrote an extraordinary book on African American students and the struggles they face trying to receive an education equal to that of other races. She took a look into the classrooms of eight teachers who perhaps had different teaching styles, but all had one common goal to provide an education for all students. She wrote this book from an author, a student, a teacher,and a parent's prospective. She included such issues as being a cultural relevant teacher. Being a teacher who doesn't mind accomodating and adapting to the needs of her students. She also addressed the issue of teachers who were assimilators. If you have any plans or desires to teach, this is a must read book. This book was enjoyable, easy to read, and cultural relevant.
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