Secrets of Successful Urban Teachers
What they do. Why they do It. How you can do it too. 800-839-3073

Guiding Principles 1

1CULTURE-CENTERED EDUCATION
If we understand the pervasive influence culture has on human life—how it envelops and nurtures a particular people and provides them with a general design for living and patterns for interpreting reality, it becomes clear why culture must be the starting point for all learning. And when we observe the obvious cultural differences among various groups of people in our country, it is clear that each group’s starting point for learning needs to be different.

Featured

It is important to note that African Americans, like most groups in America, are culturally complex; but despite this variety, most African Americans continue to share elements of a common culture. These characteristics are grounded both in African culture and in the experiences of African Americans in North America.

Research and study by a long line of African, African American, and other scholars from the late nineteenth century to the present has generated a substantial bank of knowledge on African and African American culture. Contemporary historians, educators, psychologists, artists, and others are continually adding to this body of work. Nine themes that have been identified as prominent in African American culture are: Spirituality, Resilience, Humanism, Communalism, Orality and Verbal Expressiveness, Realness, Personal Style and Uniqueness, Emotional Vitality, and Musicality/Rhythm.

Akbar (1976), Asante (1987), Boykin (1979, 1994), Dixon (1976), Karenga (1986), Mbiti (1970), Nobles (1986a, 1990), Pasteur and Toldson (1982), Richards (1990), and White (1984)

2 RESEARCH ON SUCCESSFUL TEACHERS
America’s schools are failing to educate to any degree of excellence large numbers of students, mainly from low-income communities. Many of these students are of African American ancestry. Studies of successful teachers, however, show that this failure is preventable. An analysis of successful teachers, who are of various ethnicities, reveals that their lesson content and educational practices are built on the culture of their students. Their teaching is culture centered. The 14 components of Touching the Spirit™ are the teaching and learning patterns and practices that effective teachers use. As teachers use the patterns and practices of the framework, so prominent in African and African American culture, they realize that these principles speak to students of all cultures.

SEE BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR REFERENCES >

Bibliography

GUIDING PRINCIPLES PAGE 2 >

Portrait of August Mann

Photo credit: Mark Skalny

"The IASYS teaching strategies flow from four areas of research principles."

— Augusta Mann

Featured VideoDancing Definitions

From our new instructional DVD workshop, Touching the Spirit Teaching Strategies: watch this powerful strategy for accelerated building of vocabulary and academic language. “It’s fun, it’s thorough, it works!”

WATCH ON YOUTUBE >

MORE INFO ABOUT DVDS >

Smiling girl with backpack in front of schoolbus

800-839-3073
Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Share YouTube
FAN LINK FOLLOW SHARE WATCH

   Site design by Images & Illuminations