Powerful Pedagogy for African American Students

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The disproportionate underachievement of African American students may suggest that teacher effectiveness with this student population has been limited. However, amidst these widespread cademic failures, characterizations of effective teachers of African American students have emerged in an attempt to reverse these disturbing trends. This article examines the findings from a qualitative case study of four elementary school teachers in urban settings. The findings reveal teaching practices consistent with various norms espoused by African American students in
a manner that could be termed “culturally relevant.” In this article, three of the major pedagogical themes are discussed: holistic instructional strategies, culturally consistent communicative competencies, and skill-building strategies to promote academic success.

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