Explore the power of human connection, the negative impacts of implicit bias on Black entrepreneurs, and the challenges of improving reading at the state level. The Irby Review is a monthly newsletter from Barbershop Books Founder Alvin Irby. For insights on current events in education, read Irby’s commentary on these interesting articles.
Black Boys Don’t Need More Discipline, They Need More MentorsA Black male educator and mentor in San Francisco says the emotional well-being of children, as well as the leaning process, has to be addressed for educational success. He believes understanding the root of the students’ behavioral issues and having role-models whom the students respect and feel comfortable talking to may improve learning and overall wellness. Read more
Many reading interventions and programs focus on students perceived deficits (i.e. what they don’t know and can’t do). I’m very curious about what children are reading and what inspires students to read when it’s not required and no teacher is around. I applaud Colorado’s efforts to be responsible stewards of public funds and for demanding results but I’m afraid that the deficit frameworks that inform education policies and funding work counter to the desired result. Read more
We must do more to prepare educators to teach reading. Period. Since an overwhelming amount of districts find students reading well below grade level, it’s time for district administrators and institutions of higher education to take a good look at themselves and re-evaluate teacher preparation programs that are supposed to equip new teachers with an understanding of what constitutes effective literacy instruction. Read more
As a Black social entrepreneur and leader of a nonprofit, I can’t help but wonder if and how my identify impacts donors’ willingness to support our work. A recent study of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe, where entrepreneurs raise funds online found that people were less willing to spend money on a product they thought was made by a Black entrepreneur because customers assumed that Black entrepreneurs use lower-quality materials and spend less time making the product. This article raises some important questions about how implicit bias impacts what, how and why we support certain entrepreneurs. Read more
The brain of a young person has the ability to develop in response to healthy relationships and even evolve from adverse childhood experiences. Researchers across various genres of science studied properties of learning and discovered we can enhance the ability to learn in the classroom through strong relationships. Teachers and schools who spotlight the human connection with the students cite honesty, transparency and understandable as components to build bonding with the kids. Read more
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