National Writing Project

Teacher Voices: Teaching Young Men of Color

Date: January 22, 2014

Summary: The newest report in the Teacher Voices series features conversations and ideas from twelve teacher-leaders working in diverse contexts and communities across the country.


The new report from the National Writing Project, "Teacher Voices: Teaching Young Men of Color" focuses on powerful insights and knowledge from twelve teachers working in schools across the country. Working with colleagues from The College Board, this latest project in the Teacher Voices series advances conversations about the inadequate educational progress of males of color in America.

Seeking a classroom-based focus for this inquiry, teacher-leaders took part in meetings and online communications and wrote narratives as part of a diverse group of educators engaged in exploring together two important questions:

One, did they see gender-differentiated behaviors among their students that had an impact on academic performance; and two, if they did, what were those behaviors and how did the teachers deal with them?"

This report shares the learning and information these educators have gained through years of classroom teaching. Presented in the teachers' own words, messages fall into two broad themes:

Gender – along with factors such as race, language, and socio-economic status – plays a critical role in the teaching and learning process.

Effective classroom practices for teaching young men of color are plentiful. Some are tied to the fundamentals that undergird all good teaching. Others are specific to particular populations."

Situated as "one piece of a much larger puzzle," the authors hope the work and the stories from the teachers' day-to-day experiences will "spur further conversations throughout the education world" about these complex issues.

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