Guest Post via @wmjackson: STEAM Embraces Children of Color and Culture

STEAM Embraces Children of Color and Culture
William Jackson, M.Ed. Edward Waters College
Jacksonville, Florida @wmjackson

How can families of color and
culture compete in a global
economy that doe s not even view
people of color and culture as
equal in some cases.

The integration of STEM, STEAM and STREAM
elements need to be applied in the instruction of
schools. The increase of hands-on learning that
embraces student lead instruction and differentiated
learning opportunities with high and low tech
instructional tools. Teachers must begin to see
children of color and culture as educational
investments not just as future common labor or
fueling the criminal justice systems of this nation.

Children of color and culture 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 or area code. Just
because a student receives free or reduced lunch
should not quality them for a reduced education that
is happening in to many schools.

The same applies to students and parents, no matter
your area code, zip code or lunch status you have to
view yourself as valuable and capable of contributing in
this nation. As a student you have to take personal
responsibility for your actions to be academically
successful and socially active and engaged.

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 excellence, high
expectations and educational success.

Students are exposed to new learning that should
have a face that the students can relate to and want to
follow. Students of color and culture need to learn that
people of color and culture are involved in STEM and
STEAM. Teachers and administrators harm their students
when they have the attitude that those students can
be nothing more than working at Wal-Mart or McDonalds.

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. If teachers are not willing to be the educational
leaders their diverse classrooms need, that means it
is time for teachers to find new careers where those
they work with are not the students
they are harming with ignorance and shame.

I Could Be President

Schools that are consistently
under performing have a
responsibility to make the
necessary changes to provide
quality and equitable educational

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 if teachers are not willing to work to bring
out the potential of their students no matter their
skin shades.

Teachers must make learning relevant to motivate
both students and parents. How can students strive
for success if they do not see successful people
or have access to information that has been where
the students are and made it out? “Success breeds
success and vision breeds visionaries.”
William Jackson

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

Teachers need to understand how
to apply learning to see why
sometimes students don’t get
the value of education, once
exposed students’ eyes are
open to how education can
allow them to survive they will
embrace it.

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 in their brains, creativity grows and is
applied, confidence expands, self-esteem and innovation
that was buried beneath the depths of immaturity, economic
neglect and even institutionalized economic despair are
overwhelmed by the empowerment of education and
the joy of learning. Teachers has this power to bring out
the best in their students.

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 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.
Students must believe they can learn and teachers
work with students to help them see their successes.

Children of color and culture are talented,
children are capable, children are
intelligent and children are innovative
if given the right tools and platforms.
“Seeing is believing and believing
leads to achieving.” William Jackson

As an 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
in K level students, the explosion of confidence in students
when they grasp complex concepts and the pride in seeing
how students of color and culture have made dynamic and
historic achievements when watching YouTube videos
of Blacks in history and they learning they can be innovators
and creators.

Teaching my Educational Technology
classes on the college level my students,
students of color and culture 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 children especially children of color
and dynamic culture.

“These 180 days should not be wasted
because as each day ends and a new one
begins and we cannot go back in time
to make corrections we should when
we see and experience them each day
with our students.” William Jackson


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