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Pedro A. Noguera, Ph.D. Steinhardt School of Education New York University.

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Presentation on theme: "Pedro A. Noguera, Ph.D. Steinhardt School of Education New York University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pedro A. Noguera, Ph.D. Steinhardt School of Education New York University

2  Reforms treated as fads - too much change, not enough follow through or evaluation  Too much focus on assessment, not enough on teaching and learning  Too top down - insufficient “buy-in” and input from teachers  Insufficient attention to school culture  Insufficient attention to social needs of students  Insufficient attention to real examples of turnarounds and success

3 A combination of skill and art It draws upon the personality and creativity of teachers Schools must strive for consistency not uniformity in teaching Intellectual rather than technical work Requires a commitment to ongoing learning Content knowledge Pedagogical skill Relationship building across differences The best teachers teach the way students learn rather than expecting students to learn the way they teach

4 Make expectations clear and standards explicit by modeling and exposing students to high quality work Utilize diagnostic tools to check for understanding Create a safe learning environment so that student can learn from their mistakes Provide numerous opportunities for students to revise and resubmit work Focus on motivation and engagement by incorporating student interests and soliciting feedback and questions from students Analyze student work with a focus on what student errors tell us about our teaching

5  Taste good  Looks good, smells good  Nutritious and good for you  Makes you want more  Engaging, interesting  Active learning, class time is work time  Leads to acquisition of knowledge and skill  Cultivates ongoing desire to learn


7  What can be done to reduce teacher isolation so that good practices are shared and common challenges are discussed together?  What needs to occur to create an atmosphere of shared vulnerability?  What can the district elevate, support and recognize excellence in teaching?

8 Is it a problem? Met Life Survey: 40% low income students, 45% minority students report that they do not identify with their teachers Most teachers claim to be “color blind” yet many report having greater difficulty working with minority and low income students Disparities in achievement and discipline referrals for a disproportionate number of students of color suggest that there is a problem Good news - Students are less biased than adults. They are generally willing to learn from any adult who cares and takes an interest in them.

9 Normalization of failure: blaming kids and parents Differential expectations - lower standards for students of color Conflict in the classroom, lack of respect and fear among teachers Stereotypes unchallenged: students perceive racial identity and achievement as linked Unwilling to accept responsibility for their role in raising achievement

10 Skills and cultural competence - you can’t teach what you don’t know Awareness of and willingness to unlearn personal bias Ability to affirm the cultural identities of students Research shows students respond well to teachers that demonstrate: Firmness, organization and clear goals Compassion – identify and empathize with students Challenge- students are expected to learn Patience – A willingness to help students who don’t “get it” quickly

11  The ability to work effectively as a professional across race, class, linguistic and cultural boundaries based upon a sensitivity to difference and an willingness to withhold judgment. This includes the ability to establish trust and rapport by developing relationships premised on respect and empathy.

12  Teachers understand the external pressures students face and take that into account when working with students ◦ Gangs, teen pregnancy, pressure to work ◦ Develop partnerships and strategies to meet student needs ◦ Funds of Knowledge: View the community and parents as a resource – Edison Elementary  Balanced commitment to excellence and equity – Henshaw Middle School ◦ High standards with high support ◦ Homework is an equity issue  Clear focus on life beyond school – Thurgood Marshall HS ◦ Strategies for developing social capital and cultural capital ◦ Learning to code switch - Speech, dress, demeanor


14  What have you found to be most helpful in developing strong relationships with students across racial and cultural differences?  How has your background helped or hindered you in this work?  What skills, knowledge or information do you think you need to increase your effectiveness as a teacher?

15  Avoid tendency to take a “color blind” posture toward students  Avoid tendency to stereotype your students based on race or culture  Be aware of how unconscious bias may influence your interactions  Strive to know yourself and your students so that your relationships are not affected by race/cultural differences

16  They have systems to monitor academic performance – PS 28 ◦ They use data to make decisions about school improvement ◦ Students and teachers are clear about performance standards  They engage in constant assessment – School of Future, Success Academies ◦ Performance assessment ◦ Learn from and examine student work  They have shared and distributed leadership  They have a culture of high expectations for all – MS 323 ◦ Systems of mutual accountability for teachers, students and parents ◦ Rituals, norms and practices that reinforce core values – Academy of Pacific Rim

17 Provide access to mentors – selected based upon a record of effectiveness and an ability to work well with colleagues Provide time for observation and feedback – from veteran teachers and knowledgeable administrators Provide time to collaborate and learn from student work Provide content area coaches – in classrooms Don’t assign new teachers to teach the most challenging classes

18 Active learning, interactive classroom, on- task learning Personalized learning plans Inquiry-based pedagogical strategies Simulations Socratic seminars Project-based learning Experiential learning Student leadership in the classroom Public presentations of student work

19 AVID, MESA Demystify success Provide support through peer groups Popular culture in the classroom - Algebra Project Accelerated summer school After-school and community-based enrichment Extra curricular activities - sports, music, clubs Transition classes Smaller classes for students who are behind

20  Old Paradigm ◦ Intelligence is innate ◦ Job of schools is to measure intelligence and sort accordingly ◦ Inequity in resource allocation: best resources to highest achievers ◦ Focus on achievement as measured by test performance ◦ Discipline used to weed out the “bad” kids ◦ Parents as consumers  New Paradigm ◦ Intelligence and ability are influenced by opportunity ◦ Job of school is to cultivate talent and ability among students ◦ Resources allocated based on student need ◦ Focus on “whole child” ◦ Discipline used to reinforce school values and norms ◦ Parents as partners

21  Systems to facilitate school effectiveness ◦ Diagnostic assessment ◦ Early intervention procedures ◦ Evaluation to insure quality control ◦ On-site, ongoing professional development ◦ Extended learning opportunities  Cultural Changes: ◦ Supportive relationships between teachers and students ◦ Willingness among teachers to share ideas, curricula, materials ◦ Practices reinforce core values ◦ Peer culture where it is “cool to be smart” ◦ Partnerships between school, community and parents

22  Which lessons from the experiences of effective schools are most relevant to your school?  What would it take to shift the paradigm in your school?

23 Know their students: Academic needs – To determine the nature of gaps in learning, and identify and respond to their academic needs. Cultural frame of reference - They understand how to incorporate the history, culture and lived experience of students to stimulate, motivate and make the curriculum relevant Learning styles - They understand how their students learn best and they implement instructional strategies that engage them. Personal needs and challenges - Understand obstacles students face outside of school. Work together to devise strategies to overcome obstacles.

24  Map out a theory of change ◦ If we do x + y + z, we can expect - ?  Brockton HS: If we emphasize literacy across curriculum, provide training for all teachers, time for students to read and write in school we will obtain higher test scores  What resources, support and allies do you need to achieve your implement your theory?

25  1) Establish shared ownership of the problems ◦ Use data to identify areas where change is needed ◦ Provide staff with time to visit successful schools serving similar populations to observe patterns of interaction, teaching and learning, etc. ◦ Solicit input from stakeholders - students, parents, community ◦ Build sense of community with staff and provide opportunity for discussion of the problems identified

26  Form committees focused on areas where change is needed: student support, discipline, professional development – shared ownership  Set clear, measurable and achievable goals – short, medium and long-term  Implement rituals, practices and procedures that will serve as the anchor of the new culture  Make sure that your plan is logically linked to the problems facing your school  Provide ample opportunity for discussion of the plan, to answer questions and to receive input for strengthening plan

27  Be sure that all staff understand what is expected of them  Collect baseline data so that you can monitor change over time  Check in at regular intervals to assess how effectively plan is being implemented ◦ Get input from students as well

28   education rights section for articles and papers  Recent books – ◦ Creating the Opportunity to Learn: Moving from Research to Practice to Close the Achievement Gap with A. Wade Boykin (ASCD, 2011) ◦ Unfinished Business: Closing the Achievement Gap in Our Nation’s Schools (Josey Bass 2006) ◦ Schooling for Resilience: Improving the Trajectories of Black Boys and Latino Boys (Harvard Education Press, 2014)

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