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					          The Praxis Institute For Early Childhood Education
              “Creating Teaching and Learning Communities for Social Change”


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         Curriculum Symposium on Children of African Descent
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                      S a t u r d a y, N o v e m b e r   20, 2010




What Works And Why: The Best Practice, The Best Pedagogy, The Best Behavior

                 ~ High/Scope ~ Alive and Free ~ Montessori

         ~ Black Starline ~ Reggio Emilia ~ Parent Empowerment Program

                             ~ Discipline without Damaging
                                   Curriculum Overview
Title: ALIVE AND FREE **                          Presenter: Wanda Hackett, Ph.D.,
                                                  President of Black Child Development
                                                  Institute—Seattle Affiliate

Key Features                                      Benefits for African American Children &
                                                  Families
Utilizes BC (before crack) African American       The philosophy/teaching approach is
community values and principles                   applicable and useful to people of all ages
                                                  (adults and children)
Utilizes public health concepts:                  Building genuine and positive relationships:
      Disease of violence,                             Child-to-child,
      Delineation of disease carrying ―germs,‖         Child-to-adult
      Describes the belief system that is the          Adult-to-adult
       source of the disease,                           Rebuilding the sense of community with
      Risk factors,                                     a communal focus on caring for the
      Prescription and inoculation, and                 children within neighborhoods:
      Side effects                                      ―It takes a caring Village . . .
to approach social health problems that
exist society-wide
Youth oriented—based on the experiences           Opportunities to make conscious choices
of youth in society Today                         and understand the consequences both
                                                  positive and negative
Person centered—the focus of change is            Environment of positive regard and
directed at each of us changing ourselves         acceptance in which to learn and grow
not trying to change others
Active learning approach                          Increased critical thinking
Application oriented: self diagnoses, self        Increased critical reasoning
treatment and able to prescribe—peer to
peer coaching
Both process (relationship-based) and             Increased critical analysis
content (specific philosophy) oriented            Increased decision making skills
                                                  Increased self-control and responsibility
                                                  Increased competence and confidence in
                                                  navigating one’s world
                                                  Increased sense of belonging and
                                                  community

   ** The Street Soldier Youth Violence and Gang Recruitment Prevention Philosophy
    Developed by Dr. Joseph Marshall, Omega Boys Club, San Francisco, California
          For more information: http://www.street-soldiers.org/contents.htm




To learn more about the Black Child Development Institute (BCDI) “Alive and
Free—Neighborhood by Neighborhood” initiative, visit our website: bcdi-
seattle.org
                             Curriculum Overview
Title: Black Star Line - Preschool      Presenter: Mehret Mehanzel
                                        Co-founder, teacher
Key Features:                           Benefits for Children of African Descent:

   African Centered philosophy            Reconnects our children with
   Part of larger African Centered          their African roots
     Family Educational Collective         Provides opportunity for role
   Dual-language model, Tigrinya            models of African Descent
     and English                           Opportunities for African
   High lights legacy of people of          language learning
     African Descent                       Supports home language value
   Global African view                      for African language speaking
   Includes/creates opportunities           children
     for African Cultural learning         Expands African American
   Parents empowerment, parents             children’s perspective of people
     as primary educators                    of African Descent on an
   Collective learning and parenting        international level
   Culturally relevant                    Children learn about larger
   Kwanzaa Principles                       African community/global
   Virtues development                    Introduces children to the Geez
                                             alphabet and writing system
                                           Gives children an opportunity to
                                             learn across cultures African
                                             languages
                                           Provides an opportunity for
                                             adults of African Descent cross
                                             cultural learning
                                           Children participate in annual
                                             Kwanzaa celebration
                                 Curriculum Overview
Title: High/Scope                          Presenter: Debra Sullivan
                                           President, Praxis ECE
Key Features:                              Benefits for Children of African Descent:

   Active Learning, Not Just Listening       Open interactions with adults/peers
   Plan-Do-Review                            Opportunities to make many choices
   Supportive Interactions w/Children        Time to plan their own learning
   Children Solve Their Own Problems         Opportunities to update their plans
   Children Resolve Their Own Conflicts      Opportunities to choose what to learn
   Children Make Many Choices                Ample time to ―work‖ (play)
   Children Make Many Decisions              Daily reflections on their learning
   Children’s Classroom, Not Teacher’s       Increased responsibility for learning
   Daily Routine Reflects Kids’ Needs        Engaged in creative problem-solving
   Individualized Assessment                 Interact with world, not observing it
   Daily Individualized Anecdotal Notes      Supports multiple learning styles
   Focus on Student Strengths                Supports multiple intelligences
   Shared Adult-Child Problem-Solving        Assessment-based lesson planning
   Interesting Materials/Object To Use       Lots of children’s work displayed
   Children’s Initiative Supported           No teacher decorations, art, displays
   Assessment-Based Lesson Planning          Opportunities to discuss with others
   Detailed Family Report Form               Increased decision-making skills
   Shared Classroom Control                  Opportunities for critical thinking
   Child’s Perspective Valued                Opportunities for critical reasoning
   Team Planning                             Opportunities for critical analysis
                                              Increased self-control, responsibility
                                              Time to try out own ideas
                                              Time to follow own interests
                                              Ample opportunities to move around
                                              Increased confidence, competence
                                              Team planning = cohesive
                                                environment
                                    Curriculum Overview
Title: ** The Spirit of Excellence Parent         Presenter: Wanda Hackett, Ph.D.,
Empowerment Project (PEP)                         President of Black Child Development
                                                  Institute—Seattle Affiliate
Key Features                                      Benefits for African American Children &
                                                  Families
Focus is on the whole child from a                The philosophy/teaching approach was
developmental perspective (social,                designed for parents with children ages
emotional, cognitive, physical,                   birth through the fourth year, however, is
spiritual/character development, etc.)            applicable and useful to parents with
      Developmental milestones from birth        children of all ages
       through age 4 years
Interactive participant engagement                Building genuine and positive relationships
                                                  child-to-adult, child-to-child, and adult-to-
                                                  adult
Application oriented:                             Opportunities to understand the child
      Proactive (supporting growth &             development process and to connect to
       development),                              effective parenting practices
      Remedial (closing developmental gaps)
       and
      Advocacy (preparing parents to advocate
       for their children at school)
Both process (relationship-based) and             Learning environment based on strength-
content (developmental and cultural               based approaches and positive regard,
perspectives) oriented                            sharing and acceptance
African American centered (use of the             Opportunity to explore a variety of
traditions and history of African Americans)      parenting topics including:
to create a context to explore effective                The developmental process
parenting:                                              Teaching cultural and family values
      Use of storytelling to enchant                   Ways to discipline
      Use of storytelling to teach morals and          Preparing for the transition from home
       values                                            to child care/preschool/school
      Introducing the broad range of             Increased critical thinking and reasoning
       achievements of African Americans to       about children’s growth, learning, needs
       create a sense of possibility to inspire   and behavior
       children to greatness                      Parent education that integrates culture
                                                  specific information and experiences into
                                                  the learning process
                                                  PEP coordinates well with the Alive and
                                                  Free philosophy
** The Parent Empowerment Project was developed by The National Black Child Development
Institute (NBCDI) to educate, motivate and inspire parents to excellence as their Child’s first
teacher through this exciting interactive curriculum for parent education. Under the auspices of
NBCDI, PEP was designed by and for African Americans, but has been demonstrated effective
with a broad spectrum of parents.
         For more information: http://nbcdi.org/blog/category/early-childhood-education/
To learn more about opportunities to bring the Parent Empowerment Project
curriculum to your parent group contact: Dr. Wanda Hackett (206) 328-4452 or via
email: whecareweb@aol.com (mention PEP in the subject line).
                                          Curriculum Overview
Title: Reggio-Inspired Approach                      Presenter: Fran Davidson
Key Features:                                        Benefits for Children of African Descent:
    Embraces the whole child and her/his family         The image of the child as powerful,
    Welcomes and plans for parent participation           competent, and valued counters negative
    Child-centered, teacher guided                        images in a racist society
    Children & teachers as co-researchers               The whole child, her learning (cultural) style,
    Learning within relationships with peers and          particular intelligences, languages spoken,
      teachers is fostered                                 interests, and passions are welcomed and
    Environment as third teacher                          valued, and inform what happens in the
    Planned provocations provoke critical                 classroom
      thinking and planning                              The contributions of family members are
    Carefully prepared environments foster a              valued
      sense of culture/ethnic belonging                  Children experience the deep respect
    Intentional cycles of ―listen/observe, make           teachers have for their ideas and efforts
      meaning, plan‖ inform the daily life of the          when they see what they talk about and
      classroom, assessment, and the professional          created recorded on documentation panels,
      development of teachers                              and when their hypotheses and discoveries
    Minimum time spent on teacher-directed                inform the planning during class meetings
      activities, maximum amount of time is given        Differences amongst children and families
      to children’s investigations and creativity          are nurtured and celebrated
      (play/work time)                                   The learning environment is modified often
    Daily meetings are a time where community             to support and scaffold children’s current
      news is reported (weather, birthdays, etc.),         interests (rich and varied learning
      work is summarized and planning takes                environment)
      place                                              Large chunks of time are assigned to
    Teacher observations (written, recorded,              exploration, discovery, and creativity;
      sketched) and children’s work products drive         waiting and unnecessary repetition is kept to
      what happens in the classroom                        a minimum
    Teachers recognize the emergence of a               Teacher and parent, etc. interests also
      possible project/study and nudge and                 inform the life of the classroom, and can
      scaffold a deep investigation (in-depth              show up by way of honoring cultural heroes
      study) that may endure for several days,             and sheroes, learning relevant history (e.g.
      weeks, or months                                     histories of resilience and resistance),
    Documentation panels make meaning visible             experiencing cultural arts, and participating
      – to the children, teachers families, and            in community cultural events
      community members

				
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