(Relevant Educational Adapted Learning)
The process of educating any child is not without some level of challenge. However, the successful education of "at risk" minority children most certainly provides its own set of particularly difficulties germane to that population.
No where else is the evidence of these instructional difficulties more obvious than in the teaching of boys, particularly black boys. According to data published in 2009 by the National Department of Education: "Black boys comprise less than 8% of the public school population in the US, but they comprise more than 18% of the special education classes. Black boys are three times more likely to be enrolled in special education classes than their white counter parts." (Urban Education Report, 2009 p 32, 14th edition). This statistic speaks more to the failure of many public schools to successful reach and motive our black boys to learn, than it represents any sound or valid learning disability on the part of the student.
Further empirical data demonstrates that academically black boys experience a tremendous drop in grades and over all motivation for learning upon, or shortly after entering the fourth grade. In addition, statistics show that this decline is not nearly as sharp nor as prolonged among black girls of similar age and grade; and almost non-existent with their white male contemporaries.
There appears to be a discrepancy between what is being taught by the teacher and what is actually being learned by the male students. Our challenge as teachers is to strive to close the gap between the child and the curriculum. Consequently, there is a need to enrich our curriculum in a manner to makes it more intellectually and culturally relevant; thus rendering it more "academically-palatable" to our black male students.I believe that this can best to accomplished within a male classroom setting that besides providing the standard curriculum, would also employ the following strategy that I have termed: "R.E.A.L." (Relevant Educationally Adapted Learning.)