Using Culturally RelevantPedagogy to PromoteStudent Identity,Motivation, andOpportunity Shannon M. Stanton, Ph.D. Whittier College, CA
Quick statistics United States has grown increasingly segregated by race and class (Orfield & Lee, 2005; Kozol 2005) African Americans and Latinos earn consistently less than their white counterparts with the same level of education (Thernstrom & Thernstrom, 2003) Poverty and unemployment have hit communities of color harder than white communities (U.S. Consensus Bereau, 2000)
Problem Low test scores, high dropout rates with minority students, and students underprepared for high school level reading and writing (Darling-Hammond 1998; Darling –Hammond, 2010; Kozol 2007; Noguero, 2003; Thernstrom & Thernstrom 2003) Statistics have shown that the academic achievement gap is worse than it was 15 years ago (Thernstrom & Thernstrom, 2003) Issues of race and power (Delpit,1995; Howard, 2010)
Lowell: A face to the Problem Lowell Middle School*, 6th -8th, Los Angeles County, California High poverty inner city middle school 89.1% of the student receive free or reduced price meals According to the English/Language Arts section of the school’s 2009 Accountability report 75.2% of African Americans are below basic 75.1 % of Hispanics are below basic Test scores did not meet API (Academic Performance Index)* All names of places and people are pseudonyms.
UPLIFT: Uniting Passion & Literacyfor individual focus andtransformation AfterSchool Literacy Program Research Question: What is the impact of an after school literacy program with a culturally relevant and constructivist pedagogical focus, within a school setting that is test driven and employs direct instruction?
Methodology Qualitative – Participant Observer Longitudinal Pilot Study – 3 Years Situated in grounded theory Participants Middle school students Undergraduates Met twice a week; 1 1/2-2 hours Fieldtrips: 2 per year Data: Field notes, pictures, video, literacy artifacts, interviews, surveys
UPLIFT STRUCTURE Afterschool snack Whole class and group rotations Rotations 25-35 minutes Groups Literacy – literature circles, Flocabulary, reading scripts; Focus In - Homework Identity – projects (personal code; my people poetry Empowerment – technology (power point, educational games) Facilitated by a group leader from the college
Findings Culturallyrelevant practices allow for student voice and active engagement Students were more engaged when they were able to connect with their culture within the curriculum(ethnic as well as pop culture) Criticalcare is essential for successful teaching Curriculum choices expands opportunities perceived by students
Connecting to the Curriculum Literature Groups Multicultural literature – “Hey, this book has Spanish words.” “I wish we read more books like this in class.” “My People” Poetry “I liked writing about myself and to tell people who I am.” “I want to do more stuff like ‘My People’” Flocabulary – vocabulary development through rap music Pen pals with college students “Did my pen pal write back?” “Can I have two pen pals?” History of Segregation Project “I liked learning about the history of segregation.”
FLOCABULARY: RAY KWON Vocabulary words Students created: incorporated into a Vocabulary pictures rap New raps Use of context Jokes- “Playing the clues dozens” Comprehension Charade skits Skills Music video Analysis Vocabulary development
STUDENT experiences “Some teachers scream in your face.” (Esmeralda) “I don’t like doing homework.” (Maria) Roberto said one of his teachers told him, “Even though you aren’t learning, we still get paid.” “More teachers because they’re tired- there are lots of kids in class” (Elisa) “The teachers don’t teach you. They make you work all by yourself.” (Ryan) “You shut up or get out of my face!” (Vice Principal)
Student perceptions of school Teachers don’t care Teachers are mean Reading is boring Learning can’t be fun Homework is a waste of time
Student perceptions of uplift Why did you come to UPLIFT? “Negative free! Negative free” “I knew it was the right place for me.” “It’s always positive here.” “Because I don’t get talked about here.” “Because we don’t get yelled for the fun with education.” What are some things you have learned at UPLIFT? Have respect for yourself and others Self esteem To stay positive “It let me know the importance of school.” “To be a good student.” “Helped me with my homework and persuaded me to complete all of it.”
critical care Includesthe “care” (Comer, 2004; Duncan-Andrade, 2008; Gay, 2000; Ladson Billings,1994) Warm demanders; Active resources(Duncan-Andrade, 2008) Isintentional; it assesses needs – both academic and social – and intentionally works on meeting the need. Academic level; hunger; low self esteem Humanizing- One that recognizes every student as someone of value - a gift, with strengths and talents to offer to others Recognizes the whole child – with attention to the needs Encourages; creates a safe place It demands excellence in every fabric of the environment Holds high expectations Speaks Life Provides a counter narrative to stereotypes, beliefs, and assumption that look at deficit models for low performance “Death and life lie in the power of the tongue” Consistently Example: Quote of the day: “Let your guiding principle be excellence.”
CASE STUDY: MAria Participated all three years Latina Self perception:1st year Not smart Not pretty Not a good student Didn’t turn in homework Reluctant learner Shy
CASE STUDY: MariaI asked her if she had math homework and she replied that she didn’t have it today. To which another student said, lookingat me, we just had math today. I asked Maria again and she said she threw it away. I asked her why and she said because shedoesn’t like doing homework. I told her that was why this program was here, to help her with her homework. I asked her tocheck her folder – she was doing a word search as she was talking with me. She slowly put down her pencil and lookedthrough her folder which was in her bag. She looked through her papers and pulled out the math paper that Antonio,Paulette, and Justine were working on. The problems were solving for the circumference. I pointed to problem one andasked her what was the diameter. She pointed to the number and then began to solve the problem. She did it very sloppily,but she answered the problem in a minute - correctly. I pointed to the next problem and she completed that one quickly aswell. She proceeded to finish the entire sheet in less than 5 minutes – correctly. And then I just looked at her. I called hername, because she went back to doing the word search. When she looked up, I told her she was smart. I also told her thatshe has gifts and talents that only she can do and by refusing to do her work and therefore having people think she can’t doit, would be robbing others of her talents. I said she had the potential to be a doctor, lawyer, government official, but shewas hiding her talents. I asked her what she thought about that and she shrugged her shoulders. I told her I might need herone day as a lawyer and if she didn’t work, when I got in trouble she wouldn’t be able to help me out. She smiled; then Iasked her to do something for me – I asked her to turn the math homework she just did when it was due. She said she would.I told her to let her smartness shine, and not try to hide what she is capable of doing.(Field note, March 30, 2010)
Maria – 8th grade Turned in homework Helped others with their homework Wants to be a teacher or a doctor when she grows up Three words she used to describe herself: fun, kind, and smart
Expanding opportunity Activities Field trips Guest speakers Work with artists Technology Mock college classes Students 60% of the students changed career choice Athlete - business owner, scientist McDonalds – video game designer Veterinarian – marine biologist Actor - Director “I didn’t know there were other types of doctors” “More careers to choose from” 85% said they would look into other colleges
Biology Lab with Dr. Valencia Click to edit Master text styles Second level Third level Fourth level Fifth level
Social transformation: Implications forteacher education Teachers need to understand that culturally responsive teaching is Responsive to the students ethnic identities Responsive to the needs of the students Responsive to the pop culture Responsive to the community culture Responsive to their students backgrounds and what they bring to the classroom (funds of knowledge) Responsive to their academic histories Critical care is essential
References Delpit, L. (1995). Other peoples children: Cultural conflict in the classroom. New York: The New Press. Duncan-Andrade, J. (2008). Brooks, J. G. & Brooks, M. G. (1999). In search of understanding: The case for Constructivist Classrooms. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Brown, A. & Campione, J. (1998). Designing a Community of Young Learners: Theoretical and Practical Lessons in Lambert’s & McCombs How Students Learn Reforming Schools Through Learner-Centered Education. Washington, American Psychological Association. Comer, J. (2004). Leave no child behind. New Haven: Yale University Press. Darling-Hammond, L. (1997). The right to learn. New Haven: Yale University Press. Darling-Hammond, L. (2010). The flat world and education. New York: Teachers College Press. Gay, G. (2000). Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice (pp. 21-44). New York: Teacher College Howard, T. (2010). Why race and culture matter in schools. New York: Teachers College Press.
Using Culturally RelevantPedagogy to PromoteStudent Identity,Motivation, andOpportunity Shannon M. Stanton, Ph.D. Whittier College, CA email@example.com