African-Centered Pedagogy: Developing Schools of Achievement by Peter C. Murrell Jr.

By Peter C. Murrell Jr.

Integrates the ancient, cultural, political, and developmental concerns of the African American adventure right into a conception for the schooling fulfillment of African American little ones.

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In order to understand the patterns of values, beliefs and traditions that are central to the operation of a school-community, an analysis of culture at both the individual and collective level is necessary. I deliberately use the term pedagogy to denote the unity of teaching and learning as it is grounded in human experience and history and to contradict the traditional view of pedagogy as the application of the latest educational theory, techniques, or research findings. The unity of reflection and activity is a way of thinking about pedagogy and particularly important for effective instruction with African American children.

The essence of this idea that what we think and what we feel is culturally situated and shaped. Moreover, what we think and feel about certain activities and practices is socialized by how significant others feel and think THE WRONG FRAMES FOR THE RIGHT PROBLEM 13 about those practices and activities. For example, a student directed to write something in a journal may experience an intrinsic reward despite being asked to perform the task, whereas another student may feel none of the intrinsic reward and feel frustrated and burdened.

This means that accomplished teachers must be able to work collaboratively with support staff, colleagues, parents and others in ways that create systems of development and achievement for children. Weiner’s (1993) distinguishes the “ecological model” from a “service delivery” model in the preparation of urban teachers. The central assumption regarding efforts guided by the ecological model is that efforts to improve practices, policies, and pedagogy of urban schools cannot be divorced from a careful examination of the school climate and sociocultural organization of schools, especially as this examination draws on participation of parents and community.

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