Essays in Education


A major challenge in the educational system today is improving the quality of instruction for urban students. Concentrated poverty, family instability, and early exposure to violence are but a few hardships typical of growing up in an urban environment. From an early age urban children are confronted with a series of obstacles in their attempts to meet academic, personal, and social success. Urban teachers need to be conscious of and understand the ecology of the environment that has a profound influence and impact on the urban child’s success in school. Additionally, urban teachers must respond to the needs of their students by creating culturally responsive classrooms that spotlight a variety of instructional practices and methodologies that reduce the risks of school failure. In this article, we identify the external factors (outside of school) and internal factors (in school) that continuously place urban children at risk for academic failure. A profile of effective urban teachers who respond to these external and internal factors, and are culturally proficient is presented.

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