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Lesson Plans

Inner city kids: Unteachable??

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Melissa Enderle (Melissaenderle)
Sun, 13 Apr 97 21:20:21 -0500

On April 13, Dr. Sam Short wrote a message regarding art in inner city
I teach art at an inner city school. While I believe that it is at times
challenging and that students from impoverished areas do often come with
extra obstacles, I do not believe that these students are unteachable or
incapable of learning abstract concepts. I have high expectations of my
students and constantly work at enforcing or maintaining that level. So
often kids from impoverished areas are given messages that they are
incable of achieving or accomplishing things. Aspirations, they are often
told, should be kept to a low level, so as not to be disappointed. If
you set low standards or expectations, that is what you'll get. The same
can be applied for behavior.
I do agree that inner city kids come with some extra or different
hurdles. Experiences outside their little neighborhood are quite
limited. That does not mean that they are incabable of relating to
things outside that area.
For example, I did a lesson with the 6th grade teacher and music
teacher on Hiroshima. The students listened to, analyzed and responded to
an abstract piece of music about the Hiroshima bomb. In their classroom,
the 6th graders wrote haikus about the horrors of war or concerns that
they held. In art, they mde very compelling pieces of art about similar
topics. Their pieces demonstrate the ability to respond passionately and
concretely about things that affect them or others.
We need society and teachers to believe in all students and expect great
things of them.

Melissa Enderle