My Quest To Teach

December 1, 2015

STEAM Embraces All Children of Color and Culture


decisions
STEAM Embraces All Children of Color and Culture

Black kids can change the world if given a chance to shine.
The educational system must inspire and illuminate the
greatness and innovation inside children that should have
the same opportunities for a quality education no matter
what zip code they live in.

The beauty of STEM / STEAM / STREAM / CSTREAM / STEM2
is the opportunity for instruction to be on a level of integration
that demands the instruction to be student centered and not
teacher centered. Everyone from the administration, faculty,
students and even office, cafeteria and custodial staff can and
should contribute to the climate of acceptance, high
expectations and educational success.

Students are exposed to new areas that require critical and
higher order thinking skills. These new learning directions do
require innovative teaching strategies, but the potential to
provide opportunities to grow educationally and cognitively
far outweighs the alternatives of educational neglect and
instructional staleness.

Schools that are consistently under performing have a
responsibility to make the necessary changes to provide
quality and equitable educational opportunities. Teaching to
“the test” is not working nor is it preparing students for future
educational experiences, preparing for careers or fostering
creativity in children. If schools are teaching to a test then they
are not worthy of the titles they have to prepare students to
be future leaders and contributors to society. The contributions
will only be in the criminal juvenile justice systems of this nation.

Urban schools are often neglected, given limited resources;
money is not always the issue, the access to quality educators,
books that are current and relevant to learning in today’s digital
world and access to professional educators that are leaders in
their careers and have the skillsets to motivate both students
and parents. How can students strive for success if they do
not see successful people or have access to mentors that have
been where the students are and made it out? Success breeds
success.

Educational leaders make the necessary platforms to teach and
parents make the necessary sacrifices to make sure their children
are learning despite their current socio-economic situations.

Watching Black Girls Code and seeing the eagerness to learn in
the eyes of Black girls, listening to the hope that reverberates
from their hearts, it is evident that they as well as thousands of
others that education is their way out of their current economic
and environmental circumstances. Teachers need to
understand this to see why sometimes students don’t get
the value of education, but once exposed their eyes are open.
Parents don’t understand the sacrifices necessary because they
are already sacrificing to stay alive.

Children are children and their limited experiences in life
don’t turn into appreciation and even love until years later
when the light bulbs  of comprehension illuminate the galaxy
of learning, creativity, confidence, self-esteem and innovation
that was buried beneath the  depths of immaturity, economic
neglect and even institutionalized economic despair.

The reality is that educators hold the keys to inspiring kids
to grow beyond their current situations. If educators lack
confidence in their children, and parents do not understand
the intrigue educational nuances with curriculum’s, testing,
interpretation of data, not valuing nor respecting the
educational process then students are placed at the bottom
before they can strive to succeed as they work to the top.

decisions3

Black children are talented, Black children are capable, Black
children are intelligent and Black children are innovative if
given the right tools.
Provided the resources and teachers that want to be there to
teach regardless of zip codes or income brackets. Technology
is not the magic potion, but can be the key to opening
intellectual doors of Black and minority children of color
and culture. To allow Black children to be innovative and
creative. Tech companies owned by Blacks are only 1% of
the companies nationally; this has to chance.

Episodes of Black Girls Code shows that collaboration with
community partners can inspire students to embrace technology
and how to effectively apply that knowledge to building a product
that Black girls can see the development of their product.
“Seeing is believing and believing leads to achieving.
“William Jackson, TOTY 2015

Students in Engineering and Technology class – Elementary Level

As a educator in elementary and higher education I see the
dynamics of both sides of the educational coin. As a past
STEAM educator teaching Engineering and Technology in the
elementary environment, I have seen the excitement of learning,
the explosion of confidence in my students when they grasp
complex concepts and also the pride in seeing how Blacks
have made dynamic and historic achievements when watching
YouTube videos of Blacks in history.

Teaching my Educational Technology classes on the college level
my students, mostly minorities learn to value and importantly
incorporate technology to prepare them for careers that demand
skills that are futuristic and engaging.

The dialogue continues and should inspire innovation, ignite
imagination and cultivate creativity in our children especially
children of color and dynamic culture.


Church of Christ Lectureship 2015

Resources:

Black Girls Code Part #1 Oakland, California
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQJU6ehn6-s

Black Girls Code Part #2 Miami, Florida
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acl_orsqXVg

Black Girls Code Part #3 The Revolution is Digital
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMXIKjUXy-k

William Jackson discusses Black Girls and STEM

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