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Closing the Achievement Gap: A Vision for Changing Beliefs and Practices, 2nd Edition


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It′s no secret that students attending urban schools in the United States do not fare as well on measures of achievement as their rural and suburban counterparts. According to Belinda Williams and her coauthors, this gap is largely due to a little acknowledged fact: that poor and minority students bring culturally distinct values and beliefs to the classroom that are often incompatible with the biases inherent in the curriculum, assessment measures, and teachers themselves.

Table of contents


The Continuing Challenges of Excellence and Equity

Direct Vocabulary Instruction: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Cultural Values in Learning and Education

Pedagogy, Knowledge, and Teacher Preparation

About the authors

Belinda Williams is a cognitive psychologist with more than 30 years of experience studying the academic achievement patterns of culturally and socioeconomically disadvantaged students. She has held senior research and development positions at the University of Pennsylvania, the Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory at Brown University, and Research for Better Schools. Her research focuses on the impact of cultural environments on cognitive development. In addition to her work with the National Education Association's Priority Schools Initiative, state departments, universities, national associations, and school districts, she is the editor of Closing the Achievement Gap: A Vision for Changing Beliefs and Practices (1996) and coauthor of Effort and Excellence in Urban Classrooms: Expecting—and Getting—Success from All Students (2002). She received her doctorate in psychology from Rutgers University.

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