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Re: [AL] Snow Hill Institute
In Response To: [AL] Snow Hill Institute ()

My name is Dedrick Sims and I am a PhD student in Instructional Design at the University of South Alabama. For the past 2 years I have been compiling research on the academic achievement gap that exist between African American students and the dominant culture. I have written a book (not published) called "Home Schooling: The Renaissance of Black Education" which talks about the misplaced priorities of Black America as it relates to the educational status of our students and the impoverished social status of our people. I also am founder/CEO of Zen Educational Consulting Group. Our mission is to improve the instructional strategies of teachers that service minority students by considering the effects of learning styles and cultural influences on academic achievement. Additionally, we focus on getting educators to be inclusionary in their instructional content selection. Allow students of culture to see "success" of their culture by using examples that are culturally congruent with the demographics of the class. An additional focus is informing administrators that school climate (i.e. staffing patterns) can have an influence on minority student's achievement. If a school has all "black" service workers, I believe that this sends a subliminal message to those students saying this is whom you are and what you have to look forward to. We advocate mixing up the service workers and the teachers to again show success in other ethnicities aside from the dominant one.

I am currently conducting a study that will compare the achievement levels of minority students at an inner-city community high school here in Mobile Alabama. The study will compare two classes, one that receives culturally congruent instructional content, instruction developed according to students learning styles (variable) and the other that receives no manipulation at all. I am going to try to get it published if the findings are significant.

I recently visited Snow Hill Institute after reading the book my Mr. Edwards. I see tremendous potential in revitalizing the school. I have a vision of using the students in that area to establish a new curriculum and instructional approach that puts emphasis on the African American culture and contributions to the building of American and that particular region. I am trying to get in contact with anyone who can assist me with this endeavor.
The social factors minority cultures face are tremendous and often not fair. It will take more minds and hearts like ours to keep the spark alive and find the spark in others for academic and social betterment in all cultures.

Dedrick Sims

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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