Dallas Black Blog


Helping African American Males Succeed in Urban Schools

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Friday, August 31, 2007


H. Richard Milner, Betts Assistant Professor of Education and Human Development

Helping African American males succeed in urban schools can seem like an intractable problem, but applying some basic principles that empower teachers and students is a key part of the answer, finds Vanderbilt University education researcher H. Richard Milner. In a new article in the journal Theory Into Practice, he argues that teachers and school leaders must move beyond making excuses to turn around failing schools.

“Many black males have been what I call kidnapped into believing that they are inferior and unable to succeed in school,” Milner said. “Teachers have these same misconceptions, and it spills over into their teaching. Both teachers and students need to develop positive images of these students’ abilities to realize how bright their futures can be.”


Milner outlines five key principles that he has found through his research and personal experience as a teacher and a student that teachers can use, regardless of the situation the student is facing outside of the classroom, to “teach and empower” students and to help them succeed. Under Milner’s principles, teachers and students:



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