Tamara lucas


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Tamara lucas

  1. 1. Tamara LucasMontclair State UniversityTo successfully move the field of teacher education beyond thefragmented and superficial treatment of diversity that currentlyprevails, teacher educators must articulate a vision of teaching andlearning in a diverse society and use that vision to systematicallyguide the infusion of multicultural issues throughout the preservicecurriculum. A vision is offered of culturally responsive teachers thatcan serve as the starting point for conversations among teachereducators in this process.In this vision, culturally responsive teachers (a) are socioculturally conscious, (b) have affirming views of students from diverse backgrounds, (c) see themselves as responsible for and capable of bringing aboutchange to make schools more equitable, (d) understand how learners construct knowledge and are capable ofpromoting knowledge construction, (e) know about the lives of their students, and (f) design instructionthat builds on what their students already know while stretching thembeyond the familiar.Some of the characteristics of culturally responsive teaching are: 1. Positive perspectives on parents and families 2. Communication of high expectations 3. Learning within the context of culture 4. Student-centered instruction 5. Culturally mediated instruction 6. Reshaping the curriculum 7. Teacher as facilitator
  2. 2. How?1. Vary teaching strategies o Use cooperative learning especially for material new to the students o Assign independent work after students are familiar with concept o Use role-playing strategies o Assign students research projects that focus on issues or concepts that apply to their own community or cultural group o Provide various options for completing an assignment o2. Bridge cultural differences through effective communication o Teach and talk to students about differences between individuals o Show how differences among the students make for better learningAttend community events of the students and discuss the eventswith the students3. Use resources other than textbooks for study o Have students research aspects of a topic within their community o Encourage students to interview members of their community who have knowledge of the topic they are studying o Provide information to the students on alternative viewpoints or beliefs of a topic4. Develop learning activities that are more reflective of students backgrounds o Include cooperative learning strategies o Allow students the choice of working alone or in groups on certain projectsDevelop integrated units around universal themes
  3. 3. Ladson-Billings (1995) notes that a key criterion for culturally relevantteaching is nurturing and supporting competence in both home andschool cultures. Teachers should use the students home culturalexperiences as a foundation upon which to develop knowledge and skills.Content learned in this way is more significant to the students andfacilitates the transfer of what is learned in school to real-life situations(Padron, Waxman, & Rivera, 2002). 4. Student-Centered Instruction"In our multicultural society, culturally responsive teachingreflects democracy at its highest level. [It] means doingwhatever it takes to ensure that every child is achieving andever moving toward realizing her or his potential."--Joyce Taylor-Gibson (*)1. Learn about students cultures o Have students share artifacts from home that reflect their culture o Have students write about traditions shared by their families o Have students research different aspects of their culture2. Vary teaching approaches to accommodate diverse learning styles and language proficiency o Initiate cooperative learning groups (Padron, Waxman, & Rivera, 2002) o Have students participate in book clubs or literature circles (Daniels, 2002) o Use student-directed discussion groups (Brisk & Harrington, 2000) o Speak in ways that meet the comprehension and language development needs of ELLs (Yedlin, 2004)3. Utilize various resources in the students communities o Have members of the community speak to students on various subjects
  4. 4. o Ask members of the community to teach a lesson or give a demonstration (in their field of expertise) to the studentsInvite parents to the classroom to show students alternative waysof approaching a problem (e.g., in math: various ways of dividingnumbers, naming decimals, etc.)