Jabari Mahiri, a professor at UC Berkley and former English teacher in Chicago public schools, presents culturally responsive strategies at National Urban Alliance workshops and conferences. Marhiri's book Shooting for Excellence: African American and Youth Culture in New Century Schools is given to NUA cohort participants and is an excellent starting point for discussing issues of race and teen culture in the classroom.
For a list of all of Mahiri's publications and for more biographical information, visit his Berkley home page.
The Edina CoP will discuss chapter 4 of Shooting for Excellence entitled "Changing Classroom Discourse and Culture" at their next meeting on Nov. 27.
Here is a brief breakdown of what is contained in the subheads of Chapter 4:
- "Classroom Discourse" explains teacher talk and control
- "Classroom Culture" discusses tracking and institutional structures
- "Problems of Changing Classroom Discourse and Culture" includes information on the history of hatred and racism in schools and contrasts Ms. Jackson's World Literature class with her Ethnic Literature class, which is a tracked, low-level class.
- "Possibilities for Changing Classroom Discourse and Culture" analyzes Ms. Park's classes and her emphasis on building relationships.
- "Culture and Curriculum" discusses the need to connect with teen culture, and rap music is explored as one way to do this. Mahiri provides lesson ideas that do not involve listening to rap music, but rather reading and writing about text-based material about rap.