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Sunday, March 16, 2008


child learning

I can’t tell you what valuable skill you would be installing into your preschooler. If you help them in developing this type of problem solving skills and attitude, if you incorporate this into their daily preschool activities. The concept of "culture" with "learning styles" is to build a foundation on quicksand.

Miss Profe

I don't buy it. There are too many examples of African Americans who are creative, have invented things and have made significant contributions to virtually every field and discipline. To suggest that a particular racial group is pre-disposed on the basis of culture and that it doesn't have the brain power for higher levels of thinking is bullocks. A lot depends on the education and training that a person receives early in life, and, the level of motivation a person exercises later on in life to perfect the skill.

I agree: BCLS does lead to a step backwards to a place to which I don't want to see this society return.

The CLA Approach to Education

What's holding many of the African American students back is the "teaching styles" of some of their teachers. The inability to vary instruction based on the student(s) one encounters because you do not know any variety of teaching styles is one; the negative "labeling" of poor children, especially those who look unkempt, is a widespread practice, and I hate to say it, but observed among ALL kinds of teachers; the refusal to use "hands-on" learning techniques because "they get too excited" is another reason for the failure of "engaging the child in his or her OWn learning success"; the insistence on "discipline" which is ACTUALLY "punishment" is one of the mainstays of the regressive Black teaching agenda; and the list can go on and on. FOLKS - go into these inner city classrooms in the poorer neighborhoods sometimes and see it for yourselves! The children we are concerned most about and which the literature expounds on are the MOST at-risk, because from the start of their early elementary careers they are usually seen as "little deficit systems" (so labeled by Dr. Geneva Smitherman) Those children who "make it out of there", do so because of that one or more really great and understanding teacher -or- or the intervention of a parent or other adult to keep them on track -or- simply the child him/herself who made the decision not to give in to the stereotypes about them. Look for those school leaders for whom "failure is NOT an option" - this was the OLD traditional way of teaching and learning in the segregated systems and the unique ones today.

jeff claus

This blog and most of the comments that follow are grossly misinformed and, thus, seriously misrepresent the rich and valuable literature about culturally influenced learning and communication styles. There isn't room here to explain, inform, and educate, so I encourage you to read the following books: Geneva Gay's "Culturally Responsive Teaching," Janice Hale's "Black Children," Lisa Delpit's "Other People's Children," and Tempii Champion's "Understanding Storytelling Among African American Children." There are many other books and articles that present related information and ideas, but these will get you started. No one is saying that all members of a group think, act, or learn in the same way; but, good research demonstrates that many ways of communicating and doing things are culturally influenced, especilly for children from familes less assimilated into the dominant culture. A major problem exists in our schools when teachers of the dominant culture (or well socialized into it) make assumptions about the ability, nature, and potential of youth based on gross misunderstandings and misinterpretations of culture. See the research of Courtney Cazden and Shirley Brice Heath. Ignorance about these various forms of cultural influence can lead educators to make decisions and act in ways that are damaging and contribute significantly to the education gap. Deeper reading and more INFORMED opinion are vital in these kinds of discussions!


I searched and searched for Frisby's quotes in the Article that you mentioned. The quotes you are referring to actually came from here:
`Afrocentric' explanations for school failure: Symptoms of denial, frustration, and despair. By: Frisby, Craig L., School Psychology Review, 02796015, 1993, Vol. 22, Issue 3

You may want to revise your post.

Dr. Alexander O. Akpodiete, JD

I clearly disagree with the generalization. As a black author, consultant, Life coach, educator and retired attorney, I caution you to guard against perpetuating stereotypes.
Dr. Alexander O. Akpodiete, JD
Author of Dr Alexander's Formula For Success: The Seven Open Secrets of Success."

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