Wangenheim Middle School. Retrieved on October 09, 2009 from: http://www.education.com/schoolfinder/us/california/san-diego/wangenheim-middle/
in Education Critical Issue Lina Azzam
Introduction Pedro A. Noguera, in his article, Confronting the Challenge of Diversity in Education, asserts that “more often than not, the increase in racial and cultural diversity that is occurring in schools across the United States is thought of as a problem, or even a threat” With more immigrants coming to the United States, the American society will continue to change. In order to have a peaceful and more religiously pluralistic society people need to accept diversity and speak the same "language of pluralism which is the language not just of difference but of engagement, involvement, and participation. This expanding pluralism, challenges the public schools to deal creatively and sensitively with cultural diversity. Therefore, diverse classrooms, is a critical issue in the United States that requires especial efforts through educating and preparing teachers and parents to deal with diversity and consider children's cultural identities and be aware of their own biases.
City of san Diego This demographic research summary is focused on the city of san Diego, the second largest city in California State which is of a great diversity related to gender, age, language, ethnicity, cultural background, disability, sexual orientation or religious belief. The residents of San Diego are also different in other aspects such as educational level, age, job function, socio-economic background, personality profile, marital status and whether or not one has family.
San Diego Demographics According to the US Census Bureau estimates the San Diego city's population at 1,279,329 as of 2008. The Whites made up 48.20% of the city’s population, followed by the Hispanic which made up 28.20% of San Diego’s total Population. San Diego is a very diverse city which brings with it many challenges that requires effective efforts to manage and overcome them. People in this community need to understand and accept diversity. Cultural, religious beliefs and language of certain ethnic groups need to be respected.
San Diego Demographics The median age for residents in San Diego, CA is 33 which is significantly less than average age in the U.S.
San Diego Demographics The highest educational achievement of san Diego residents is High School or higher, followed by Bachelors or higher, and then some college.
School DistrictWangenheim Middle School San Diego's Wangenheim Middle School located in Mira Mesa, serves grades 6-8 in the San Diego Unified School District. The total student enrolment is 1,393 from a variety of ethnic backgrounds: African Americans, Asian, Filipino, Hispanic, Indochinese, and Whites which creates a very rich mixture of cultures.
Ethnic Origins The highest ethnic groups enrolled in the Wangenheim Middle School are Filipino, and Whites followed by Hispanic, and Asians.
The Students Academic Achievement The above chart shows the students academic achievement in the English Language Arts, where we see that Hispanic, African American and Indochinese have the lowest level.
Challenges “As we reach the twenty-first century, there is an increasing population of minorities who come from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. Because our current educational system operates to serve the "white, middle-class" majority, minorities are faced with a barrier and often denied the opportunity to receive an equal education” (Matusov) The main challenges that need efforts to overcome are the cultural diversity, and language barrier. It is evident that racial/ethnic students’ low achievement in English language indicates that they are having a problem understating the English language which is the language of school’s curriculum. The students low achievement in the social studies reflect their estrangement; that they don’t belong to this community.
Multicultural Education Cahn (1997) asserts that “cultural background surely plays a part in shaping identity; but it does not determine identity” (p.517), because belonging to a nation and getting an acceptance in it determines the national identity. From this perspective, philosophy of multicultural education should be implemented. It is a philosophy that can be applied in the united stated of America in particular, because “multicultural education is the potential catalyst to bring all races together in harmony” (Wilson), through developing an understanding of each other’s background.
Multicultural Education To achieve a successful multicultural education, I believe that assimilation of different philosophies of education is probably the best way to be successful in teaching more than twenty children from different cultures in a single classroom. Teachers should be able to fit in different philosophies, standards and strategies along with these children’s personalities and style of learning.
Multicultural Education Multicultural education embodies a perspective rather than a curriculum. Along with the efforts of the communities and neighborhoods, schools are responsible for recognizing the need for the implementation of multicultural education. Teachers also must consider children's cultural identities and be aware of their own biases. For this purpose, adopting and implementing the multicultural education will play a very powerful role in unifying a divided nation. Gutek (2004) asserts that developing the multicultural educational programs which encourage a respect for cultural diversity will certainly build the needed balance between the subcultures and the larger national culture of the United States of America (p.168).
Digital Curriculum Enhanced multicultural curriculum with technology is the best strategy. Digital Curriculum will help ethnic students improve their English language and social skills through different multimedia resources. Digital Curriculum would benefit ethnic group because, “Black, Hispanic, and American Indian students, in general have fewer learning opportunities at home because there are fewer learning material there; they attend fewer classes outside of their regular school, and they have fewer educational activities provided by their parents” (Peng & Hill, 1995, p. 15).
Digital Curriculum Digital Curriculum will be delivered through creating and developing online collaborative learning community, where students will use different multimedia technologies, which will improve their communication, language and social skills.
Teachers should be prepared to deal with diversity inside classrooms and consider children's cultural identities and be aware of their own biases. Therefore, digital curriculum through using web-based collaborative technologies offers a better opportunity to reach students anywhere and anytime: enhance opportunities for students to develop digital literacy skills alongside traditional content area knowledge. encourage ethnic student to participate in online discussions which help them bring real-life examples into the classroom. The more relevant the material is to their lives, the more likely they are to integrate it. encourage students to use the online libraries and resources for their assignments. Digital Curriculum
Local Critical Issue My critical issue is diversity in education. Therefore, my action plan focuses on improving ethnic/racial students’ academic achievement in English language and social skills through developing and delivering Digital Curriculum.
What is collaborative learning? Collaborative learning is based on constructivist theory where learners construct knowledge for themselves. By joining collaborative learning communicates, people share their ideas, experiences, feelings, information, and within this process of exchange they come to the understanding of what is valuable and acceptable for the other members of the group, and for the group on the whole.
Why collaborative learning? Because Learners ..
are involved in socially and intellectually in the learning process.
become responsible for their own learning choices.
Online Collaborative Learning Communities Online collaborative learning communities are based on constructivist and behaviorist learning theories, and are more aligned with skills needed today and in the future.
Learning Technologies: There are four learning technologies used in this online collaborative community to develop and deliver the digital curriculum: LectureShare Second Life ePals Quizlet
LectureShare LectureShare is an e-learning platform which allows instructors to post course material to students. As a CMS, it offers instructors the ability to upload various types of educational material such as audio, video, notes and class announcements. In addition, LectureShare allows students to receive text messages (SMS) and email notifications when specific courses have been updated.
Second Life Second life is a virtual world used recently by many universities as a virtual classroom. This 3D virtual environment used to support language learning through providing learners with immersive, collaborative and game-like opportunities. Educators and learners will use second life to communicate, learn and socialize with others.
Quizlet Quizlet is a vocabulary learning tool helps students at all grade levels to enrich their vocabulary in most subjects: languages, literature, history, geography, social studies, math and science.
ePals ePals is the largest online community of connected classrooms! It connects millions of students, teachers, and classrooms globally.
Does the plan make or save money? $$$ The learning technologies used in this program are free; therefore, the plan will save money, because it will not require arranging special fund to incorporate these learning technologies to develop and deliver a digital curriculum.
Will the academic rigor be guaranteed? I am not sure if the academic rigor will be guaranteed until it is applied and evaluated. However, I can say that academic rigor could be guaranteed because developing an online collaborative community will engage students, faculty, and professional staff in activities designed to evolve a shared understanding of an ideal academic culture, which may include a variety of core educational experiences, as well as values and expectations.
How much risk for bad publicity? Opportunity for good? I think this project is an opportunity for good because learners will enjoy this new experience with virtual world which will lead to good publicity.
Will the curriculum developers be compensated (BIG issue!)? Staff and educators working on this project should be compensated to encourage them make further improvement. I think the more they succeed the more students will be admitted to the school that adopts this strategy because it will get a good reputation in understating students’ needs and parents expectations.
How To Measure the program’s success?! To measure the program’s success, there will be periodic evaluation for the program, which will work towards improving its delivery. This will include monitoring students’ achievements, conducting interviews with parents, and surveys.
Online Resources: Iienetwork. Retrieved on November 1st, 2009, from: http://www.iienetwork.org/?p=41543 Second Life. Retrieved on November 1st, 2009, from: www.Secondlife.com Lecture Share. Retrieved on November 1st, 2009, from: www.lectureshare.com Tech learning. Retrieved on November 1st, 2009, from http://www.techlearning.com/article/1912 Global Education. Retrieved on November 1st, 2009, from http://globaleducation.ning.com/groups Epal. Retrieved on November 1st, 2009, from http://www.epals.com/ Teaching and learning in diverse classrooms. Retrieved on November 1st, 2009, from http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI3056207/ http://www.curriki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Main/WebHome http://www.emints.org/ethemes/index.shtml ePlas. Retrieved on November 16, 2009, from: http://www.epals.com/ Quizlet. Retrieved on November 16, 2009, from http://quizlet.com/
References: Chan, S. M. (1997). Classic and contemporary readings in the philosophy of education. New York: McGraw-Hill. Gutek, G. L. (2004). Philosophical ideological voices in education. Boston: Pearson Education. Muni Net Guide. San Diego, California. Retrieved on October 07, 2009 from http://www.muninetguide.com/states/california/municipality/San_Diego.php Noguera, P. Confronting the Challenge of Diversity in Education. Retrieved on October 07, 2009 from http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/pndivers.html Peng, S & Hill, S. (1995). Understanding racial-ethnic differences in secondary school and mathematics achievement. Wilson, K. Multicultural Education. Retrieved on October 07, 2009 from: http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/papers/keith.html Wangenheim Middle School. Retrieved on October 09, 2009 from: http://www.education.com/schoolfinder/us/california/san-diego/wangenheim-middle/ Diversity in the Classroom. Retrieved on October 12, 2009 from: http://ematusov.soe.udel.edu/final.paper.pub/_pwfsfp/00000026.htm