Cultural Diversity & Cultural Competence by Loudon County Schools


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Cultural Diversity & Cultural Competence by Loudon County Schools

  1. 1. Cultural Diversity & Cultural Competence Annual Training for School Employees Presented by Loudon County Schools Office of Coordinated School Health
  2. 2. Why Have Culture Diversity Training? • Currently there are 5.5 million English Language Learners (ELLs) in U.S. public schools who speak more than 400 different languages (Source: U.S. Department of Education, 2004) • The 2000 census estimated that 65% of school-age children are non-Hispanic White and that 35% are from other racial and ethnic backgrounds • It is estimated that by 2040, no ethnic or racial group will make up the majority of the national school-age population • Many students of diverse cultures come from families in poverty, 39% of children in the United States live at or near the poverty level ( Source: National Association of State Boards of Education, 2002)
  3. 3. Dealing With Differences
  4. 4. Dealing With Diversity Can Be Tricky
  5. 5. What is Culture? “Culture is the total, generally organized way of life, including values, norms, institutions, and artifacts, that is passed on from generation to generation.” Dictionary of Modern Sociology
  6. 6. How is culture like an iceberg?
  7. 7. How is culture like an iceberg? food ~ dress ~ music ~ visual art~ drama ~ crafts ~dance ~literature~ language ~ celebrations notions of modesty ~ conception of beauty~ ideals ~ government ~child-raising~ definition of sin ~ cosmology ~ relationships to animals~ work patterns ~ superior/subordinate relationships ~ concepts of humor ~ attitudes toward elders ~ friendships ~ body language ~ eye contact behavior ~ social interaction ~ conversational patterns ~ roles in relation to status by age, sex, class, occupation, kinship, and so forth.
  8. 8. Understanding Culture • Culture becomes our reality • The map that guides us • The window through which we view the world • To attack someone’s culture is to attack that person’s innermost self • We ALL have a culture
  9. 9. Culture Matters • When culture is ignored, families are at risk of not getting the support they need, or worse yet, receiving assistance that is more harmful than helpful.
  10. 10. Culture Gives Context and Meaning • It is a filter through which people process their experiences and events of their lives. • It influences people’s values, actions, and expectations of themselves. • It impacts people’s perceptions and expectations of others.
  11. 11. Culture Is Inherent in Family Support Practice • It informs our understanding of when support is needed. • It influences how and from whom we seek support. • It influences how we attempt to provide support.
  12. 12. Schools as a Vessel • Culture is not inherited; rather we are socialized to behave according to traditions established over generations • The cultures of schools may or may not be in harmony with the culture each student brings to school • Schools greatly influence how young people see themselves and therefore need to understand and validate their backgrounds Source: Cartledge, 1996
  13. 13. What Is Cultural Competence? • 1. The integration and transformation of knowledge about individuals and groups of people into specific standards, policies, practices, and attitudes used in appropriate cultural settings to increase the quality of services, thereby producing better outcomes Source: National Technical Assistance Center for State Mental Health Planning (Davis, 1997)
  14. 14. Cultural Competence • 2. The ability to think, feel, and act in ways that acknowledge, respect, and build upon ethnic, socio- cultural, and linguistic diversity Source: Lynch and Hanson, 1998 • 3. A culturally competent school is generally defined as one that honors, respects, and values diversity in theory and in practice and where teaching and learning are made relevant and meaningful to students of various cultures Source: A More Perfect Union: Building an Education System that Embraces All Children, National Association of State Boards of Education , 2002
  15. 15. Teachers Can Help • A school’s social system is a reflection of the larger society and is instrumental in transmitting cultural values • The classroom teacher is the most important component of that system as far as social development in youth Source: Schneider, B.H., 1993
  16. 16. How Teachers Can Help Learn as much as possible about the cultural and linguistic background of students they teach • Pronounce students’ names correctly and learn key phrases in their native language • Allow students to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through use of cooperative groups, role plays, dialogue journals and other forms of active and interactive learning • Enhance students’ self-image, motivation and cultural pride by using culturally-relevant materials and encouraging discussion and actions that honor their cultural and linguistic heritage Source: National Association of State Boards of Education, 2002
  17. 17. How Teachers Can Help • Invite parents and families to actively participate in their child’s education • Facilitate home-school communication and collaboration • Be aware that families from diverse linguistic or cultural backgrounds may not initiate requests for help or use in- school resources available to address mental health issues. Teachers are urged to provide orientations to inform parents and families about school resources • Seek help from school psychologists or other school mental health professional if students exhibit academic, behavioral and/or mental health problems Source: National Association of State Boards of Education, 2002
  18. 18. Cultural Competence vs. Cultural Awareness • Cultural competence: The ability to effectively operate within different cultural contexts • Cultural awareness: Sensitivity and understanding toward members of other ethnic groups Source: National Association of School Psychologists
  19. 19. How Do We Acquire Cultural Competence? • Recognize the broad dimensions of culture • Respect families as the primary source for defining needs and priorities • Increase sensitivity to alienating behaviors • Change decision-making processes to include families and the community • Commit to structural and policy changes that support cultural diversity • Make policies and practices fluid to accommodate necessary adjustments Source: Focal Regional Research Institute for Human Services, Portland State University
  20. 20. Achieving Cultural Competence Individually • Do you have close personal relationships with people who are culturally and socio-economically different? • Do you have the desire, knowledge, and skill to integrate culturally relevant considerations into your work? • How do your own cultural experience and values impact the way you work? • Do you continuously engage in an open and honest dialogue about culture and diversity with diverse groups of people?
  21. 21. Achieving Cultural Competence Organizationally • Value diversity • Conduct cultural self-assessment • Identify cross-cultural dynamics • Institutionalize cultural knowledge • Adapt service delivery to diversity within and between cultures Source: Adapted from National Center for Cultural Competence, Georgetown University
  22. 22. Value Diversity •Create an environment in which people feel safe to express culturally based values, perceptions, and experiences •Host social events at which music, food, & entertainment reflect cultures represented •Hire staff and leaders who reflect the community’s cultural diversity •Partner with cultural organizations and institutions
  23. 23. •Honestly explore values, beliefs, and attitudes about your culture and others’ •Non-defensively engage the entire school system, families, and the larger community in the self- assessment •Investigate whether recruiting and hiring practices and policies ensure diverse staffing and representative leadership •Do you continuously engage in an open and honest dialogue about culture and diversity with diverse groups of people? Conduct Self-Assessment
  24. 24. Conduct Self-Assessment Examine: • Participation and satisfaction rates of families served from various cultures • Program practices, activities, and services • Methods of communication • Program environment and décor
  25. 25. Conduct Self-Assessment • Be open to revising the organization’s mission and objectives • Evaluate whether current staff can lead the organization to cultural competence
  26. 26. Identify Cross-Cultural Dynamics • Understand how historical and political differences between cultural groups impact relationships and opinions • Build capacity to communicate with non- English–speaking families • Develop written materials that are appropriate for the literacy levels of families served
  27. 27. Identify Cross-Cultural Dynamics • Be responsive to non-traditional families (gay and lesbian parents, kinship families, single fathers, etc.) • Understand how religion influences values and behavior
  28. 28. Institutionalize Cultural Knowledge • Create and / or adopt principles of practice around cultural competence • Develop a permanent advisory group that focuses on cultural competence • Maintain a library of publications, meeting notes, and materials from trainings • Create a budget line-item for cultural exchanges and competence training
  29. 29. Adapt Service Delivery • Communicate with parents in the manner they prefer (orally, in native language, etc.) • Provide staffing that is linguistically and ethnically representative • Develop community-based teams to assist with program development and implementation
  30. 30. Adapt Service Delivery • Make referrals to culturally competent providers • Leverage cultural strengths (faith, respect for elders, broad sense of family, etc.) • Tailor outreach methods to the cultures represented in the community
  31. 31. Getting Started 1. Identify cultural diversity within the community 2. Conduct a comprehensive assessment of yourself and your organization: • Is cultural diversity celebrated? • Do staff and the organization understand and respect the cultures represented? • Do programs address the unique needs and concerns of the cultures represented? • Is cultural competence reflected in policies, practices, and procedures? • Do staff at all levels reflect the cultures of the community?
  32. 32. Getting Started 3. Engage in dialogue with cultural communities with which Engage in dialogue with cultural communities with which you work: • Convene informal gatherings with personnel to explore beliefs, values, and attitudes related to cultural competence • Build and use a network of community experts who have knowledge of the groups served • Network with parents and family organizations
  33. 33. Getting Started 4. Identify and understand the needs and behaviors of individuals and families 5. Identify best practices by learning from other organizations and individuals 6. Design and implement services that are based upon families’ and the communities’ culturally based choices
  34. 34. Sources • Loudon County Board of Education Policy, • Tennessee School Board Association, • Morehead State University, College of Education, Creating A Culturally Competent Organizational Culture. Retrieved July 20, 2010 from • North Central Regional Education Laboratory, Critical Issue: Educating Teachers for Diversity. Retrieved July 20, 2010 from • National Center for Cultural Competence of Georgetown University. (2006). Definition of Culture. Retrieved July 25, 2010 from • National Association of School Psychologists. (2006). Culturally Competent Schools: Guidelines for Secondary School Principals. Retrieved July 20, 2010 from %20NASSP • Middle Tennessee State University, Office of Institutional Diversity. Retrieved July 20, 2010 from • Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports, Cultural Fit Within a School-wide System of PBIS: Universal and Secondary Examples . Retrieved July 20,2010 from • Introduction to Cultural Competence: A Training Tool. Retrieved July 20, 2010 from
  35. 35. Cultural Diversity & Cultural Competence Produced by Kathy Proaps Loudon County Schools Office of Coordinated School Health