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Introductions and conclusions are important components of any essay. They work to book-end the argument made in the body paragraphs by first explaining.

  • What it means to be black in the American educational system?
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  • Education In Slavery.
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Yet even there, the percentage of African-American students in the student body is less than one might hope. This situation needs to change, and in classics, there are signs that it can change. Many departments of classics can point to African-American students who have flourished through their study of the classics. The challenge, then, is to find ways to make such success more widespread. That will take action both at the campus level and nationally.

Such successes are waiting to be replicated.

Here’s what studies show

That program might be scaled up with added attention to the special needs of minority students while still in high school. No doubt other promising models and good ideas can be shaped, tried out and rigorously evaluated to help the next generation of students experience in depth what proved so important in the past. In higher education these days we talk a lot about access, but we rarely include in the discussion access for all students to a rich and genuinely diverse curriculum. Making that kind of access available to all students is the real test of leadership at every level, from the individual department to the national organizations that shape educational policy.

He blogs at www. Be the first to know. Get our free daily newsletter. Advice to highly sensitive academics for avoiding burnout opinion. How to write an effective diversity statement essay. A first-generation Ph. Mental health is low priority for community colleges. Racial inequality, at college and in the workplace. The importance of enhancing the relevance of the liberal arts to students today opinion. New grant program at Pitt matches Pell Grants and targets students' unmet need.

From Plantations to Churches to the Classroom, Ex-Slaves Tirelessly Pursued Public Schooling

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  • Racial inequalities in education;
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Print This. Topics Teaching and Learning. Diversity in the Humanities. Black Learning Matters. December 9, Black learning matters. Bio W. Read more by W. As parents adapt to different challenges, they develop different child-rearing strategies, many of which are misunderstood.

While poverty has declined for White, Hispanic, and Asian families in recent years, it has not for African Americans. In , some 38 percent of Black children lived below the poverty line—a percentage four times greater than that of White or Asian children Alter Families struggling to make ends meet are more likely to be stressed and to have less time for their children than those from more economically advantaged groups.

Some families and communities have adapted to the harsh realities they face with aggression. Exposure to extremes of violence and neglect, inconsistent and unreliable care, and unloving adults can be so stressful for children that their developmental potential is compromised or distorted. The results of such exposure can range from stunted emotional and intellectual development to death.

The longer children live in a toxic environment, the more difficult and expensive it is to help them return to more typical developmental and learning trajectories Shonkoff et al. Too many African American children live in toxic environments. Given this, it is a testament to African American families that despite the challenges they face, so many find the resources to help their children avoid the more serious developmental and learning problems.

Education Programs for African American Students Essay

However, early recognition of and support for children being affected by a toxic environment is essential if children are to avoid the pitfalls of failed development and a compromised future; exposure to severe neglect and abuse is increasingly difficult to treat. Culture is what groups create over time to adapt to their environment; it determines to a large extent how adults interact with children. For instance, as a result of transatlantic enslavement, Black people mixed the remnants of their home languages with English to create a dialect, or patois, to communicate with one another since they did not share a common language.

The remnants continue today as Black English. Among those with limited knowledge of Black culture and linguistics, Black English is mistakenly assumed to be a product of ignorance rather than a creative form of verbal communication as complex as Standard English Labov Other behaviors that were fashioned to help African Americans cope with the dangers of slavery continue today because life is still perceived as dangerous. For instance, African American children are often criticized for passivity, limited oral responsiveness, and disengagement Labov Yet many Black parents teach this behavior as the best way for children to be safe in a hostile world.

Even though these strategies tend not to be advantageous in the school environment, they have lingered because they keep children emotionally safe in the segregated society in which most of them live.

America Wasn’t a Democracy, Until Black Americans Made It One

The systemic challenges of poverty and racism continue today for African American parents and children W. Some experience self-doubt and powerlessness, others deny their culture and language to avoid rejection, and still others respond with rage or detachment.

While many of these responses may seem nonfunctional, they are designed to protect children from the prejudice and discrimination encountered by most African Americans with appalling frequency. Unaware of the culturally adaptive reasons for behavior, many people—even many African Americans—are unaware of the strengths that have enabled African American communities to survive and thrive despite deep hardships.

In the past, tight-knit family networks and communities of teachers and leaders were better able to support children and buffer the negative messages children received from the larger society. Today, the lack of knowledge about and appreciation for Black culture creates social distance between African Americans and White Americans and is a deterrent to change. The African American culture transmitted from generation to generation needs to be understood as rich and noteworthy, and needs to be used as the entry to new skills and knowledge. While culture carries with it the past, it also constantly adapts to new conditions, new challenges.

As people adapt, they integrate the old with the new, often using the old to help transition to the new. The traditional African American interest in music has led to innovations, such as jazz and rap, and to newer music forms; the traditional physicality in the African American community has led to high performance in athletics; the interest in language is reflected in the contributions Black people have made to the imaginative use of words slang, for example. Many of the rules and concepts of school overlap with much of what children already know—but often children need teachers and school system leaders to help them see the overlap.

For example, many Black children have strong interests in and knowledge about sports and entertainment. They need supportive teachers to help them see how academics are related to these interests and will enhance what they already know. Building on strengths, achievement can soar. Exposure to poverty and prejudice are not uniform across the African American population; not all African Americans are poor or failing in school. Yet disproportionately their achievement and life circumstances are constrained by race and class.

The systemic challenges of the Black experience continue today for parents and children W. The ultimate solution to the education gap is the elimination of race and class prejudice and oppression. This means providing supports for families and education for children, and promoting understanding among teachers and administrators.

If most African American families typically provide the experiences necessary for healthy growth and development, why do so many African American children have trouble learning in school? One reason is the differing expectations for children between home and school. Home cultures do not prevent African American children from learning in school, but some home practices are not similar to or synchronous with school culture.

Returning to language, children who learn Black English at home, as opposed to learning Standard English, have a steeper learning curve for school reading and writing because Standard English is very similar to academic English. For Black children, particularly those from low-income families in highly segregated communities, there is more likely to be a poor fit between their language experiences and what schools require. This misalignment becomes a barrier to school learning unless it is addressed early. Like other children, African American children—even those from low-income families—have information about their immediate environment and learn through their experiences.

However, they may not have the same knowledge base as children from other communities, particularly children from more economically advantaged ones. They may not have the academic and social knowledge that teachers expect. They know the names of things, ideas, people, and places that are meaningful to them, but they may not know letter names or how to hold a book or what a farm is or how to count to Because of this, they are often viewed as developmentally delayed or having limited potential to learn.