Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Cultural Consultant: Augusta Mann

photo from
Augusta Mann works closely with the National Urban Alliance to provide culturally responsive teaching strategies that "touch the spirit" of all students. Augusta asserts that students learn best when their youth culture is drawn upon, and today's youth culture is based on African American culture. Therefore, she believes that focusing on strategies that are especially relevant to African American students will improve the achievement of all students regardless of their cultural background. Augusta details her beliefs on her website

Augusta believes that the Five Teaching and Learning Patterns for African Americans are:
  1. Ritual (Affirmations/performances)

  2. Rhythm (In music, speech and movement)

  3. Recitation (Oral performance/memorization)

  4. Repetition (To enhance meaningfulness)

  5. Relationships (Relationships of love, respect, and belonging) (Recognizing ties between humans and nature) (Scientific study of patterns in nature and the phenomenal world) (Making connections between school work and students’ life experiences)

The Nine Supportive Practices for Augusta's Touching the Spirit cultural connection philosophy are:
  1. Expectations of Excellence

  2. Continual Search for Patterns

  3. Insistence on Working Toward Mastery

  4. Teacher Modeling of Skills and Processes

  5. Intensive Direct Instruction and Practice

  6. Study of African Deep Thought

  7. Focus on Discourse, Inquiry,and Creative and Symbolic Thinking

  8. Using Knowledge for Social Criticism and Community Action

  9. In-Depth Study and Performance of African and African American Culture

Augusta is a recognized expert on teaching vocabulary, and her full biography can be found at the NUA website.

No comments: