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Tyrisha Brown Dre Housen

Dafney Brown Jacob Horne

Aleka Francis Brittani Justice

Courtney Thomas

• Chapter 1- A Dream Deferred
• Chapter 2- Does Culture Matter?
• Chapter 3- Seeing Color, Seeing Culture
• Chapter 4- We Are Family
• Chapter 5- The Tree of Knowledge
• Chapter 6- Culturally Relevant Teaching
• Chapter 7- Making Dreams Into Reality
Chapter 6 Culturally Relevant
• “One of the critical national indicators of
educational progress (and national
development) is the literacy rate (Billings,
p. 102).”
• “Literacy has been seen as a process of
consciousness-raising aimed at human
liberation (Arnove and Graff, p. 103)”
Chapter 6 Cont.
• “For African Americans learners, in
particular, literacy has been an especially
tenuous struggle, from outright denial
during slavery, to limited access in the
early 1900s, to segregated schools with
often outdated textbooks well into the
1960s, to–many might argue–marginal
acceptance of their culture and capacity
as learners even in the 1990s (Gadsden, p.
Ann Lewis
• A Literacy Revival
• First introduced in Chapter 3
• Lewis is an Italian American in her mid-
• Lived most of her life in a largely African
American community
• She always wanted to be a teacher but did
not have to until she divorced and had to
get support her family
• Lewis was very involved in the politics of
teaching and was elected as the president
of the teachers’ association
Ann Lewis Cont.
• Since Lewis was so involved with fighting
the school board she often was given
“subtle forms of harassment” such as she
was given the students that the other
teachers did not want
• Lewis rethought her career as a teacher
until one of her friends told her about a
writing seminar offered at UC Berkley
• This experience caused Lewis to change
her whole curriculum around writing and
Ann Lewis Cont.
• Lewis began teaching books that were
culturally relevant to her class
• Since the students were anxious to ask
questions, Lewis began to encourage
interaction with each other and help
answer one another’s question, while
Lewis posed questions such as “How can
you relate this to your life?”
• This kind of interaction between student
and teacher and student and student
helped the explosion of literacy and
Ann Lewis Cont.
• Larry- the oldest boy in the class because he
had been left back and had a slew of bad
history including a drive-by shooting of his
favorite aunt
• “An accident waiting to happen” one
teacher said.
• Lewis referred to Larry as:
• A piece of crystal. He’s strong and beautiful
but fragile. I have to build a safe and secure
place for him and let him know that we-the
class and I-will be here for him.
• By the end of the year Larry had been
Julia Deveraux
• “Gimme that old-time [religion] teaching.”
• Deveraux grew up in the same community
as Lewis and was her successor as the
president of the teachers’ association
• African American
• Unlike Lewis (who taught whole literacy),
Deveraux taught direct reading instruction
(basal text)
Deveraux’s Teaching
• Fourth grade teacher
• First 30 minutes students can do any
activity (spelling assignments, journal
• At 9:00 everyone is quiet and in their desk
with a basal reader on the desk
• Deveraux starts out with phonics
• Justice
• Kinsman
• Veranda
Deveraux’s Teaching
• Once the phonics drill is done Deveraux
recaps with her students about the last
story that was read
• After the story is recapped the class goes
over new words such as:
• Demonstrate
• Influence
• As you see Deveraux is a much more
organized and structured compared to Ann
Deveraux’s Speech
• Billings says the experience is “boring”
and when she talks to her Deveraux says:
• “I know it seems old-fashioned but I believe
the students benefit from the structure…I
have children in her who other teachers
told me could not read. Heck, they told me
they couldn’t read. But I look them
squarely in the eye in the beginning of the
school year and tell them, you will read,
and you will read soon…I award prizes for
completing the reading logs…I am pretty
easy going about a lot of things, but I keep
my reading time sacred.”
Deveraux Cont.
• Book of the Month Club (rewards are
• Michael- his file was “two inches thick”
• In and out of foster homes
• Mother was a drug addict and neglected
• Every teacher had given up on Michael but
• When asked why he just now started
reading he said:
• “I don’t know, she just told me that I could
read if I wanted to and she was going to
Margaret Rossi
• 6th grade math teacher, strict, but well
• Taught her students by teaching about the
African origins of Algebra (Jaime Escalante)
• Rossi constantly tells her students how
perfect they are and that they are capable of
mastering the problems
• The atmosphere was much like Lewis with
everyone helping each other and cheering
each other on
• Rossi to recycles the students question so
that they understand that they are capable of
Chapter 7 Making Dreams Into
• In the introduction, Billings says that she
will be addressing two separate but
related ideas in this chapter:
• The Classroom Teacher’s Power and
• A Vision of a Culturally Relevant School
The Classroom Teacher’s Power
and Responsibility
• To be a good teacher of an African
American student, the teacher should be
able to get the students to choose
academic excellence and not have to
compromise his or her cultural identities
• Culturally relevant teaching is about
questioning and preparing the student to
question the inequalities and injustices
that they will face
The Classroom Teacher’s Power
and Responsibility
• All of the teachers Billings studied work in
opposition to the system that employs
• They do this because it is what is best for
the students.
• Some of the teachers said that their
administrators let them teach the way
they want because of the great results
they are seeing from the students
The Classroom Teacher’s Power
and Responsibility
• Working in opposition to the system is the
way that students will most likely achieve
educational success, but how do we get
the oppositional nature to be expressed in
• A conscious effort must be made to
reconstruct the teacher preparation
program for prospective teachers. They
should be better prepared to be in a
culturally relevant classroom
A Vision of a Culturally Relevant
• She began the book with the question: Do African
American students need separate schools?
• She concludes the book with the answer: What
they need are better schools
• Billings wonders what a classroom that followed
these practices would look like. She gives a
fictional description of what a culturally relevant
school looks like:
• The school she described was an effective
educational environment where the community,
faculty, parents and students play equally vital
roles in the students’ educational success
A Vision of a Culturally
Relevant School
• Billings ends by saying that African
Americans have long challenged the
“American Dream” and believed that
education is the key to making their
dreams come true