You are here

The Power of One

The Power of One
How You Can Help or Harm African American Students

Edited by:

July 2012 | 200 pages | Corwin
This reader-friendly, interactive staff development resource is designed to help teachers deal with some of the main barriers—particularly "mental baggage"—that impede their progress with African American students.

The Power of One underscores an important point about intrinsic motivation that is frequently neglected in the equity literature—that teachers will personally benefit from increasing their efficacy with students of colour. The author skillfully blends compelling first-person narratives, personal growth exercises, and informational text in a manner that engages both hearts and minds.

About the Author
Introduction: Why Alarm Bells Should Be Ringing in Our Heads
Part 1. Beliefs, Mind Sets, and Baggage
1. Identifying the Personal Benefits of Increasing Your Efficacy With African American Students
2. That Baggage Is Too Heavy: Uncovering Negative Mind Sets That Can Undermine Your Work With African American Students
3. "You Can't Help but Talk About Race": Examining Your Beliefs About Racism and Racial Problems
4. "To Be Honest, I Can't Stand His Mama": Facing Your Personal Issues About the Parents of African American Students
Part II. The Curriculum, Classroom Management, and Testing
5. A Hard Knock Life: How Teachers Can Use the Curriculum to Empower African American Students
6. Only the Strong Survive: Dealing With Roadblocks to Effective Classroom Management
7. Using Wisdom in Assessing Students in Spite of the High-Stakes-Testing Mania
8. Learning From Classroom Scenarios and Other Problems That Concern Educators
Conclusion: A Work in Progress: Committing to Ongoing Personal and Professional Development

"This is the book I have been waiting for. It is filled with stories, the latest research, data, and a workbook all in one. In clear, beautifully written prose, Gail Thompson asks us to examine our own preconceptions and perceptions. By completing her exercises and keeping a journal as she suggests, we can discover our strengths and our challenges. We are encouraged by Thompson to continue this exploration and to make real changes in the way we teach and in our relationships with our African American students. This book is for all of us: new teachers, experienced teachers, administrators, mentors, community workers, and anyone who wants to help rather than harm these brilliant, hopeful, marvelous young people in our care."

Julie Landsman, Writer, Teacher, Consultant
Minneapolis Public Schools and Art Teachers FACET Program

"Gail Thompson is one of the few scholars around who actually can help teachers increase their efficacy with African-American students. In this terrific follow-up to Through Ebony Eyes, Thompson provides specific strategies and useful exercises to help teachers understand their own power to be positive forces in the lives of children."

Deborah Appleman, Professor and Chair of Educational Studies
Carleton College

"A comprehensive, definitive resource for educators and all those responsible for and interested in enhancing equity, excellence, and educational achievement for African American students. I congratulate Thompson for producing such an engaging, solutions-oriented workbook, which artfully integrates well-documented research and the right, rich blend of theoretical insights. The absence of jargon, the clarity of the writing, the substantive content, and the personal accounts of the educational experiences of an array of diverse education stakeholders contribute to making this work understandable, engaging, appealing, and imaginative. Thompson’s own compelling experiences as a student and her successful experience as a researcher and as an educator inform the work. If I could choose only one resource, The Power of One would be my number one choice."

Audrey P. Watkins, Associate Professor of African American Studies
Western Illinois University

"A much-needed contribution to the field of education. This book eloquently discusses the impact that one educator can have on the lives of African American students. From the discussion of the 11 ways this book can help the reader to the productive exercises within each chapter, this book is a must-read! I definitely endorse this book for anyone who is interested in the effective education of our African American children."

Chance W. Lewis, Endowed Chair and Associate Professor of Urban Education
Texas A&M University

"Thoughtfully engages readers on the power of challenging mindsets to help provide positive outcomes for all students."

P. S. Arter
CHOICE magazine, October 2010 (Vol. 48, No. 12)

This book is being considered for fall 2014

Professor Lorraine Wilkins
Ethnic Studies Dept, California St Univ-Sacramento
December 15, 2013

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

Gail L. Thompson

Dr. Gail L. Thompson, Founder & CEO of Inspirations by Gail LLC, is a critically acclaimed author of many articles and books; former secondary school teacher; and former Executive Director of Equity at Illuminate Education. During her years as the Wells Fargo Endowed Professor of Education at Fayetteville State University, she created and served as Director of the Black Men Teaching (BMT) Program, and supervised doctoral students. In addition to creating and implementing “The Literacy Club,” an afterschool reading incentive program for struggling readers at several schools, Dr. Thompson has appeared on numerous television and... More About Author

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781412976763

SAGE Knowledge is the ultimate social sciences digital library for students, researchers, and faculty. Hosting more than 4,400 titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.