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“Speak!’ is an affirmation commonly heard in African American settings as a response to a preacher’s sermon in church or as a shout-out during an emotionally rousing public speech in another setting.
As she displays a chart of the Nine African American Cultural Themes, Augusta reminds us of the value that all highly successful teachers of African American students place on the use of the theme of Orality and Verbal Expressiveness and so how it is naturally and regularly used in educational experiences.
Then, showing a chart of her Touching the Spirit Principles, she focuses our attention on the Teaching and Learning Patterns of Recitation, Repetition, Rhythm and the Supportive Practices of Teaching Toward Mastery and Intensive Direct Instruction and Practice and how these correspond to and support the cultural theme of Orality and Verbal Expressiveness.
The next chart is Ten Areas of Knowledge.
Augusta quickly points to the #4 Knowledge Area: The Human Body. The next chart is a list of the major human body systems that students would be taught and then would memorize (demonstrated on video #38). This practice corresponds to the research on “whole-to-part” learning.
Augusta now cues us in to her key strategy, “Dancing Definitions” and uses it as an example of the definite and necessary use of oral/ verbal performances in African American education.
She has us imagine a scenario of a classroom visitor and how the students would “perform” and how they would impress this visitor as they demonstrate their memorized knowledge of definitions related to the human body.
Augusta ends the video explaining how, if this verbal practice is done all year and year after year, the academic vocabulary and language acquired will flow into students’ writing, speaking, thinking, and then of course, it will have the great result of students simply having mastered more academic knowledge.
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