Interaction Between Parents, Families, and Schools in a Multi-Cultural Society<br /> by Tina Ortiz<br /> Crystal Lopez<br />
The educational world is about to shift from main-stream to diverse. It is projected that between 2010 and 2050, the growth rates for minority groups will skyrocket while the Caucasian growth rate will go up a mere 5%. <br /> It is projected that growth rates among Blacks will be 58%; Hispanics,154%; Asian Americans,180%; and bi-racial Americans, 186%.<br />*Data from:<br />http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Promoting+multicultural+personality+development%3a+a+strengths-based%2c...-a0191213589<br />
What does this mean for teachers and our educational system?<br />For teachers, there are many implications. Teachers must:<br /><ul><li>Shed the biases and stereotypes that they may have had their entire lives.
Take a different approach to teaching students that have diverse backgrounds, cultures, and languages.
Learn how to communicate with families and communities.</li></li></ul><li>How can schools and teachers communicate with culturally diverse parents?<br />Teachers and schools need to reach out to culturally diverse parents. They can do this by:<br />Taking an interest in each student and find out background information. (Where students come from; what language is spoken in the home; what culture the child comes from; and finally information about their culture and how its people feel about education.)<br />Communicating with the parents by sending home letters or notes in the family’s native tongue.<br />Translating newsletters and pertinent school information.<br />
What can the school and administration do?<br />Translate all educational correspondence into different languages.<br />Invest in an English as a second language adult program.<br />Invite parents to make presentations about their cultures on a “Celebrating Diversity” night, craft fairs, or other community events.<br />Hire bilingual peer parents to help with parent-teacher meetings or even to do home visits to find out what the parents expect from the school.<br />
More things the school and administration can do…<br /><ul><li>Record phone messages in the language of the home.
Use school newsletters to announce cultural and other events sponsored by other groups.
Use multicultural materials in school displays.
Make the child feel comfortable in the classroom so they can assure their parents that it is a welcoming place to visit.</li></li></ul><li>Conclusion<br />With the increasing number of children from diverse backgrounds entering the United States educational system, it is imperative for schools, counselors, teachers, and community members to learn how to best serve these children. <br />It is not going to be an easy transition for anyone; but one that is necessary. What will YOU do to make a difference?<br />