Franklinton native to speak today at national conference

Published 12:30 pm Sunday, September 29, 2013

Delarious O. Stewart, an assistant professor in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, returns to his home state as a presenter for the National Black Child Development Institute’s Annual Conference, which began Saturday and continues through Tuesday at the New Orleans Hyatt.

Stewart’s session, “Our Sons Can Learn to Read If We Teach Them,” is set for today at 2 p.m.

According to Stewart, the workshop is a non-conventional, professional development opportunity for progressive educators. He said that educators will learn hands on, culturally relevant tactics utilizing hip hop as a legitimate educational tool in and outside of the classroom.

Moreover, the workshop will offer research-based evidence to better meet the learning styles of black males in the area of literary devices, Stewart said.

“America is failing its young black boys,” Stewart said. “In metropolitan ghettos, rural villages and midsized townships across the country, schools have become holding tanks for populations of black boys who have a statistically higher probability of walking the corridors of prison than the halls of college..”

Despite grim statistics, Stewart said that black boys can learn if they are taught appropriately.

“What is relevant for most black boys is hip hop,” he said. “This workshop will explore how hip hop pedagogy (culturally relevant experiences) can support an increase in students’ success in the area of literacy.”

A 1990 Franklinton High School graduate, Stewart received a bachelor’s degree in English and communications and a master’s degree in counseling from Southern University in Baton Rouge, and also earned a specialist degree in school psychology from the University of Louisiana-Monroe. In addition, he earned a specialist degree in special education and a doctorate in child development and psychometrics from Jackson State University, Jackson, Miss.

He is a national certified school psychologist and conducts research on including students with disabilities into the general education classroom, positive behavioral supports and literacy and culturally relevant instructional strategies.

Stewart, the eldest son of Dorothy Stewart and Jesse Magee, is the grandson of Lois Gatlin and the great-grandson of the late Sylvia S. Gatlin.