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

Touching the Spirit™

TOUCHING THE SPIRIT™ is a teaching modality that achieves success by utilizing culture in the achievement of educational excellence for African American and other students.

Its effectiveness rests on five African American teaching and learning patterns used within the context of nine supportive practices.

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African American Teaching and Learning Patterns

RITUAL
Affirmations/performances

RHYTHM
In music, speech, and movement

RECITATION
Oral performance/memorization

REPETITION
To enhance meaningfulness

RELATIONSHIPS
Relationships of love, respect, and belonging

Recognizing ties between humans and nature

Scientific study of patterns in nature and the phenomenal world

Making connections between schoolwork and students’ life experiences

SEE BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR REFERENCES >

Bibliography

Portrait of August Mann

Photo credit: Mark Skalny

Nine Supportive Practices

1

Expectations of Excellence

2

Continual Search for Patterns

3

Insistence on Working Toward Mastery

4

Teacher Modeling of Skills and Processes
5 Intensive Direct Instruction and Practice

6

Study of African and African American Philosophical Thought

7

Focus on Discourse, Inquiry, and Creative and Symbolic Thinking

8

Using Knowledge for Transformative Social Criticism and Community Action

9

In-Depth Study and Performance of African and African American Culture

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