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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read Book for All to Keep The Hopes and Dreams Alive
After reading Dr. Ladson-Billing's book, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African-American Children, I found it to be a truly inspiring and enriching book with a great perspective
and discourse for the terms of multicultural education in practice and culturally relevant teaching. The author uses a
great technique by telling her story in three voices. Her...
Published on Sept. 24 2001 by Peggy A. Honaker

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This
The book "Dremkeepers" written by Gloria Ladson-Billings was not at all what I expected.I am a college student majoring in education and I had to read this book for my class.I chose this book because I thought this book was going to be about the true stories of how African American students over came the odds with the help of their "teachers."...
Published on July 26 1999


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This, July 26 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children (Paperback)
The book "Dremkeepers" written by Gloria Ladson-Billings was not at all what I expected.I am a college student majoring in education and I had to read this book for my class.I chose this book because I thought this book was going to be about the true stories of how African American students over came the odds with the help of their "teachers." However, this was a book in which Billings took her own life stories and pulled out her best teachers or teachers that she felt were excellent at their career. Ms. Billings put the world in black and white and that's not it. Yes,in some cases AA children do learn differently depending on their environment,faith,cultural background and so forth but does not every child. I can sense that the author has a lot of disappointments with the education of African Americans and I can relate to her. However, the world is not Black and White and we as educators must be able to love and teach all culturals to be successful.
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1.0 out of 5 stars subtle racism, Aug. 14 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children (Paperback)
During the past 40 some years the white race in America has been blamed for societies wrongs. Even whites who have never committed an act of overt or covert racism are a part of the problem; in fact as critical race theory goes the concept of a white Race must be abolished. Feeding on the notion that minorities cant be racist she gleefully states that skin only matters when your black. Somehow black skin has made students and their black teachers into models of openess, kindness, consideration and co-peration (has she visted the D.C schools lately?)....To prove her point that women, esp black feminists, are the only true models of caring. In her so called research she describes 3 (CARING) and experienced female teachers with a young white (boo, hiss) male. Of course the white guy can't win, but not because he is inexperienced, but because he is a white male who uses objective reasoning while the women use the far superior expressive approach (ok chillrenn who can say MF 30 tmes and then divide it by 5?)...This ain't research it's social engineering with an agenda..The same feel good agenda that tells black children that their Egyptian ancestors (not) helped to build the pyramids or that they are decendants of kings and queens....the author's appproach is not differant than that of the slave masters of long ago.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Dream On, Aug. 13 2003
This review is from: The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children (Paperback)
Another book of wishfull thinking and reflective racism all written under the guise of acadamia. The author begins her premise by stating that when she was in school that she could not keep up with white studens because of their competitiveness (read:bad white kids, bad bad)while she had come from an idealic afrocentric school where children learned and produced together (can anyone say Neo-Marxism)...
The majority of her book follows in typical order; Ladson claims that black children make up a unique cultural group whose very presence requirers that we all change our particular world views to fit theirs whether it may be destructive or not.
Ladson's main emphasis is on what she calls Culturally Relevant Teaching; ie., both color and culture do matter. Yet those who supposedly teach that way are just modeling a generic respectfull ethos and not a particular cultural standard as Ladson wants us to believe.
Only in the appendix of the book do we really understand the authors agenda. Guess what? all bad things lead to the white man!!!...Ladson lauds black feminists as "having developed an ethic of caring suggesting that personal emotions, expressiveness and empathy are central to knowledge (read black knowledge) and only black women have this....as for the white male he is dispassionate and objective!! nuff said!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read Book for All to Keep The Hopes and Dreams Alive, Sept. 24 2001
By 
This review is from: The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children (Paperback)
After reading Dr. Ladson-Billing's book, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African-American Children, I found it to be a truly inspiring and enriching book with a great perspective
and discourse for the terms of multicultural education in practice and culturally relevant teaching. The author uses a
great technique by telling her story in three voices. Her first written voice is; that of an African American scholar and researcher, second; that of an African American teacher, and third; that of an African American woman, parent, and community
member.
It is very well written and easy to read and comprehend for anyone. This should be a reference and resource book in the L.R.C. or library, as well as classrooms of all urban schools and teacher-training programs for teacher/educator skills and practices.

The author, Gloria Ladson-Billings, explains thourghly in, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African- American Children,
how these eight successful teachers of African American children, made the connection between the students culture, community, home and school. They did this by living and learning their students' culture and relating it to their teaching methods and practices.
This book has really helped me in my doctoral qualitative research studies; to have a better understanding of African American culturally relevant teaching pedagody, from theory to practice. It's a must and great resource book for all pre-service and in-service teachers, all educators, administrators, student teacher supervisors, college teacher training instructors, and parents too. We can keep the hopes and dreams of our African American and all other diverse children alive! The teachers can learn and become successful and feel good about themselves and be more competent about their teaching practices. Thus, as a result of this, the students will be successful too! We must think positive, if you believe it you can achieve it. African American children can have a quality of academic achievement and success.

Hats off to this author and to the field of EDUCATION! She gives us a complete and comprehensive knowledge base of what culturally relevant teaching, teacher efficacy and self-esteem are as well. I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially those in the field of education working with African American children!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Color Does Matter in the Classroom, June 18 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children (Paperback)
I was very impressed with the book, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children by Gloria Ladson- Billings. I would recommend it to all teachers whether they be white or black. I would also urge African American parents to read this book because it is very insightful about the academic needs of African American students and how those needs should be met. The goal of this book is to give insight on educating through "culturally relevant teaching". Gloria Ladson-Billings gives a perspective to teaching that many people may not have considered before reading this book. Through culturally relevant teaching, for African American children specifically, educators use black culture to maintain it. In too many instances African American history and culture are not represented in textbooks and curriculum and many times when it is represented it is distorted in some way. This neglect in accurately teaching black children gives them a negative outlook on life and their people. The specific examples used by the author show culturally relevant teahing at work and how it has been successful.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Color Does Matter in the Classroom, June 18 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children (Paperback)
I was very impressed with the book, The Dreamkeepers:Successful Teachers of African American Children by Gloria Ladson-Billings. I would recommend it to all teachers whether they be white or black. I would also urge African American parents to read this book because it is very insightful about the academic needs of African American students and how those needs should be met. The goal of this book is to give insight on educating through "culturally relevant teaching". Gloria Ladson-Billings gives a perspective to teaching that many people may not have considered before reading this book. Through culturally relevant teaching, for African American children specifically, educators use black culture to maintain it. In too many instances African American history and culture are not represented in textbooks and curriculum and many times when it is represented it is distorted in some way. This neglect in accurately teaching black children gives them a negative outlook on life and their people. The specific examples used by the author show culturally relevant teaching at work and how it has been successful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Who are the successful educators of AA children?, March 18 2000
This review is from: The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children (Paperback)
I love this book. It's such an eye-opener and thought provoker. I relish each page because The Dreamkeepers is loaded with deep-felt subjective reality. Ladson-Billings is on the mark: a multicultural approach to teaching children is what teachers should use to establish expectations for their students. I would hope other authors, students of education and educators are reading the works Kathryn Au and Courtney Cazden. They bespeak Ladson-Billings plea to an approach to education that will result in fairness to all children, all cultures.
I was somewhat perplexed about Ladson-Billings seeming insinuation in some areas of the book that black educators make better teachers of black children than white teachers. I think often we find some black teachers aren't the best educated either. I don't think a blanket statement should be made in favor of black teachers as the best educators of black children. I wouldn't be in favor of black immersion schools, which seems to be a suggestion in her book. I think Ladson-Billings should study the demography and the educators therein. In particular in the South, we'd not always find teachers (black nor white) ready for the classroom.
Standardized tests scores prove that that southern children are behind the rest of the country, but I believe this is the fault of the teacher who not only is unaware of the importance of learning about the culture of the child, but also about becoming as well educated as he/she can be in subject matters before entering the classroom. I think schools, curriculum, and teachers (black and white) are at fault for failure. Again, I loved the book, even if I wasn't in whole-hearted agreement with all of its premises.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Much-Needed Book and a Great Resource for All Teachers, July 31 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children (Paperback)
All too often, African American students are blamed as the ultimate cause of their own academic failure. Proposed reasons can span from ethnic or racial inferiority, to home neglect, to simple lack of motivation, or the notion that some students are just better than others.
I refuse to accept that the reasons offered above have everything to do with the disproportionate numbers of students of African heritage who consistently perform below the national averages on standardized tests and measures. I refuse these notions because I look to my brothers and sisters and I see intelligence, I see beauty, and I see wisdom.
In The Dreemkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children by Gloria Ladson-Billings, the author explores the issue of successful teaching of African American students. The text is based upon extensive research of eight excellent teachers of African American students. Ladson-Billings provides a colorful "snapshot" of each teacher. Through extensive qualitative research, she draws forth the common ideologies subscribed to by these teachers. These ideals are encompassed under the umbrella notion of "Culturally Relevant Teaching." This important piece is thoroughly explored in the text. Helpful comparative tables are interwoven throughout the book, which contrast Culturally Relevant Ideologies with the traditional Assimilationist Methods. This book is a valuable resource to all teachers, and can serve as a helpful model for qualitative researchers. Despite the unnecessary summaries which conclude each chapter, the text is very readable. I was impressed with the sincerity in the author's voice. Ladson-Billings acknowledges her own subjectivity in the Preface.
"I have written this book in three voices: that of an African American scholar and researcher; that of an African American teacher; and that of an African American woman, parent, and community member." (x)
Her use of story to convey ideas makes the book compelling and a quick read. Additionally, in several chapters, she offers clear and extended examples illustrating the finer points of Cultural Relevance in teaching. These examples are set off by bold type, and correspond directly to points previously highlighted in easy-to-read tables. As a resource, this format is especially helpful. At the end of the text, she provides two appendixes, one describing methodology, and the other describing the community in which the study took place. As a qualitative researcher, I found Appendix A, about methodology, to be particularly helpful after reading the excellent study.
Traditionally, research has focused upon white students and then generalized to the entire population. This book focuses on African American students, and the author is careful not to make any sweeping generalizations about that population, or the American population at large. However, the idea of Culturally Relevant Teaching is invaluable to all educators, as it can be applied to all students. The basic notion of tying in a student's life and existing knowledge into the curriculum has a natural place in the multicultural classroom. As the author states on page 52, these teachers share "an overriding belief that students come to school with knowledge...(that) must be explored and utilized in order for students to become achievers."
Creative methods used to "explore and utilize" this knowledge are described throughout the book. One of my favorite lesson "snapshots" uses the children's love of rap music to show them that they have a special knowledge in understanding the meaning of these songs. The teacher uses them as "translators," thereby empowering the students as negotiators of two languages. Certainly, the students attained a more personal and meaningful understanding of several words in "Standard" English.
In a country where much of the popular discourse about African Americans is limited to our failures, The Dreemkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children is a refreshing and inspirational perspective. In her concluding chapter, Ladson-Billings envisions an entirely Culturally Relevant school for African American children. Visions like this are the first step in making our dreams into reality. As the banner outside the imaginary school reads, "It takes a whole village to educate a child."
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5.0 out of 5 stars CULTURAL REVELANT TEACHING OF AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENTS, Oct. 29 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children (Paperback)
I AM A COLLEGE STUDENT MAJORING IN EDUCATION AND I READ "DREAMKEEPERS" FOR A CLASS. THE BOOK "DREAMKEEPERS" IS VERY EASY TO READ AND INTERESTING. THE BOOK GIVES METHODS AND EXAMPLES ON HOW TO COPE WITH AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENTS. I BELIEVE THAT "DREAMKEEPERS" ALLOWS A READER TO EXPLORE AND REALIZE THE TRUE OVERVIEW OF AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENTS. MANY STUDENTS ARE JUDGED BASED ON RACE, BUT THAT'S NOT ALWAYS THE CASE. RACE DOESN'T AFFECT THE LEARNING CAPACITY OF AN INDIVIDUAL, IT'S THE INDIVIDUAL HIMSELF/HERSELF. THIS BOOK IS REALLY HELPFUL FOR ALL TEACHERS, AND WOULD BE A STEPPING STONE FOR THE OBSTACLES TEACHERS MAY ENCOUNTER. THE AUTHOR, GLORIA-LADSON BILLINGS, IS A VERY BRIGHT AND CONSIDERABLE PERSON. SHE USE EXAMPLES IN THE BOOK ON HOW TO DEAL WITH STUDENTS USING CULTURAL REVELANT TEACHING. THE BOOK IS A GOOD OVERVIEW OF HOW TO PERCEIVE A STUDENT'S ACTIONS AND BEHAVIORS. "DREAMKEEPERS" IS A BOOK WITH DETAILS AND EXPERIENCE FROM OTHER TEACHERS PERSPECTIVE. TEACHING SHOULD BE INTERESTING AND ENJOYABLE. THE BOOK GIVES DIFFERENT METHODS AND TECHNIQUES ON HOW TO TEACH IN A CULTURAL REVELANT SOCIETY. "DREAMKEEPERS" IS VERY USEFUL AND MAINLY DEPICTS HOW TEACHING IS A VERY IMPORTANT CAREER IN LIFE. TEACHING SHOULD BE RESOURCEFUL AND MEANINGFUL. "DREAMKEEPERS" HELPED ME REALIZE THAT THERE SHOULDN'T BE SPECIAL TREATMENT FOR STUDENTS BECAUSE OF RACE,GENDER, OR SOCIAL STATUS. EDUCATION IS FOR EVERYONE AND SHOULD BE EQUALLY DISTRIBUTED.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very inspirational tool for young aspiring educators., July 23 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children (Paperback)
Currently I am a student at Macon State College, and I am enrolled in the Introduction to Education Course 2000 and my major is Middle School Education. I really enjoyed the book and its' content. I think the book provided excellent examples of how culturally relevant teaching could help not only African American students but all student involved in the program. The book caused me to look back in retrospect at my primary years of education. I've seen a great number of people that probably could have benefitted from this teaching style. I don't think it would hurt to try this teaching method if it will help decrease the dropout and illiteracy rate present in todays' society. Usually, I sell back books after the semester is over, but I think this one I will keep as reference material when I eventually become a teacher. I highly recommend this book to all aspiring educators.
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The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children
The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children by Gloria Ladson-Billings (Paperback - Jan. 15 1997)
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