African-Centered Pedagogy: Developing Schools of Achievement by Peter C. Murrell Jr.

By Peter C. Murrell Jr.

Integrates the historic, cultural, political, and developmental concerns of the African American adventure right into a concept for the schooling success of African American little ones.

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Even those African Americans who get good grades in high school show a drop-off in grade point average once in college. In my own community of Boston, African American students and Hispanic students fare particularly poorly. One of the primary standardized tests administered by the Boston Public Schools to determine achievement performance is the Stanford 9. Achievement performance is scored on a one to four point scale. A performance level 1 is Below Basic (below grade level) whereas performance level 4 is Advanced Student, or a student that exceeds required standards.

That is, making them discussible in schools and demonstrated in teacher lives professional and personal. 4. Teaching skills and bridging gaps [in the academic proficiencies of students]. That is, helping students connect the known to the unknown, [and] current skills to new ones in order to enable them [the learners] to negotiate the power structure and the codes of the system, but also to learn to critique the system itself. 5. Working with, not against, individuals, families, and communities—or drawing family and community resources, demonstrating respect and consciously avoiding becoming a wedge between students and their families.

Ogbu, 1989, 1992) was to force an account of how the differences in achievement between African American learners and their Euro-American counterparts inhered in the social and cultural fabric of their educational experiences. Where Ogbu comes up short is the hypothesis of an oppositional identity as a factor in the underachievement of African American children. The issues of how young Black people experience and adapt to school cannot simply be attributed to an oppositional identity. The hypothesis that students who are “involuntary minorities” (to use Ogbu’s term) bring to schooling an oppositional social identity and oppositional cultural frame of reference in response to racism is too simplistic.

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