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Highly Effective Teachers of Vulnerable Students

Practice Transcending Theory


Edited By Mary Poplin and Claudia Bermudez

Highly Effective Teachers of Vulnerable Students contains the quintessential details of highly effective teachers working with students who live in poverty inside our public schools and community colleges. This book features the words and actions of the teachers that can inspire and direct any current or future teacher who wants to be great and be a part of inspiring young people to fulfill their potential. This is the grist we need to spark a reinvigorated critical national conversation about what it takes to really have highly effective teachers in low-income public schools and whether we have the moral courage to work as hard as they do to make educational equity a reality in our nation.

“This credible, well-researched, and persuasive analysis of highly effective teachers of minoritized, public school youth demystifies the alchemy of our nation’s best classrooms where healthy student-teacher relationships, personal accountability, high expectations, and authentic caring relationships thrive. This timely text has powerful implications for policy and practice. Kudos to Poplin, Bermúdez, and colleagues for a job well done!” Angela Valenzuela, College of Education, University of Texas at Austin; author of Subtractive Schooling; editor of Growing Critically Conscious Teachers

Highly Effective Teachers of Vulnerable Students reveals both the power and the promise of pedagogical praxis undertaken by teachers whose dedication to their craft has yielded effective results, changed lives for the better and in doing so has made the world a place where hope and possibility can thrive.” Peter McLaren, Distinguished Professor in Critical Studies, Chapman University; author of Pedagogy of Insurrection

“This is an important book because it provides us with rich descriptions of both the dispositions and the practices used by effective teachers who are successful with students who so often are considered ‘hard-to-teach.’ It is a must-read for both teacher educators and new teachers.” Guadalupe Valdés, Bonnie Katz Tenenbaum Professor of Education, Stanford University

“With its rich, in-depth studies of the very best teachers, Highly Effective Teachers of Vulnerable Students makes an essential contribution to the case for explicit, ambitious instruction. It makes an equally vital case against the failed pedagogic fads and learning theories that continue to dominate in too many classrooms—and in schools of education. An important book.” Mike Schmoker, author of Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning and Leading with Focus: Elevating the Essentials for School and District Improvement

“If we truly believed that teachers could make a profound difference in the lives of Black, Latino, and other underrepresented groups of students, we would seek out exemplary, amazing educators and strive to better understand how they teach and why their efforts succeed. The authors of this important book have done this in a manner that highlights the teacher-based factors that make a difference in promoting educational equity and excellence.” Joseph F. Johnson, Jr., Interim Provost and Senior Vice President Executive Director, National Center for Urban School Transformation San Diego State University