By Carla Morris
The National Association for Multicultural Education has named Greenville University alumnus Donald Easton-Brooks ’88 recipient of its 2019 Phillip C. Chinn Multicultural Book Award for his book Ethnic Matching: Academic Success of Students of Color (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2019).
The book provides teachers with insights and techniques to engage diverse learners. Based on a decade of research, it explores the positive, long-term impact of pairing students of color with teachers of the same race.
Influencer and Authoritative Voice
Easton-Brooks has long focused his attention on equal educational issues that impact low-income and under-represented communities. His writing has influenced program development and informed policy debates worldwide, including discussions in Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.
Easton-Brooks graduated from GU with a major in sociology. He earned both his master’s in early childhood special education and doctorate in educational leadership from University of Colorado-Denver. He has established a reputation as a leader, researcher, and activist for equity in education.
Easton-Brooks currently serves as dean of the College of Education at University of Nevada-Reno.
Rising Diversity in Public Schools
Rising diversity in public schools today makes Easton-Brooks’ research particularly relevant for students and teachers. Among his findings:
- Engaging K-5 students with teachers of the same race significantly impacts their academic performance.
- When teachers of color comprise at least 30 percent of a school’s teaching staff, all of the teaching staff does a better job engaging students of color.
- Successful career professionals of color who engaged with at least four teachers of color or same race teachers in their public school experiences reported better relationships with white teachers than did their counterparts who engaged with only one same race teacher or teacher of color.
Though white females continue to dominate the teaching landscape, emerging programs are now leveraging the strong impact teachers of color can have on students of color.
Easton-Brooks’ research led to the development of two such projects in predominantly white communities.
By design, both programs aim to increase the number of students of color pursuing teacher education, and increase the number of culturally responsive students entering the teaching profession.
Early engagement is key. In both cases, students begin the programs while still in high school. By last summer, 240 aspiring teachers had emerged from these dual-credit, practicum-based programs equipped with culturally responsive perspectives to serve.
Such innovative methods for recruiting, preparing, and retaining a diverse teaching force compelled author and urban education expert Richard Milner IV to say Ethnic Matching “has the potential to make a real difference in school districts across the country.”
About the Phillip C. Chinn Multicultural Book Award
The National Association for Multicultural Education presents this award to authors whose books foster awareness, acceptance, and affirmation of diversity in society; create interest in multicultural issues; contribute to the development of multicultural education; and maintain high multicultural standards in their genres.
Spiritual Mentoring at GC Shapes Lifelong Passion for Education
The Exhilaration of “Team”
National Assessment Reflects Solid Preparation for Future Teachers
“Just” Play: Work, Play and the Educator’s Dilemma
GC Teaching Character Plus
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