1st Edition

Teaching Reading to Black Adolescent Males Closing the Achievement Gap

By Alfred W. Tatum Copyright 2005

    The racial achievement gap in literacy is one of the most difficult issues in education today, and nowhere does it manifest itself more perniciously than in the case of black adolescent males. Approaching the problem from the inside, author Alfred Tatum brings together his various experiences as a black male student, middle school teacher working with struggling black male readers, reading specialist in an urban elementary school, and staff developer in classrooms across the nation. His book, Teaching Reading to Black Adolescent Males: Closing the Achievement Gap' addresses the adolescent shift black males face and the societal experiences unique to them that can hinder academic progress. With an authentic and honest voice, Tatum bridges the connections among theory, instruction, and professional development to create a roadmap for better literacy achievement. He presents practical suggestions for providing reading strategy instruction and assessment that is explicit, meaningful, and culturally responsive, as well as guidelines for selecting and discussing nonfiction and fiction texts with black males. The author' s first-hand insights provide middle school and high school teachers, reading specialists, and administrators with new perspectives to help schools move collectively toward the essential goal of literacy achievement for all.

    Introduction; Chapter 1: Literacy Development in Black Adolescent Males; Chapter 2: Turmoil and the Promise of Reading; Chapter 3: Black Males and the Reading Achievement Gap; Chapter 4: Reconceptualizing the Role of Literacy Instruction; Chapter 5: Structuring Curriculum Orientations that Empower Students; Chapter 6: A Culturally Responsive Approach to Literacy Teaching; Chapter 7: Using a Comprehensive Framework; Chapter 8: Discussing Texts; Chapter 9: Strengthening The Assessment Profile; Chapter 10: Establishing A Professional-Development Community; Chapter 11: Conducting Teacher Inquiries


    Alfred W. Tatum teaches at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Previously he was an assistant Professor in the Department of Literacy Education at Northern Illinois University, and an assistant professor of reading in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Maryland. He began his career as an middle-school teacher on the south side of Chicago. Alfred has provided professional development support in schools across the United States, and has published in several journals including The Reading Teacher, the Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, the Illinois Reading Council Journal, the Journal of College Reading and Learning, and Principal Leadership.