Finding Our Shared Humanity

Fairview Elementary School

  • Urban neighborhood school
  • Clientele from government housing project, trailer courts, apartments, and a protective shelter for homeless and abused families
  • 90% free and reduced lunch
  • 38% non-Caucasian
  • Site of hearing impaired program for school district
  • Has not met AYP for 6 years
  • Moved to new building in 2010  and restructured as Bernstein Artful Leaning School 

Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

  • World-renowned school of music
  • 160 faculty; 1600 students
  • Multiple pre-college programs serve a middle/upper middle class clientele
  • IU String Academy
    • Enrolls approximately 120 violinists ages 4 – 18
    • Mimi Zweig, Director; Brenda Brenner and Susan Moses, Co-Directors

The Dreamkeepers:  Successful Teachers of African American Children Gloria Ladson-Billings

Addresses Four Aspects of Culturally Relevant Teaching
  • Behaviors toward academically and culturally at-risk students
  • Conceptions of self and others
  • Social Relations
  • Conceptions of knowledge

 Ladson-Billings Model

Behaviors toward academically and culturally at-risk students
  • culturally relevant teachers believe that all students can improve and that it is the teacher’s responsibility to help children to achieve
  • Conductor Model
  • Coach Model
Violin Performance Achievement of Five- to Seven-year Olds in Two Contrasting Settings
  • Twenty-nine subjects
    • String Academy n=12
    • Fairview n=17
  • Eight months of violin instruction
  • String Academy
    • emphasis on individual instruction
    • home practice with parental supervision
  • Fairview Project
    • Group instruction
    • No home practice or parental involvement
  • Although String Academy subjects significantly outperformed Fairview subjects, three Fairview subjects’ scores ranked 6th, 7th and 9th out of the 29 scores indicating that even without parental guidance and home practice these subjects were able to achieve at a very high level
Conceptions of self and others
  • Culturally relevant teachers see themselves as artists
  • Culturally relevant teachers see themselves as part of the community, giving back to the community, and want their students to do the same
  • The culturally relevant teacher makes connections not only between facets of one’s own community, but also builds connections with national and global identities
  • Culturally relevant teachers “dig knowledge out” of students, and believe that students come to school with knowledge
Social Relations
  • Culturally relevant teachers have equitable and fluid teacher-student relationships
  • Culturally relevant teachers have connectedness with all students and reward group efforts more than individual
  • Culturally relevant teachers encourage a “community of learners” and encourage students to learn collaboratively
  • Culturally relevant teachers extend relationships outside the classroom
Conceptions of Knowledge
  • Culturally relevant teachers believe knowledge is continuously recreated, recycled, and shared by teachers and students-it is not static or unchanging
  • Culturally relevant teachers view knowledge critically, urging the students to question and think critically about what they are taught
  • Culturally relevant teachers see excellence as a complex standard that may involve some postulates but takes student diversity and individual differences into account.  They also help students to develop necessary skills in order to achieve