Review: Foreword Reviews - June 2, 2016
A must read for educators and parents, Cultivating the Genius of Black Children is a practical, in-depth look at the cultural relevancy and teaching methodologies best suited for the success of black children in public and private school settings. Debra Ren-Etta Sullivan uses established curriculum models, learning strategies, and approaches, combined with new concepts in organization and focus, and while black children and their particular needs are highlighted, the applied initiatives are meant for culturally diverse, mixed classrooms, communities, and teachers.
Drawing from her own dissatisfaction as a motivated black student and years of teaching and consulting experience, Sullivan's blended knowledge of the education system and cultural anthropology creates an exciting new initiative for both black advocacy and practices needed to maximize learning experiences in early childhood education. Full of practical advice and check lists, and backed by years of collective studies and context, teachers, educators, and, most of all, students, will benefit from these insights, starting with the assumption that all black children are geniuses.
Review by: Ed Greene, Educational Trasmedia Designs - February 1, 2016
Debra Sullivan has written a book that provides personal reflection and experiences, as well as relevant references, descriptive vignettes, discussions of learning environments, and questions for readers' reflections. Curricular models and program practices from early education programs are used to identify and contrast various culturally relevant elements of appropriate learning environments for children of African Descent. I strongly recommend Cultivating the Genius of Black Children to anyone working with young children. Sullivan boldly challenges us to look at what it will take to simultaneously close the academic achievement gap and cultivate the genius of Black children in classrooms that already exist. As she states: " It is possible, doable, and imperative"
Review by: Claire Chang, Former governing board member of NAEYC - February 1, 2016
Dr. Sullivan has managed to shift the conversation from the persistent achievement gap that limits the potential of Black children to a more productive analysis and steps to nurture the genius of Black children. The wisdom of her approach shifts the focus to include research grounded in the reality of cultural learning styles and preferences, a teacher's commitment to healthy child development for every child and how teachers can build meaningful relationships with Black families and communities as a committed partner in the learning and development of Black children. This is a must read for all early childhood professionals committed to helping Black children, and all children to thrive.
Review by: Maurice Sykes - January 19, 2016
Debra Sullivan has written a book that focuses on the education of young black children from a social justice perspective. She challenges us to think more deeply about our craft knowledge and practices that can lead to children's deeper learning and help to close the achievement gap. She reminds us that the early years matter and that to ensure black children's success in school and in life, we must first discover the genius that resides within.