A book authored by a Michigan State University scholar provides a resource guide for educators to encourage Black male achievement in the classroom. “Mindful Teaching Practices for Black Male Achievement: A Student-Focused Guide for Educators” was authored by Ted Ransaw, a specialist in the Office of K-12 Outreach, and published in 2022 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Now approaching his 10th year in the MSU College of Education, Ransaw focuses on equity and literacy, and serves as a resource for school districts throughout the state.
Coupled with his own experience as a Black male student in a predominantly white school district, Ransaw has served as an achievement gap specialist for students from various racial and ethnic backgrounds.
“This book was written by someone with expertise in Black male student achievement, who wrote a program for teachers to have educational success with students of color,” he said. “The book is for teachers who are on the fence on wanting to reach out and have relationships with students of color, but don’t know how.
‘I want to engage, but what do I say?’ or ‘What do I do?’ are common questions asked by teachers who are not of color said Ransaw.
One method referenced in the book is the use of the prolepsis process, which, put simply, instructs teachers to visualize the future outcome of a student as it were happening in front of their eyes. After visualizing what success looks like for that student, they can better-develop a teaching plan.
Ransaw notes the book is unique in that less than 12% of psychology journals in the United States were written by persons who are non-white.
The book also features classroom and research-backed methods and strategies and lists of websites, ally organizations for minorities, Black male fraternities and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), which can serve as resources for educators.
The book is practical in nature, giving educators the ability to find short and to-the-point content that they can easily apply. The chapters of the book are:
- CHAPTER I – Social Factors That Influence Educational Outcomes
- CHAPTER II – Social and Institutional Policies That Affect Educational Outcomes
- CHAPTER III – Positive and Negative Thinking That Impact Perception and Performance
- CHAPTER IV – Understanding Issues Related to Black Male Health
- CHAPTER V – Important Terms to Know When Working With Black Males
- CHAPTER VI – Recommendations and for Black Male Success in the Classroom
“Dr. Ransaw’s knowledge and expertise in the field of Black male achievement has been an invaluable asset to the college and community,” said Jerlando F. L. Jackson, dean of the MSU College of Education, MSU Foundation Professor of Education, and co-founder of the International Colloquium on Black Males in Education. “This book has the ability to impact teaching practices across the country, and that’s something we take great pride in at the college.”
Authenticity and exercising a growth mindset are critical for educators to succeed said Ransaw.
“The book should help teachers develop a process where they have internal shift to where they believe they can build relationships with Black males,” he added.
Ransaw credits those around him for the success he has in his role. “I’m very thankful. I love my job, I love my boss—everything’s good,” he said.
More resources for educators
Ransaw helped author the 2023 Black History Month Teaching Resource, which includes content compiled from public websites and YouTube channels. It is intended to be used as a tool to share and learn about Black history throughout the year but especially during Black History Month in February.