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March 27th, 2013 · Comments Off
Question: What actually are “respectful” or “acceptable” ways that students can express their individuality as well their sense of group identification?
Such a question is grounded in the notion of “the politics of respectability” which has been often used by several highly respected scholars that I follow. I am interested in this phrase partially because of my doctoral research with critical theory and social power. However, my life’s work with student empowerment gives a more personal meaning to the phrase.
Question rephrased… who controls the right to determine what is respectable? And, what is the process (cultural or political) by which such determination is made?
My student empowerment framework requires power to be shared with learners which ultimately, by way of the 2nd principle (Dye, 2012), activates their “voice, choice, and dominion” (p. 57). While there is a growing appreciation for student power, such appreciation remains philosophical as the application of such power is stilted when adults come face to face with students’ “Innate Power” (the 2nd principle)… students engaging in their natural drive to use voice, choice, and dominion.
When the ideals of student empowerment come into conflict with adults who try to restrict this power to their level of personal comfort (especially when students sometimes act in a way that causes them discomfort), it often falls under the umbrella of politics… or, the politics of respectability. Adults then begin to use their authority to define what is respectable (or not) and restrict the humanity of the children in which they seek to empower.
Here is a thought… in a democratic (not autocratic) space, the power to define respectable behavior is shared with those who will be judged by such a standard. In the case of student empowerment, defining and applying a standard of respectability cannot be done in the absence of student power. Students must use their voice, choice and dominion to partake in the political process of defining what is acceptable behavior.
There are a total of 7 power sharing strategies within my empowerment framework. However, please know that to really engage in student empowerment, adults cannot take on this mission in an al a carte fashion. To do so frankly limits their humanity and is NOT empowering!
For more information about student empowerment, 7 principles of empowerment/innate power, and the politics of respectability, please click on the appropriate words as they have embedded links.
Please come to our Facebook page to post a response and join the discussion!
Dye, A. (2012). Empowerment starts here: Seven Principles for Empowering Urban Youth. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group.
Tags: Commentaries/Responses · Behavior Management · critical pedagogy · Culturally Relevant Instruction · Empowerment Framework · Empowerment Starts Here · Politics of Respectability · Student Behavior · Student Discipline · Student Empowerment
February 14th, 2013 · Comments Off
“It’s been about (three) years since the Preparatory School for Global Leadership closed its doors in Milwaukee. The school was started by teacher and school administrator Angela Dye with the goal of implementing a progressive vision and model for educating urban youth. But along the way, Dye found many challenges blocking her path. And while she felt that the school model had proven successful in the context of its students, she ultimately closed the school. Since then, Dye has gone on (to) pursue a doctorate in education and has reflected on the experience with the PSGL in a new book called Empowerment Starts Here: 7 Principles to Empowering Urban Youth. She tells Lake Effect’s Stephanie Lecci that educating students is more than just teaching them to read and write – it’s about empowering them with information. To do so, she says educators are obligated to find new ways to teach urban youth using progressive principles.”
The above excerpt was taken from WUWM, Milwaukee Public Talk Radio, 89.9 (January 20, 2013) For the full story and radio interview click here.
For more information on the progressive strategies that Angela Dye uses for student empowerment click here. As always, if you want to share your views on this interview or any other article posted on our website, please go to our Facebook fan page: Empowerment Starts Here.
Tags: Media Presentations · PSGL/Charter Schools · Angela Dye · critical pedagogy · Culturally Relevant Teaching · Empowerment Starts Here · Ju · Milwaukee · Progressive Urban Education · Talk Radio · WUWM
January 16th, 2013 · Comments Off
At a basic level, those that argue for cultural relevance take what is good from two schools of thought, from traditional education in the concrete push for measurable achievement and from critical education in the pragmatic push for contextual relevance in the act of teaching and learning. However, at its most significance, culturally relevant pedagogues make a case for education as a civil rights movement where achievement is not only about capitalism, it is about social justice.
As argued by Ladson-Billings (2009), Dantley (2005) and Delpit (1998) education reform is not just a bottom up endeavor. It is also top down. It is about understanding the pulse and priorities of the people being served and ensuring that education agendas, policies and standards reflect their priorities. As a result, a redefined scope of achievement that transforms the sociopolitical status of disadvantaged communities… in real time (where it is contextually relevant in the present tense) … and is concrete and measurable needs to be incorporated into the close the achievement gap campaign.
Let’s not just close the achievement gap! Let’s close the perception gap as pertaining to how achievement is defined and pursued…especially for those communities that are at a socioeconomic disadvantage.
For assistance with culturally relevant programming and professional development, contact us here.
Dantley, M. (2005). African American spirituality and Cornel West’s notion of prophetic pragmatism: Restructuring educational leadership in American urban schools. Educational Administration Quarterly. Retrieved from http://eaq.sagepub.com/content/41/4/651.
Delpit, L. (1988). The silenced dialogue: Power and pedagogy in educating other people’s children. Harvard Educational Review, 58(3), 280. ProQuest.
Ladson-Billings, G. (2009). The dream keepers: Successful teachers of African American children. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Tags: Commentaries/Responses · culturally relevant · culturally responsive · Delpit · Ladson-Billings · Student Achievement
January 11th, 2013 · Comments Off
Angela Dye, the CEO of PBS Development, LLC. and author of the book “Empowerment Starts Here: 7 Principles to Empowering Urban Youth” will be speaking at the SOAR conference to parents and educators.
- Workshop 1: The Empowermet Framework as Culturally Responsive Teaching (10:3 a.m.).
- Workshop 2: Parents as Agents of Student Empowerment (1pm).
If you are in the area, come learn about the instructional value of student empowerment! It is not too late to register!
Click here to see what their local newspaper had to say.
Tags: Media Presentations · Achievement Gap · Choice Schools · Private Schools · Racine · SOAR
January 1st, 2013 · Comments Off
Once my dad asked, “when you leave the house for work in the morning, do you wait for all the lights to turn green before heading out?” As an image popped in my head of me sitting in my car literally waiting for every light to turn green within the 20-mile distance between my house and my job, I laughed at the absurdity of his question.
“Of course I don’t wait for all the lights to turn green before driving to work,” I replied.
He then followed up and asked me, “Well… how do you make your trip… how do you take on the drive knowing that you will encounter red lights?” Not sure where he was really going with his line of questioning, I just looked at him. After a brief moment of awkward silence, my dad finally said, “Don’t wait for all things to be perfect in life before you start enjoying it”.
In short, many people wait to start living. They wait to get the perfect job, to make more money, to lose weight, to buy their dream home, to get caught up on their bills, to send their kids to college… and then declare to live and have fun. And for many, we live in a culture that does not believe in fun and happiness… subscribing to a philosophy that life on earth is about storing up rewards for our afterlife. But for those of us who do believe that we can also have happiness and fun while on this side of heaven, we need to be challenged. We need to do a better job living and stop putting life off until all the pieces are in order.
Living and enjoying life in the now… in real time… in the midst of the red lights was the point of my dad’s message. As a person who is very driven in my career and very fulfilled by the pursuit of my professional goals, I found myself as a young adult putting off my fun until I had reached my destination. I had papers to grade, students to mentor, education and degrees to obtain, organizations to start, and books to write. I did not have time for fun… fun would just have to wait until I accomplished the things on my list.
But when I started facing 40 a few of years ago, I finally got it! I understood the red-light-drive-to-work metaphor that my dad tried to share. Life is always going to be filled with red lights…with things to do, with disappointments, with uncertainties. Waiting for life to clear out and make room for fun is like waiting for all the lights to turn green before driving to work in the morning. Those of you who know me from my 30s and now into my 40s can attest to my pursuit for life… for fun… for happiness… so much that I have very little tolerance for environments (professional or personal) that suppress my smile. I am not talking about red-light moments of discomfort… I am talking about situations that require extended periods of darkness and the suspension of my humanity. I prioritize my pursuit for fun just like I prioritize my work. I pursue happiness instead of waiting for happiness to one day show up after all of my work is complete. Each day I start my drive knowing full well that I will encounter some red lights on the way. And, when I get to a red light, I embrace it by sitting and singing with the radio, waiting only for a moment before continuing on in my drive.
I took time to share this story because I personally know there are people who want more out of life but they keep waiting. They keep waiting for all the lights to turn green before being happy, before having fun, before enjoying life. As we leave 2012 behind us, think about my father’s challenge… stop waiting for all of the lights to turn green. Get in the car, embrace the red lights, and drive!
Have fun and be happy in 2013! Make it truly a Happy New Year’s Day!!
PBS Development, LLC.
#Empowerment Starts Here
Tags: Personal Empowerment · New Year · Personal Empowerment · Pursuit of Happiness · Resolutions
December 21st, 2012 · Comments Off
There is a national moment of silence scheduled by Connecticut Governor Malloy for 9:30 a.m EST in honor of the Sandy Hook victims. Please take 5 minutes to reflect and pray for this community and for the safety of all children, especially those communities where violence is an unfortunate regular fixture. As requested by Joanne Tosti-Vasey (12/21/12), please also “take a five minute pause from all online activity“.
Tags: News · Gun Shootings · Moment of Silence · Sandy Hook Elementary School · School Violence
December 17th, 2012 · Comments Off
Good Monday Morning People…
My prayers are for all parents this morning who have to send their children to school. I pray for peace and assurance for safety. I pray for wisdom and heroism in spaces where safety does not abound. Parents, I truly pray for you because as a person who has been responsible for groups of children, adults, budgets, policies, systems and buildings… I think parenting is by far a greater responsibility!!! Your work is appreciated.
Parents, this morning I pray for you… I pray for your peace and guidance as you do the much needed work of grooming and protecting our future!
~Angela Dye, A Social Entrepreneur Who Embraces the Power of Prayer!
Tags: Commentaries/Responses · parenting · prayer · School Shooting · social entrepreneur · social entrepreneurship
December 15th, 2012 · Comments Off
According to CNN, it is better to give your children extra hugs than it is to keep asking them if they are alright.
Here are some other suggestions from ABC…
• Don’t over talk the situation.
• Keep children away from the media.
• Reassure them that they are safe.
• Do not pull them out of school.
In need of additional support? Please call the following distress hotline for counseling: 800-985-5990.
Tags: News · Connecticut · Distress Counseling · School Shooting
November 26th, 2012 · Comments Off
The Emma Bowen Foundation is actively seeking black male applicants for its paid internship work/study program with national media companies. Please see below info and circulate to your network. Thanks!
Any minority student (African American, Hispanic, Asian or Native American) who is a rising high school senior, graduating high school senior or college freshman, has a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0, is interested in pursuing a career in the media industry, and plans to attend a four-year accredited college or university is eligible to apply to the Emma L. Bowen Foundation work/study program. Eligible applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents of the United States, and speak and write English fluently to be considered. Your grade transcript, at least two (2) educational references from teachers and/or advisors, and a 500-to-1,000-word essay must accompany the application form.
Visit the company’s website for a more detailed description of the program and the application.
Tags: Jobs/Opportunities · College Freshman · Fellowships · High School Graduate · High School Senior · Scholarships
November 19th, 2012 · Comments Off
I forgot to give a shout out to the House of Peace . Earlier this month, I was invited to speak to their clients about Individual and Community Empowerment! Once there, I found out that 75% of the participants were also parents and they wanted me to speak about being parent instruments of change. Boy, did we have a good time talking about power as a socialization agent and the types of higher order learning that promote power and liberation. Yes, that’s right teachers… the parents and I talked about the upper levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy and the threat of worksheet-based teaching in the mission of empowerment. It was awesome taking the empowerment message outside of the school realm and right into the community!!! Thanks Gerri and staff for having me!! #empowerment starts here
For ideas on learning processes that promote student empowerment and achievement, please visit SBC Curriculum. If you need a speaker to talk with your parents, please contact me on our website!!
Tags: Media Presentations · Uncategorized · Angela Dye · critical pedagogy · culturally relevant · culturally responsive · Empowerment Starts Here · House of Peace · parents · Urban Education