Working With Black Boys in Schools

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Working with Black males in schools and institutions may be a challenge but not for the reasons you may think. Understanding how to be effective with Black males means examining the institutions and structures that have impacted them for decades.

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Working With Black Boys in Schools

  1. 1. Working With Black Boys Why are they targeted for discipline? In collaboration with OUSD African-American Male Achievement Office & Talent & Development in Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction Office 2011 Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  2. 2. Introduction/Check-in What makes you a good fit for your students? What are you eager to do with your students? What are you most concerned about? Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  3. 3. <ul><li>Training Goals </li></ul><ul><li>1. Frame the context in which Black boys are served in various settings. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Develop a shared understanding of what impacts our work with Black boys </li></ul><ul><li>3. Build critical questions that can inform our continued work with Black boys </li></ul><ul><li>Address Site Specific Goals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Building relationships with students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Culturally responsive strategies for engaging students in the learning process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Dealing with misbehavior </li></ul></ul>Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  4. 4. <ul><li>Visioning Activity </li></ul><ul><li>Close your eyes, visualize a Black male student you have worked with that made an impact on you. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about why they impacted you, positively or negatively </li></ul><ul><li>Think about how you responded to this student </li></ul>Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  5. 5. <ul><li>Paired Share </li></ul><ul><li>Talk about your student and share your reflections: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who this student was </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Why they impacted you </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How you responded (what was the impact) </li></ul></ul></ul>Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  6. 6. <ul><li>What Happens & Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Question: Why do students get sent out of class? </li></ul><ul><li>Disproportionality in out of class referrals & suspension of Black boys </li></ul><ul><li>Research shows 3 main reasons: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural Mismatch (3 D’s: defiance, disrespect, disruption) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher Bias (stereotype threat) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional Bias (zero tolerance, parent compliance) </li></ul></ul>Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  7. 7. <ul><li>The Back of the Book </li></ul><ul><li>Question: What are Best Practices that you know about and have used? </li></ul><ul><li>Authentic Caring –Angela Valenzuela </li></ul><ul><li>Control the Environment : Environment controls behavior. -ABA (classroom management: arrangement, procedures, structure, engagement, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Culturally Responsive (student centered) –Sharroky Hollie </li></ul><ul><li>Strengths Based : All behavior is strength or hidden strength </li></ul><ul><li>Be Explicit : Openly challenging negative stereotypes & biases in, through, with your class </li></ul><ul><li>Measure it: Keep track of your out of class referrals for objective offenses. (the 3 D’s) </li></ul>Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  8. 8. How are they targeted? Question: What are the problems impacting our students? Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training Safety Health Education Homicide Prison Environmental hazards Profiling Disease Illness Low quality of life Discrimination is psychological warfare Suspension/ Expulsion Drop out Low graduation Special Ed/ ADHD Remedial/ Tracking
  9. 9. <ul><li>The Gaps </li></ul><ul><li>Question: What are the inequities impacting our students? </li></ul><ul><li>The Achievement Gap (test scores, dropout rates, higher ed) </li></ul><ul><li>The Discipline Gap (suspension and expulsion) </li></ul><ul><li>The Wealth Gap (net worth, income, rates of poverty) </li></ul><ul><li>The Health (mortality) Gap (life expectancy, excess death) </li></ul><ul><li>The Prison Gap (incarceration rates, sentencing, profiling) </li></ul><ul><li>The Employment Gap (unemployment and underemployment rate) </li></ul>Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  10. 10. <ul><li>The Gaps </li></ul><ul><li>The Achievement Gap (test scores, dropout rates, higher ed) </li></ul><ul><li>The Discipline Gap (suspension and expulsion) </li></ul><ul><li>The Wealth Gap (net worth, income, rates of poverty) </li></ul><ul><li>The Health (mortality) Gap (life expectancy, excess death) </li></ul><ul><li>The Prison Gap (incarceration rates, sentencing, profiling) </li></ul><ul><li>The Employment Gap (unemployment and underemployment rate) </li></ul><ul><li>Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVmPKvhsNVk </li></ul>Lincoln Monthly Training <ul><li>Attribution of Disparities </li></ul><ul><li>Question: Why are students unsuccessful? </li></ul><ul><li>Dominant public paradigms explaining disparities: “bad apples” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Defective culture (Bill Cosby, President Obama, & Co.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual faults (Bootstraps, agency, free will & choice) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal racism (isolated incidents, generally equal) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Overlooks policies and arrangements: “diseased tree” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Structures (Competition rewards advantage. Privilege bestows advantage, social reproduction) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutions (White supremacy, Brown v. Board, School to Prison) -Paul Hirshfield, Preparing for Prison: The Criminalization of School Discipline in the USA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cumulative causation (multisystemic inequity, doll test) </li></ul></ul>Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  11. 11. <ul><li>Primary Oppressors </li></ul><ul><li>Ways of thinking (ideological oppression) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>White supremacy (white privilege) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Any thoughts of superiority over others </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Institutions (institutional oppression) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Police brutality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ ism’s” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>People (interpersonal oppression) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Act of bigotry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ ism’s” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Overt domination and exploitation of people, resources, and thought </li></ul>Who is the Oppressor? Question: What impacts our students the most? <ul><li>Secondary Oppressors or sub-oppressors </li></ul><ul><li>Internalized oppression </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inability to name source of oppression </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Black on black crime </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Negative self image </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inability to identify the existence of being oppressed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Acceptance of negative stereotypes and labels into self concept </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inability to actively resist structural oppression </li></ul></ul>Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  12. 12. What does oppression look like? Question: What does this oppression look like in our schools? <ul><li>Negative presupposition </li></ul><ul><li>Escalation </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimatums </li></ul><ul><li>Leverage power and authority </li></ul><ul><li>Threats of consequences </li></ul><ul><li>Deny them a ‘choice or a voice’ </li></ul><ul><li>Forget they are children </li></ul><ul><li>Refuse to apologize </li></ul><ul><li>Treat them like adults </li></ul><ul><li>Intimidate them </li></ul><ul><li>Fail to hold them accountable </li></ul><ul><li>Black boys are limited culturally, in what they can express and how they can express it </li></ul><ul><li>Care, concern, fear, hurt, sadness, shame, embarrassment, </li></ul><ul><li>Most of our students are acutely aware of their positioning in U.S. society (social reproduction) which is the bottom. </li></ul>Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  13. 13. Risk vs. Protective Factors Question: What are the push pull factors in their environment? <ul><li>Risk Factors </li></ul><ul><li>Low SES (poverty or working class) </li></ul><ul><li>Environment (liquor store, shots fired) </li></ul><ul><li>Race (“old and black”) </li></ul><ul><li>Poverty </li></ul><ul><li>Community violence </li></ul><ul><li>Trauma </li></ul><ul><li>Neglect </li></ul><ul><li>Poor schools </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of nutrition </li></ul><ul><li>Protective Factors </li></ul><ul><li>SES status (middle & upper middle class) </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Access to resources </li></ul><ul><li>Supportive caring relationships with adults </li></ul><ul><li>Positive engagement, healthy self-esteem </li></ul><ul><li>Tangible Skills and Prosocial skills </li></ul><ul><li>Internal motivation, drive, determination, talent </li></ul><ul><li>Resilience </li></ul>Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  14. 14. Strength-Based Seek to see all behaviors as strengths or hidden strengths <ul><li>Name some of the hidden strengths that Black boys exhibit (harmful behaviors)? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flashy < Creative & expressive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Persistent < Resilient </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bold < Courageous </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outspoken < Honest & transparent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moody < Passionate & compassionate </li></ul></ul>Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  15. 15. Strength-Based &quot;Men are whipped oftenist who are whipped easiest.“ <ul><li>“ The strength of someone who has endured the greatest hardship is best equipped for creating great social change.” </li></ul><ul><li>Fredrick Douglass was born into slavery. A ‘foster’ child, dropped off at 6 by his grandmother who disappeared. </li></ul><ul><li>At 16, he fought back, struggling for 2 hours. </li></ul><ul><li>Douglass escaped slavery and rose to become an advisor to President Lincoln during civil war. </li></ul>Miss. Sen. Blanche Bruce, former slave Ala. Rep. Jeremiah Haralson, former slave 21 elected to House, 10 former slaves 2 elected to Senate, 1 former slave Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia, Florida, North & South Carolina, Louisiana From 1870 - 1901 Booker T Washington founded Tuskeegee in 1881 & met with T. Roosevelt in 1901 WEB DuBois earned a Ph.D. from Harvard 1895 Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  16. 16. America’s Response Minstrel, Jim Crow 1876, Birth of a Nation 1915 & Lynchings mostly targeting urban Black males Slide 13 Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  17. 17. Nothing New? Lincoln Monthly Training Negative Stereotypes Nothing New? demonized/criminalized aspects of culture Big, Black, Dangerous, Savage, Animal, Vicious, Beast, Immoral, Lazy, Ignorant, Careless, Indiscriminate, Oversexed, Crazed, Deranged, Lowly, Simple, Stupid, Inferior, Subhuman Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  18. 18. Modern Criminalization/Dehumanization The myth of the juvenile Superpredator: -John Dilulio, Princeton 1990’s “ Crack baby myth, immoral and beastly violent” “ Tough on crime” laws target urban Black Males 3- strikes, juveniles as adults, crack laws, gang laws -Mike Males, The Scapegoat Generation: America’s War On Adolescents Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  19. 19. Staff Goals Question: What are your goals as a team? <ul><li>Building relationships with students </li></ul><ul><li>2. Culturally responsive strategies for engaging students in the learning process </li></ul><ul><li>3. Dealing with misbehavior: </li></ul><ul><li>What are some behaviors? </li></ul>Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  20. 20. Building Relationships Question: What are the best ways to build appropriate relationships? <ul><li>Address your fear of your students </li></ul><ul><li>Look at your judgement of parents and family structure & community </li></ul><ul><li>Look at your personal biases, prejudices, dislikes and pet peeves </li></ul><ul><li>Examine your motivations for being here </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge negative hidden assumptions & beliefs </li></ul>Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  21. 21. Building Relationships Question: What are best practices for building relationships? <ul><li>Authentic Caring vs. Aesthetic Caring –Angela Valenzuela, Subtractive Schooling </li></ul><ul><li>Know their parents & caregivers first and last name: community centered -Gloria Ladson-Billings, Dreamkeepers </li></ul><ul><li>Disclose mistakes or errors and apologize quickly </li></ul><ul><li>State your motivations for your actions, give real reasons – Howard Zinn, A Peoples History of American Empire </li></ul>Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  22. 22. Culturally Responsive Strategies Question: What does culturally responsive mean to you? 1. Be clear about who you are: (race, class, gender, etc.) because it speaks more than what you say –Sharroky Hollie, Culturally Responsive 2. Be Student Centered: Their class or your class, their assignment or your assignment, their education or your education? Are you facilitator or Director of learning? 3. Cultural Consultation: Consult someone who is in the business of addressing a particular group Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  23. 23. Common Explanations for Misbehavior Question: Why do students act out? <ul><li>He just wants attention (essential for survival) </li></ul><ul><li>He just wants his own way (as he should) </li></ul><ul><li>He’s manipulating us (not exactly) </li></ul><ul><li>He’s making bad choices (developmentally appropriate) </li></ul><ul><li>His parents don’t provide enough structure (neither do rich parents) </li></ul><ul><li>He has a bad attitude (unmet need) </li></ul><ul><li>His brother was the same way (we have no control over our genes) </li></ul><ul><li>He’s testing limits (that’s necessary for growth) </li></ul>Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  24. 24. Applied Behavior Analysis Question: How can you analyze their behavior? <ul><li>Create an optimal environment (culture) BIP’s </li></ul><ul><li>Whatever behavior is reinforced the most, will occur the most </li></ul><ul><li>Behaviors are reinforced by Adult energy & attention </li></ul><ul><li>Setting events (2-6 hours) and Antecedents (30 seconds) Behavior and Consequences (natural are preferred to imposed) </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze when disruptions occur </li></ul><ul><li>Distinguish the type & kind of disrespectful outburst </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing Approximations: Clapping exercise </li></ul>Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  25. 25. Crisis Management and The Crisis Cycle Question: What happens in a crisis? <ul><li>Baseline </li></ul><ul><li>Escalation phase and the reverse cognition effect </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis mode </li></ul><ul><li>Heightened baseline </li></ul><ul><li>Cortisol </li></ul><ul><li>Shift thinking from escalation to maintaining baseline </li></ul><ul><li>Adult escalation cycle out of sync with students’ cycle </li></ul>Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  26. 26. Collaborative Problem Solving -Ross Greene, The Explosive Child Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training Kids Do Well If They Can This is the most important theme of Collaborative Problem Solving: the belief that if kids could do well they would do well. In other words, if the kid had the skills to exhibit adaptive behavior, he wouldn’t be exhibiting challenging behavior. That’s because doing well is always preferable to not doing well.
  27. 27. Collaborative Problem Solving -Ross Greene, The Explosive Child Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training What's Your Explanation? Your explanation for a kid's is challenging behavior has major implications for how you'll try to help. If you believe a kid is challenging because of lagging skills and unsolved problems, then rewarding and punishing may not be the ideal approach. Solving those problems and teaching those skills would make perfect sense.
  28. 28. Collaborative Problem Solving -Ross Greene, The Explosive Child Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training Being Responsive The definition of good parenting, good teaching, and good treatment is being responsive to the hand you’ve been dealt . Notice, the definition isn’t “treating every kid exactly the same”.
  29. 29. Collaborative Problem Solving -Ross Greene, The Explosive Child Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training Check Your Lenses Challenging behavior occurs when the demands of the environment exceed a kid’s capacity to respond adaptively . In other words, it takes two to tango. But many popular explanations for challenging behavior place blame on the kid or his parents. Not Collaborative Problem Solving.
  30. 30. Collaborative Problem Solving -Ross Greene, The Explosive Child Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training Three Options for Solving Problems There are three ways in which adults try to solve problems with kids: Plan A (which is unilateral problem solving), Plan C (dropping the problem completely), and Plan B (that's the one you want to get really good at).
  31. 31. Dealing With Misbehavior Question: What’s the difference between student behavior and adult/staff behavior? Putting the most energy where you have the most control 1. Manage your own reaction: You always have more options than they do 2. Gather information about the environment (the setting they encountered) and disposition (what they brought to school) in that order! 3. Consider more than 2 ways to look at what happened to be as objective (accurate & non-biased) as possible 4. Use Plan B! Mutually beneficial –Ross Greene, The Explosive Child Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  32. 32. Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training Alignment Question: Where do you meet the students? School Needs/ Goals Student Needs/ Goals This is where the work should be
  33. 33. The Service Question: What are the pitfalls? How do you know if it’s “right”? 1. Too hard on them, negative assumptions 2. Too easy on them, low expectations, feel sorry for them 3. Afraid of them, reinforcing stereotypes Service must be Firm and Caring Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  34. 34. Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training <ul><li>Vaccum/Silo Approach </li></ul><ul><li>Question: What definitely doesn’t work? </li></ul><ul><li>Not effective </li></ul><ul><li>Work harder, longer </li></ul><ul><li>Increase focus on punishments </li></ul><ul><li>Punish their parents </li></ul><ul><li>Get stricter, doing more of what doesn’t work </li></ul><ul><li>Consult with no one </li></ul><ul><li>Retreat to one’s authority and power </li></ul>
  35. 35. Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training <ul><li>Organic Approach </li></ul><ul><li>Question: What works best? </li></ul><ul><li>most effective </li></ul><ul><li>Gather as much info as possible. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get the facts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Listen, listen, listen </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2. Be upfront, transparent & explicit </li></ul><ul><li>3. Work with & in partnership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Constantly check in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer options or even choices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Value the process as much as the goal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>4. Seek cultural consultation </li></ul><ul><li>5. Reflect </li></ul>
  36. 36. Strengths Based Practice Question: How can we raise OUR bar? 1. What do you do well with Black boys? 2. Where can you improve? 3. How can you strengthen your work with Black boys? Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  37. 37. <ul><li>Strategic Approach </li></ul><ul><li>More effective </li></ul><ul><li>Be deliberate about method & approach </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate effectiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritize strategically </li></ul><ul><li>Firm caring </li></ul><ul><li>Be responsible </li></ul><ul><li>Stop what’s not working or making headway </li></ul><ul><li>Work smarter, work differently </li></ul>Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  38. 38. <ul><li>Empathy Activity </li></ul><ul><li>You should not present yourself to students everyday unless you can do the following. </li></ul><ul><li>Imagine the following: </li></ul><ul><li>Your teacher being afraid of you and as a result unable to comfort you appropriately </li></ul><ul><li>Never feeling safe when you see the police even when they are there to “help” </li></ul><ul><li>Any enthusiasm that you express being interpreted as aggressive or even violent </li></ul><ul><li>Passion or excitement that you express being cast as sexually deviant </li></ul><ul><li>People not getting on the elevator with you or getting off as soon as you get on OR moving to the corner, grabbing purse and avoiding eye contact at all costs </li></ul><ul><li>People treat you as if you are going to steal something </li></ul><ul><li>Not being allowed to be angry without being viewed as dangerous </li></ul>Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  39. 39. The Culture (of black male success) The Agencies that support Black Males -Youth UpRising -Leadership Excellence (Camp Akili, Freedom Schools) -Mentoring Center -100 Black Men (Man Up!) -OUSD, Office of African American Achievement The Research that feeds Black Male policy -Urban Strategies Council -Policy Link -Alameda County -Black male scholars -US Census Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  40. 40. <ul><li>Empathy Activity </li></ul><ul><li>You should not present yourself to students everyday unless you can do the following. </li></ul><ul><li>Imagine the following: </li></ul><ul><li>Your teacher being afraid of you and as a result unable to comfort you appropriately </li></ul><ul><li>Never feeling safe when you see the police even when they are there to “help” </li></ul><ul><li>Any enthusiasm that you express being interpreted as aggressive or even violent </li></ul><ul><li>Passion or excitement that you express being cast as sexually deviant </li></ul><ul><li>People not getting on the elevator with you or getting off as soon as you get on </li></ul><ul><li>People treat you as if you are going to steal something </li></ul><ul><li>Not being allowed to be angry without being viewed as dangerous </li></ul>Lincoln Monthly Training Cultural Consultation Just a few individuals to consult about Black males in Oakland Shawn Ginwright, Ph.D. Professor SFSU Darrick Smith, M.A. Director, June Jordan School for Equity Tacuma King, Artistic Director, Malonga Center Hodari Davis, M.A. National Director Youth Speaks Arnold Perkins, Retired Health Director, AC Afriye Quamina, Ed.D. Equity Institute Chris Chatmon, AAMAO, OUSD Baayan Bakari, Filmmaker Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D. Professor SFSU, OUSD teacher Jason Seals, M.A. Professor Merritt College Wade Nobles, Ph.D. Professor SFSU, Black Family & Life Institute Saleem Shakir, Executive Director, Leadership Excellence Ronald Muhammad, FOI David Muhammad, AC Probation Chief Michael Gibson, AC EMS Jerome Gourdine, Principal Frick Middle Greg Hodge, Former School Board Member Organizations Leadership Excellence Mentoring Center Youth Uprising 100 Black Men of East Bay Urban Strategies Center Policy Link Children’s Defense Fund, Oakland Alameda County, Health Dept. ACLU Bay Area chapter NAACP, Oakland Chapter Urban League, Northern California Lincoln/ AAMA Office Training
  41. 41. Thank You <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Comments? </li></ul><ul><li>Reflections? </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback? </li></ul><ul><li>For a copy of the powerpoint email </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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