Black Education / Schools : Educating the Black Child in Science PROPERLY

Discussion in 'Black Education / Schools' started by Gary C. Booker, Apr 30, 2003.

  1. Gary C. Booker

    Gary C. Booker Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The Following is a previous mantidote:
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    Properly educating the Black Child in Science (part one)

    In one of my previous mantidotes, I talked about how we are improperly taught in the branches of mathematics for the sake of preserving Eurocentrism. Science education is no different for the black child. The best a black child may get may be a few poorly-pondered lessons about black inventions during black history month. There are two major problems within black education that deal with science:

    Our children lack knowledge of black science history, which is one of my research topics (stay tuned for a list of book reviews). Without this, they cannot understand their historical role within the development of civilization from an investigational and analytical perspective and cannot see how analytical thought plays a very important role in black culture.
    Our children are not gaining active experience in applying science and reasoning in their everyday lives. That is partially because we have forgotten how heavily science is within our culture. Madam C. J. Walker was not a Nobel Prize Chemist, but she was able to come up with products that dealt specifically with the biochemical structure of African hair. During the days of segregation, black people had little access to quality doctors and therefore had to depend on themselves to keep themselves healthy. Yet, black people remained healthy enough to take care of their families and work their jobs with all of the looming illnesses that were present. The answer was home remedies. However, the absence of focus on empowering the black community has distracted our minds from focusing on our problems. If a child is on a mission to do something, then he/she will pay attention to all that is needed to accomplish it.


    These problems must be addressed by black parents and black educators as well as black community activists.



    What Teachers Can Do:

    Today's black teachers are faced with a dilemma of trying to work within the very system that is destroying their youth to save their youth, and I think that we as a people do not understand the difficult task of today's black teacher. Several people in my family were involved in education either as teachers or in some other form or fashion and I have been volunteering in pubic schools for a few years now. Based on my research and my experience, I offer the following advice on addressing these two problems:

    OFFER EXTRA CREDIT RELATED TO BLACK SCIENCE HISTORY TO YOUR STUDENTS ON A REGULAR BASIS. This allows some of the students who are failing the class because of the following reasons above to address the problem and save their grade point averages. Also, the benefit of offering this is allowing the children to be inspired by what they read.
    INTEGRATE AFRICAN AMERICAN ISSUES WITHIN SCIENCE DISCUSSIONS. For example, when talking about pollution, you should pass out handouts relating to environmental racism. Don't leave the fight of environmental racism up to the decision of white liberals (but don't shut them out, either)… bring it to the forefront.
    ENCOURAGE YOUR STUDENTS TO DO A PROJECT CLOSE TO HOME. Some of your students are into cosmetology and doing hair. Don't discourage it. The majority of black hair care products are owned by non-black producers. Get them involved in cosmetic chemistry. If you have another student that is into rapping, then get him/her into sound physics. If you have a student that is into playing basketball, then get them into kinematics (motion physics) and physiology.
    What Parents Can Do:

    A teacher cannot do all the work of properly educating the child by themselves. You must be of help and make sure that you reinforce what your child is learning. You are either part of the solution or part of the problem. Here are some things, based on my experience (and those of many others) as a child growing up:

    1. AVOID FAMILY QUARRELS DURING TIMES WHERE YOUR CHILD IS ENGAGING IN THOUGHT. This can be an extremely detrimental distraction. That means STOP PUTTING ON A JERK CONTEST WITH YOUR SPOUSE/SIGNIFICANT-OTHER IN FRONT OF YOUR CHILDREN. A study environment must be calm enough to produce thought. Family squabbles kill morale and can cause a child to have no resilience when their studies become difficult. Also, it makes you hard to approach when the child needs your help. When your child comes to you for help relating to his/her studies, don't make foolish comments like "WHY CAN’T YOU ASK YO MAMA TO DO IT" or "GO TELL YUH DADDY TO DO IT" because you are angry at your spouse for not doing enough. That causes a child to think of themselves as a burden to feel guilty about approaching either of you for help.

    2. READ YOUR CHILD'S COURSE SYLLABUS AND MARK EVENTS ON YOUR CALENDAR. Talk about some topics related to what they are studying at dinner (If you do not eat meals together with your child, then START). Don't forget to make sure that all supplies needed for each course is available.

    3. LET YOUR CHILD SEE YOU STUDYING. Education lasts a lifetime and it never stops. Let your child see you reading something, be it the newspaper, an encyclopedia, a magazine, a newsletter, or anything else that causes you to think. It also keeps information in your head so that you can keep up on your child's advancing studies. You'll never know what could pop up in your child's homework. If your entire family dedicates an hour and a half each day to reading something, then the entire family will become a force to be reckoned with in terms of education.

    4. INVEST IN EDUCATION, NOT POLO SHIRTS. Don't let your spending on your child's wardrobe outweigh your investment in educating your child. We need Scholars, not Nike-nitwits Tommy Field******s. Make sure that your child has a computer that is internet ready. If you can't afford monthly payments, Radio Shack along with other ISP's offer prepaid internet access. Buy books and encyclopedias. And please don't be without a dictionary!

    What Community Activists can do:

    Unifying the community requires the entire community being aware of the problems that it faces as well as ways to solve it. Here's what you can do to help science education:

    VOLUNTEER IN SCHOOLS. Don't be limited to protests and speeches. Get in the schools and get the children and the teachers directly involved in your struggle. Get to know teachers and understand the curriculum that they must work with.

    DEVELOP WORKABLE RELATIONSHIPS WITH BLACK INTELLECTUALS. If Dr. Cornell West's research doesn't go beyond Harvard University, then he is essentially wasting his time. Be a liaison between their research and the people who need it.

    HELP ORGANIZE EVENTS THAT ENCOURAGE EDUCATION WITHIN THE SCIENCES. Thanks to Viacom and other corporations who eagerly buy black media outlets and assume that we only need to see booty shaking, there is a lack of access to images of black scientists. Don't just complain about their devilish work… take practical countermeasures against them.

    More tips for black teachers and educators

    Grading:

    One of the things that discourage our children from learning science is the fact that the educational system is designed to punish them for making mistakes, whilst human beings learn what they learn by making mistakes. Therefore, every assignment graded should not be so devistating to their GPA’s. Remember, just because a student is catching on and regergittating everything you say as you say it does not mean that they’re learning the material.



    Creating an effective environment for your students

    The greatest enemy to the proper education of black children is the over-standardization of lessons. You have audio, visual, and kinestetic learners as well as individualized learning formats within those categories in which each person has. If your lessons are too monotone, then only those students that understand your educational format are going to comprehend your lessons. That doesn’t necessarily make the rest of your students stupid.



    Keep your students on a level of excitement and suspense by constantly doing something new in your classroom. This stimulates curiosity, the very basis of becoming an effective scientist.



    More tips for Parents…

    Maximizing a child’s summer:

    Too often our children get bored with learning and dissociate learning with anything other than the school. That shouldn’t be the case. Buy your children intellectually stimulating toys to play with when out with friends. Don’t be a bore… get out and play with them! Fly model rockets and model airplanes and do other exciting science games with them. Go back to the fun days of your own childhood where you saught adventure, and begin to view the acquisition of knowledge in that fashion. An adventure into knowledge is a fountain of youth that you will love to dive in once you start spending time with your children.



    Put them in summer enrichment programs. I cannot re-iterate this enough… the money you spend making racist, sweatshop exploiting desigher clothing KKKorporations rich could be money invested into your child’s dreams. :maddd: If you know that there is a good summer enrichment program that you child could benefit from but you don’t have the money to do so, then save during the school year. When they find learning exciting, they become enthusiastic about aquiring knowledge and also enthusiastic about the problem solving abilities aquired through reasoning skills built by the acquisition of knowledge.

    :eek:

    I am currently developing math-science games geared towards a hands on approach to learning mathematics, so stay tuned for more details
     
  2. Gary C. Booker

    Gary C. Booker Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Actually bro. Panthrax, I should have noted it, but this is both one and two condensed from two back-to-back mantidotes in March. I've written extensively on the subject of truely black education and will continue to post as time allows. :) Thanks again.



    GCB
     
  3. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    very wised .......this was truth written thank u
    many more should read this
     
  4. auset32

    auset32 Member MEMBER

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    Hotep Gary,

    What you wrote was so important and not difficult to do. My greatneice is 6 and I asked her mother what books is she reading this summer. She still has not taken her to the library or even started her reading the books she has received as gift. Her response was they just haven't gotten to it. Yet this six year old told me she watches TV when she gets home from day care before dinner and after dinner. The problem is neither her mother or father read much they are TV addicts.
    Auset
     
  5. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Excellent piece Booker. Like Brother PANTHA, I have printed this article and plan to distribute it widely. I can't wait to see Part Two!

    Peace :heart:
     
  6. DahomeyAhosi

    DahomeyAhosi New Member MEMBER

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    Science education

    Hi,

    Great post. Summer enrichment is a great idea. I participated in a mostly white program as a child where I learned practically nothing but I did get the chance to go to the Soviet Union when I was 13 and I wouldn't trade that experience for anything!

    Here's something else we can try: My mother always told me that math and science were the keys but she backed her words up by having me do a math book each summer. The math book would be in preparation for the next year in school so that by the time school started I always knew just about everything. In this way I graduated from high school with calculus (also did my undergrad work in mathematics). How did my mom get me to do this? She paid me to do the books making sure that I attempted each problem and graded my homework!

    This is a way to let children know that hard work will be rewarded monetarily and I am eternally grateful to mom for that !

    Dahomey
     
  7. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Gary ... this is wonderful information and you present it in such a way that even the most unprepared parent can benefit, enabling them to help their child succeed.

    Gary ... i was thinking ... :) ... how wonderful it would be for us to have an Educating The Black Child scheduled voice chat!! Wouldn't that be wonderful??!!! I don't think you've been in our voice chat yet, but it's awesome. It allows you to be on the microphone teaching all who are present, while allowing us to ask questions in text or present particular situations that we as parents are dealing with (and haven't found solutions for). I'm getting excited and i've not even finished typing the invitation!! The potential that such a chat as this has is so moving. Especially with school starting soon, i'm sure there are tips specific to getting the babies ready and focused for learning in the new year!

    If you'd be interested, i'd need you to come into voice chat to insure that your speakers and microphone work. Our voice chat address is ... www.************/chat ... If you don't have a mic one can be obtained from Walmart, Best Buy, Circuit City, etc., for about $20.00 (headset). Once it's confirmed that everything is working properly, we can schedule a date and time. You'll be added to this schedule, Sisters and Brothers Teaching Each Other Schedule. Not everything currently scheduled is shown.

    Wow ... this is exciting. I do hope you'll say yes. We can schedule your chat so that it is convenient for you and of course the Moderators will be there to help promote and support the effort.

    Please let me know what you think.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  8. MANSA77

    MANSA77 Member MEMBER

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    greetings fam,
    it is evident that all things happen at the right time. i am currently developing my science curriculum for the year. this is my first year teaching biology in its entirety. for the past four years i have been teaching health and physiology. i am struggling with developing a curriculum that is african centered, beneficial to our children and community's development, and meets the states rigid demands. you hit the nail on the head in your article. i am trully thankful that i stumbled on this site and your article. however, i do not want stop here rather i'd like this to be a beginning. if possible, i would appreciate any lesson activities and suggestions that you have to make science instruction relevant to community control and advancemnet. hopefully you will take the sister's forum invitation so we can all help each other advance our youth scientifically and technologically. lastly, you touched on it in your article but to all the educators out there research techniques like multiple intelligences, brain-based education, and inquiry-based learning where our children have been the subjects to better reach and meet their needs.
    peace and blessings:heart:
     
  9. Gary C. Booker

    Gary C. Booker Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    voice chat...

    Peace Sister Destee,
    I would be more than happy to do a voice chat. I'll be in touch in regarding a date... and it's right on time because school has just started in most areas. :)



    GCB
     
  10. Gary C. Booker

    Gary C. Booker Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Greetings Mansa77,
    I am almost finished with some lesson plans for Black teachers to use that are African centered and teach math and science. Some of the materials include assignments that teach about black inventors and feature math problems.

    Also, sometimes you have to use the enemy's own weapon against him. In this case, I am referring to the type of shows on the Dizzy... excuse me, Disney Channel and other troublevision channels like it that promote anti-intellectual behavior within children and specifically black children. For example, when teaching about electricity you should create assignments that talk about Louis Latimer and Granville Woods but feature word problems that mention 50 Cent, Jah Rule (as much as I can't stand their "music," our kids minds are being innundated with them) in a way that talks about how electricity is involved with sound recordings. I have one like this that I am going to post along with others in the next few weeks and I am going to try to post at least 4 every month.

    But if you would like to work on anything in particular as a collaborative effort, hit me up! :)


    GCB
     
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