"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, April 12, 2010

School to Prison

It's projected that by 2029, prisons will house almost 30,000 of the 600,000 four-year olds now living in America. The solution to this problem lies within families, schools and communities. Study author Oscar A. Barbarin, III, Ph.D. identifies specific practices needed in order to turn this situation around. Parents, as a child's first teacher, can do a lot by engaging with them through talking, listening, and offering challenging new experiences.

Schools can begin by acknowledging the unique challenges facing African-American males, developing strong relationships with their families, and by using teaching practices that incorporate motor skills and movement, which comes naturally to young males. Classrooms can be reformed to provide more engaging and accepting environments for boys. Barbarin says, "Communities play a significant role too. Coalitions, churches, and community groups can provide male mentors, especially when the child lacks a significant male presence at home."

RttT and the ESEA Blueprint include very little about parental involvement. See my post below for more about the lack of genuine interest in working with parents at the school level, particularly amongst the pro-corporate crowd.

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