When a teacher is able to instill a growth mindset in his or her students, it can help temper the impacts of poverty, and lead to a lifetime love of learning. This common goal, however, is not as easy to achieve in our urban communities when some of our children cannot see beyond their current struggles. When 80% of America’s teachers are white and 26.3 million students are of color, students have less access to role models that look like them, and have less opportunity to be empowered through their education. Limited resources limit horizons, but the influence of culturally responsive teaching is able to encourage the development of a growth mindset in our urban children, bridging the exposure gap between urban students and their more affluent peers.
For too long educational stakeholders including researchers, administrators, teachers, parents and even students placed value in the notion that African American students have less interest and capacity in education. What is most troubling is that African American students may themselves hold these beliefs. This could lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy, so to speak, contributing to achievement at standards below actual capabilities. Parents and teachers must be sure that they are instilling positive beliefs around African American students and high levels of academic achievement.
As a child of poor immigrants from rural Philippines, I often heard about how my parents grew up without running water and limited electricity. They told my brothers and me stories about the things that they didn’t have while growing up, and how they overcame traumas of war and poverty. These anecdotes made me feel equally grateful and guilty, while also motivating me to strive for success. In fact, it is through these stories that I learned the importance of attaining a college education as a way of fulfilling our parents’ American dreams and somehow compensating for the historical trauma that my family had overcome for centuries.
As technology begins to affect different areas of our lives we must take charge and change our approach of receiving and presenting knowledge.
For those of us in the field of school psychology, a portion of our responsibility is to assess and evaluate each student’s ability to learn and acquire knowledge. Just as technology grows and develops, our understanding of how students learn must follow.
All parents have probably noticed that raising a child is not only the parent’s job. You are constantly getting input from other family members, friends and teachers. Children spend more than half their day in school so it is safe to say that the school system, and those who work in it, play a huge role in your child’s life. That means that answering tough questions on topics like race and ethnicity is a challenge that teachers will have to face.
As students around the country are excitedly gathering their backpacks and school supplies in anticipation of the new school year, there is another group of students who are more worried than excited…worried about the family member(s) they are caring for…”What if something happens when I am at school?” “What if people at school find out what I do…will they take me away from my family?”
How is the current sociopolitical climate impacting at-risk LGBTQ youth? It could predict more peer victimization of LGBTQ students. Parents and school personnel can do a lot to change community or school climate.
Witnessing or experiencing race-related trauma damages the psychological wellbeing of minority youth. African American, American Indian, and Latino youth not only encounter race-related trauma in their neighborhoods but also in school. Schools should be a safe space for all children, but some disturbing data prove otherwise.
By Dawn X. Henderson, PhD (Assistant Professor of Psychology, Winston-Salem State University) Some of the lines in the classic 1982 song, Mad World, capture the lived experience of many black and brown children in the public school system in the United States. When people run in circles, it’s a very very mad world… Children waiting for […]
In this week’s In Case You Missed It (a roundup of articles related to psychology, health, mental health and social justice collated from multiple news and commentary websites) we cover the racial double standard in media coverage of the Waco shooting compared with Baltimore, launching of a new Police Data Initiative, the sharp increase in suicide rates among […]