Transforming the Student Experience in High Poverty Schools: Structured PLCs, Research-Based Instructional Strategies and Culturally Responsive Teaching

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2022-12

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Abstract

Regrettably, in many of our nation's urban public schools, students of color and their families are often blamed for their lack of success within the educational system. Instead of looking at the organization's lack of a system, the tendency is to shift blame onto the students for their academic struggles. If we fail to address the organization's lack of a system, students in marginalized learning communities will continue to suffer in silence. After receiving Professional Learning Communities and culturally responsive professional development, the purpose of this study was to determine what strategies content area teachers will use to improve student achievement. An intentional focus was placed on PLCs and ensuring teachers are equipped with research-based instructional strategies to improve student outcomes. Today’s educational leaders must confront and challenge the status quo, knowing they may encounter much resistance. In this age of school accountability, we can no longer afford to continue doing as we have traditionally done while expecting different results. Our nation’s urban public schools serve as a hope center for its respective learning community. If we fail to address the needs of our students, in many ways, our students will be imprisoned and left with little to no chance to break the generational chains of poverty. As educational leaders, we must commit to establishing a strong mission, vision, and culture of instruction where every student is allowed to experience social and academic success. Our students' level of success should not be predetermined by their zip code, family surname, or income threshold. Allowing students to experience success in school rests mainly on those within our public school system who have accepted the challenge to reauthor our students' stories.

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Keywords

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), Research-Based Instructional Strategies, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Lack of Systemness, Status Quo, Culture of Care, Culture of Instruction, Institutional Resistance to Change, Deficit Thinking Model

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