How To Teach Black Children

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Black students

Nation (TheRoot)– The Root has a good article on the recent news on the disparity between the education levels on Black and white children and how to stop it:

Back then, in the early ’70s, Siegfried Engelmann led a government-sponsored investigation called Project Follow Through. It compared nine teaching methods and tracked their results among 75,000 children from kindergarten through third grade. It found that the Direct Instruction (DI) method of teaching reading — based on sounding out words rather than learning them whole (phonics), and on a tightly scripted format emphasizing repetition and student participation — was vastly more effective than any of the others. And for poor kids. Including black ones.

A half-day preschool program in Illinois that Engelmann and his associates founded showed that DI can teach even 4-year-olds to understand sounds, syllables and rhyming. The students entered kindergarten reading at a second-grade level, with their mean IQ jumping 25 points. No fewer than nine other sites nationwide yielded results of that caliber. In other words, Project Follow Through nailed it — period. And yet most of us are more likely to know the name of Sammy Davis Jr.’s second wife than to have heard of this miraculous instantiation of sheer common sense.

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