College of Education and Human Services Department of Curriculum and Teaching CURR 509.01: Sociocultural Perspectives on Teaching and Learning Fall 2011 Mondays 5:30 – 8:00 pm/ UN 3013InstructorDr. David SchwarzerUniversity Hall email@example.comOffice Hours: T 4:30 – 5:30 pm or by appointmentCourse Description:This course examines the qualities of teachers, teaching, and schooling that foster the learning of pupilsfrom diverse social and cultural backgrounds. Students in the course use various socioculturalperspectives to explore the ways in which experiences of socialization shape perceptions of oneself andothers. They reflect on their own beliefs and assumptions about their sociocultural identities and howthey have been shaped through experience. Students also examine the nature and impact of theincreasing social and cultural diversity in K-12 schools, focusing on the experiences of socially andculturally diverse students in the United States. They investigate ways of teaching all childrensuccessfully and of developing positive relationships among teachers, parents, and children acrossdiversity. They reflect on their capacity to bring about educational change that promotes educationalequity and affirms diversity.Pre-requisites: CURR 505 or EDFD 505 and admission to teacher education program.Co-requisites: CURR 516 or EDFD 516, CURR 517.General Purpose:The primary aim of this course is to support future teachers in developing the knowledge, skills, anddispositions to become culturally responsive teachers – that is, teachers who can successfully teachchildren of all backgrounds and experiences, including social, cultural, racial, disability, sexualorientation, and linguistic diversities. The course seeks to cultivate in future teachers beliefs, attitudes,
and commitments toward all students, families, and communities that reflect such values as caring,fairness, responsibility, and social justice. It seeks to help future teachers develop knowledge of thenature of sociocultural diversity and its role in schooling. It further seeks to teach them aboutinstructional approaches and strategies that will foster learning among students from diversebackgrounds.Course Objectives:Upon completion of this course students will: • Understand that there are multiple ways of perceiving and interpreting the world and that those ways are profoundly shaped by one’s sociocultural experiences. • Critically examine their own beliefs, assumptions and perceptions about sociocultural identity, and understand how their own socialization has shaped their perceptions of themselves and other people. • Take an affirming perspective of people of diverse backgrounds rather than a deficit perspective, and therefore recognize diverse experiences and perspectives as resources for learning. • Understand the nature and impact of the increasing social and cultural diversity in K-12 schools. • Understand the schooling experiences of socially and culturally diverse students. • Develop a sense that they are responsible for and capable of bringing about educational change to enhance educational equity, and become committed to working for such change in their careers. • Understand why they must draw on their students’ prior knowledge and experience to help their future students learn. • Develop strategies for learning about their future students and their students’ families and communities. • Develop strategies for using what they know about learning, teaching, and their future students to design and carry out instruction so that they involve all students in the construction of knowledge, build on students’ personal and cultural strengths, examine the curriculum from multiple perspectives, use varied assessment practices that promote learning, and make the culture of the classroom inclusive of all students.Course Content and Scope:*Aligned with New Jersey Administrative Code (NJAC) for teacher preparation and National EducationalTechnology Standards (NETS) • Developing a framework for understanding sociocultural diversity (NJAC 3.i.1; MSU
Standards 3a, 12a)1. Developing an inclusive definition of diversity2. Socialization, sociocultural identity, and sociocultural consciousness a. The nature of the socialization process and its role in shaping perceptions of oneself, other people, and the world (MSU Standards 3a, 9,12h) b. Influence of socialization on identity (gender, race, ethnicity, social class, language, sexual orientation, disability, and other types of identity) c. The interconnectedness of different aspects of sociocultural identity d. The connection between sociocultural identity and schooling e. The school and classroom as a sociocultural setting f. The role of new media and technologies in shaping the processes of socialization and identity formation (NETS-T VI)3. The concept of culture (NJAC 2.i.2, 3.i.1) a. The meaning of culture b. Culture as a predominant force in shaping behaviors, values, and institutions (including education) c. The dimensions of culture and ways cultures can differ (1) Identity (2) Interpersonal relationships and interactional styles (3) Orientation to learning and knowledge (4) Affective orientation (5) Orientation to work and activity (6) Orientation to time (7) Orientation to space (8) Use of language d. Disability as a culture e. Cross-cultural issues related to child development, nature of families, parenting, language and the effect of these on schooling f. Examining one’s own cultural identity g. The mediation of culture through communications technology (NETS-T VI)4. Responses to the changing demographics in U.S. schools (MSU Standard 2, 4) a. The shifting demographics in schools and their impact on educational experiences of students and teachers b. Social stratification by race, ethnicity, social class, national origin, language, disability, and gender c. Theories of differential achievement by students of different sociocultural groups: cultural deficit, cultural difference, disability, and structured inequalities d. Examining one’s own and others’ attitudes towards those who are different
from the dominant sociocultural groups e. Developing an affirming attitude toward those who are different from the dominant sociocultural groups (NJAC 2.ii.2; MSU Standards 3b, 12a, b, c, d) f. Examining issues of access to educational technologies and the shifting demographics of the “digital divide” (NETS-T VI).• Implications of sociocultural diversity for education (NJAC 3.ii.2)1. The schooling experiences of students of different sociocultural groups a. Gender and schooling b. Race/ethnicity and schooling c. Social class and schooling d. Language and schooling e. Disability and schooling f. Family structures and schooling g. Technology access and schooling (NJAC 4.i.4; NETS-T VI)2. The implications of theories of learning for teaching socioculturally diverse students a. Explanations for how people learn: Transmission and constructivist views b. The cognitive dimension of learning c. The social dimension of learning d. The role of prior experience and knowledge in learning3. The influence of cultural variation on schooling a. Identity orientation (e.g., collectivist/individualist) b. Interactional styles (e.g., participatory/passive, distant/involved, egalitarian/ authoritarian) c. Cognitive style (e.g., field-sensitive/more field-independent, reflective/ spontaneous, object-oriented/people-oriented, analytic/holistic, cooperative/ competitive) d. Orientation to learning and knowledge (e.g., teacher-directed/self-directed, adult-oriented/peer-oriented, individual/group) e. Affective styles (e.g., expressive/restrained, direct/indirect) f. Orientation to work and activity (e.g., collectivist/individualist, value for efficiency/value for relationships) g. Orientation to time h. Orientation to space• Qualities and practices of culturally responsive teachers (MSU Standards 3c, 12j)1. Understandings, dispositions, and orientations (NJAC 3) a. Awareness of and appreciation for sociocultural differences, including linguistic, ethnic, and individual learning differences and disabilities b. Sociocultural consciousness—understanding that a person’s sociocultural
positions shape his/her worldview and learning c. Self-awareness—understanding of one’s own sociocultural positions and how those have shaped one’s worldview d. Understanding how sociocultural differences can influence interactions and communication2. Skills and knowledge (MSU Standards 2, 3d, e) a. Strategies for learning about students’ cultures b. Strategies for increasing respect for diversity, reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations, and reducing the marginalization of students with disabilities. c. Strategies for establishing a classroom environment that supports learning and minimizes non-instructional time d. Strategies for helping students become bicultural e. Strategies for designing a technology-enhanced classroom environment to support the needs of diverse learners (NETS-T II).3. Practices (NJAC 4.iii.; MSU Standards 3f, 4, 9) a. Adapting instruction for socioculturally diverse students (1) Engaging all students in the construction of knowledge (2) Building on students’ personal, linguistic, and cultural strengths (3) Enabling students to examine the curriculum from multiple perspectives (4) Using assessments that promote learning (5) Making the culture of the classroom responsive to all students (6) Ensuring access to the curriculum for all learners (7) Critiquing current educational practices as ideal for all students (e.g., considering individual differences; the need for alternate forms of assessment; need for explicit instruction in basic skills) b. Designing curriculum that takes sociocultural factors into account c. Designing developmentally appropriate learning opportunities that apply technology-enhanced instructional strategies to support the diverse needs of learners (NETS-T II. A.)4. Culturally responsive education beyond the classroom (NJAC 3iii2; MSU Standard 3a, b, e, 10) a. Collaboration among educators, families, and communities b. Standards and sociocultural diversity c. Standardized testing and sociocultural diversity d. Federal and state educational policies and sociocultural diversity e. Uses of technology to communicate and collaborate with peers, parents, and the larger community in order to nurture culturally responsive teaching (NETS-T V. D.)
f. The teacher as an advocate for diverse learnersExpectations and Requirements 1. Assignments should be on time a. Late submissions of assignments will not be accepted. No exceptions. If you know you will be missing a particular class session, submit I should receive a digital copy in compliance with the due date. Also, please respect your responsibility to other members of your presentation groups. b. Never give me your only copy of a project or assignment. Always keep an extra date-stamped digital copy for your own records (send an email to yourself). If there is a discrepancy at the end of the semester, it may make a difference in your final grade if you are able to resubmit an otherwise lost assignment. c. I expect you to do your own work for this course, work independently, and give credit for all materials used in your research. As an MSU student and a future teacher you are responsible for knowing the university policies on academic honesty and citing all source materials. All students who engage in dishonest acts such as cheating and/or plagiarism will be subject to disciplinary action, which includes failure of the course and possible expulsion from the university. Please consult the University Handbook for further details. (http://www.montclair.edu/studenthandbook/). d. All written work should adhere to university standards for writing (see specifics at http://www.montclair.edu/studenthandbook/writing.html). e. All assignments must be word-processed and follow APA guidelines.Resources Available: • Accommodating Students with Disabilities Please note that Montclair State University accommodates students with disabilities. For more information, go to: http://www.montclair.edu/wellness/SSD/Index.html • The Writing Center MSU provides assistance to students who need help with their writing. Visit: http://english.montclair.edu/Programs2/FirstYear/Writing_center.htm • ADP Center for Teacher Preparation & Learning Technologies The first floor of University Hall houses the Curriculum Resource Collection, containing 10,000 curriculum guides, 400 videos, 200 software titles, sample tests, 100 journals and publications, and school publisher catalogs. The ADP Center staff also provides tutorials, training, one-on-one
mentoring and monthly workshops for students interested in learning how to use technology as a teaching tool. They can be reached at (973) 655-5220. • Office of Information Technology Training & Technology Group now offers training events for students. They have designed several workshops that are specifically geared for students to assist you in your coursework: Introduction to Blackboard for Students • e-Portfolio for Students • Web Design for Students • Secure File Storage for Students • Microsoft Office To sign up, go to: http://oit.montclair.edu/trainingandevents.html2. Attendance is necessary. You are allowed a maximum of 2 absences during the semester.Please do not report your absences to me (with the exception of religious observances). You aresolely responsible for finding out from your classmates what you missed during your absence.Forming collaborative partnerships with your classmates will increase your chances of success inthis course. Your grade will automatically default to “F” if you accumulate more than 2absences during the semester. Missing more than 1 hour of a class session is considered anabsence.3. Communication, a topic we will discuss in depth, is essential in learning. Refrain from textmessaging or taking calls while class is in session. Power-off (or set to silent mode) your cellphones upon entering the classroom. It is acceptable to bring laptops for use within theclassroom, as long as it does not distract you or others from fully participating in group activitiesand discussion.4. Engagement requires you to be active in the learning process, even when we are not togetheras a class. Therefore, you will be expected to contribute to the community of learners by sharingyour experience and insights. You must come to class prepared to engage in an active, ratherthan passive, learning environment. We will use Ning fairly often, as a repository formaterials and assignments, a post for announcements, and a means to share best practices. Youshould check Ning in between our class meetings. You must use your mail.montclair.eduaccount to have access to this site.REQUIRED TEXTBOOK(S)/ADDITONAL COURSE READINGSVillegas, A. M., & Lucas, T. (2002). Educating Culturally Responsive Teachers:A Coherent Approach. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.Freeman, Y., Freeman, D. & Ramirez, R. (2008). Diverse Learners in the Mainstream Classroom:Strategies for Supporting ALL Students Across Content Areas. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Yatvin, J. (2007). English-Only Teaching is Mixed-Language Classrooms: A Survival Guide. Portsmouth,NH: Heinemann.
* Additional reading materials will be posted on our Ning.As part of the class, each student will also need to read a selection of articles/books aboutpromoting diversity in their specific area of specialization.COURSE REQUIREMENTS1. Class participation: Students are expected to complete all assigned readings and activelyparticipate in all classroom discussions. This is a class on teaching: as teachers, we will allexpect our students to read and reflect on current research; as students, we must be prepared topractice what we preach.2. Setting goals, midterm and final self-assessments: Since this course serves a range of agesand contexts, it is important for students to develop their own personal goals as part of the courseformat. Moreover, these goals should be revisited at the end of the class in order to self –evaluate your own progress. Please, remember to first detail a few goals for the semester,followed by an operationalized list of items required to attain the goal. By the end of thesemester, students will need to document how well they were able to complete their goals.For example:Goal 1: to reflect on my own experiences as a student and its implications as a future PE teacher.I will attain this goal by interviewing two fellow PE teachers in urban settings; and by readingthree articles on school reform and its implications for PE educators.Each of these assignments should be about a half a page in length.Goals are due Sept 26th - 8 PM - Each student should detail his/her learning goals for thesemester and place them in the goals section in the discussion group folder.Midterm self-evaluations are due Oct. 24th – 8 PM - Each student should evaluate and detail his/her fulfillment of the learning goals by midterm.Final self-evaluation are due Dec 5th – 8 PM Each student should evaluate and detail his/herfulfillment of the learning goals by the end of the term.3. Weekly reflection on the readings (Translingualism.ning.com): Reading reactions providestudents with an opportunity to reflect upon what they have read. Through systematic reflection,students assume accountability for making what they have read a part of their own knowledgebase. Students are to select a point or statement from the assigned readings and then write areflection on one or more of the following prompts: what surprised them, what they would like toimplement, what they would like to share with colleagues, what they (dis)agree with, what they
do not understand, what shocked them, what intrigued them, and/or what they would like toknow more about.Each reading reflection should be about 300 words or a full paragraph in length. Reading reflections aredue Sunday 5 PM each week. Late reading reflections should be posted as soon as possible for partialcredit.NOTE: Reading reflections are first drafts of personal (and often emotional) responses. They are notexpected to be polished prose. Points will not be deducted for spelling and grammar mistakes. Theseassignments will be marked on the following basis: + exceeds expectations √ meets expectations - doesn’t meet expectationsLast posting on Dec 5th at 5 PM4. Individual Presentation: Each student will prepare a presentation and lead a discussion ofone/two chapters of the assigned reading. The presentation should be posted ontranslingualism.ning.com on Friday by 5 PM for the upcoming week presentation. Posting thepresentations in advance will allow students to read the material with an eye on thequestions/topics for discussion.Each presentation should be approximately 50-55 minutes long and be based on the followingformat:15 minutes – present a summary of the key issues of the reading to the entire class using someaspect of instructional technology. The summary should be brief – assume all students havecompleted the assigned readings (ie. no more than 4 slides on Powerpoint).30 minutes – provide questions/topics for discussion in small groups of 3-4 students. Presentersshould also circulate among the groups in order to guide and interact with the small groups.5-10 minutes – provide a summary of the pertinent issues under discussion.5. Community Study: The purpose of this assignment is to help you: (a) develop a framework forunderstanding the relationship between schools, communities, and society; (b) cultivate skills needed tofamiliarize yourself with diverse communities and their residents; (c) envision ways you can help yourfuture students see connections between their in- and out-of-school experiences; (d) and promote yourability to work collaboratively with colleagues. The assignment involves an in-depth investigation of adiverse community and its schools. Specifically, your investigation will focus on a racially/ethnicallydiverse and economically impoverished district (from among those formerly designated as “Abbott”districts). A list of these districts will be provided in class.It involves a variety of activities, including: • Spending time in the community to learn about it first-hand
• Speaking with people who live and/or work in the community • Analyzing demographic information about the community, taken from the U.S. Census Bureau • Analyzing students’ performance on key assessments systematically administered in school, as reported in the most current School Report Cards published by the New Jersey Department of Education • Conducting relevant internet searches • Researching an agency/organization that provide education-related services to children in the target community As part of this project, you are expected to produce two reports, one submitted by the group and theother individually. A detail outline for both reports will be discussed in class. See Appendices to thesyllabus.Please, follow the following criteria (APA Format) for your paper as indicated below: Length: 1500-2000 words Use a proper heading that is aligned in the top left corner of your paper: Your Name, Professor’s Name, Title of Course, Due Date of Assignment. No cover page is required. Use 1” margins, double-space your paragraphs, include a centered title (e.g. Autobiography of Schooling) – Do not bold print, underline, italicize, or put quotation marks around your title. Do not create extra space between your title and the heading or the body of your paragraph. Use “Times New Roman,” 12-pt. font. Use forms attached to the document. Due date for the group report: 10/10/11 Due date for the individual report: 11/14/11 Please bring a copy to class on the date listed above AND post it to the Ning section listed as community study.We will also discuss the possibility to create a class website to showcase these autobiographicalpieces and its implications for educators in the USA.5. Final Project (transligualism.ning.com):As part of this class we will explore three different ways to develop a final project related to thelinguistic reality of most classes in the country today – we have mostly middle class monolingualwhite female teachers teaching mostly linguistically, ethnically and economically diversetransnational students. Two ideas for a final project are provided bellow:1. Conduct a linguistic landscape of the community you researched.2. Conduct a methodological plan to promote transligualism in your content area.Please, follow the following criteria (APA Format) for your final project as indicated below: Length: 1500-2000 words Use a proper heading that is aligned in the top left corner of your paper: Your Name, Professor’s Name, Title of Course, Due Date of Assignment. No cover page is required.
Use 1” margins, double-space your paragraphs, include a centered title (e.g. Autobiography of Schooling) – Do not bold print, underline, italicize, or put quotation marks around your title. Do not create extra space between your title and the heading or the body of your paragraph. Use “Times New Roman,” 12-pt. font. Due date: 12/12/11 Please bring a copy to class on the date listed above AND post it to the Ning section listed as autobiography.You will also be encouraged to prepare a video clip (for extra credit) to be posted on Ning ordelivered to the professor. We will play those video clips one after the other on our last meetingof the semester. Each video clip will be five-minutes-long and will include: a. The background of your community. b. The key components of your final project. c. What are the implications for your discipline (special education, PE, Math & Science, etc.)Be concrete – talk about 3 concrete ideas that could have been implemented in your school/class/community to better address the perceived challengeEvaluation:VI. ASSIGNMENT/PRODUCT POINT VALUES AND GRADING SCALEClass participation 10%Weekly postings on the Ning 10%Class goals, midterm and final self -assessment 10%Individual presentation 15%Community Study (group) 15%Community Study (individual) 15%Final Project (written critiques and analyses of Law and Policies) 25%*Video clip (extra credit) *10%Grading Standards:
The following evaluation criteria are applied to all written and oral work. For majorassignments, detailed rubrics will be provided. A—Demonstration of superior work. Work demonstrates deep and detailed understanding of material and is logically developed. Creativity or special insights are evident, and work is free from spelling, grammatical, and/or formatting errors. B—Very good work. Work demonstrates a clear understanding of the material and provides relevant details that ground theory in practice. Work displays coherent organization, addresses the purpose of the assignment, and is relatively free from spelling, grammatical, and/or formatting errors. C—Satisfactory work. Work, for the most part, demonstrates understanding of material and provides a few relevant details. Work displays a basic level of organization, mildly addresses the purpose of the assignment, and contains a few spelling, grammatical, and/or formatting errors. D—Unsatisfactory work. Student work displays a severe lack of understanding of material and provides little or no relevant detail. The work is poorly organized, does not meet the purpose of the assignment, and contains numerous spelling, grammatical, and/or formatting errors F—Work is neither satisfactory nor complete. Student work displays no understanding of material and provides no detail. The work lacks organization, does not meet the purpose of the assignment, and does not adhere to spelling, grammatical, and/or formatting guidelines.94-100%= A 84-86%= B 74-76%= C 64-66%= D 90-93%= A- 80-83%= B- 70-73%= C- 60-63%= D- 87-89%= B+ 77-79%= C+ 67-69%= D+ 59% or below= F
Tentative Course Schedule* Dates and assignments are subject to change DATE TOPIC READING Orientation Syllabus – Ning – Projects for theSept 12 class Demographics & orientations for Villegas & Lucas – Intro- chapts 1-2Sept 19 teaching transnational children Culturally responsive teaching & V&L – Chapt 3-4Sept 26 practices Goals Due Context for educating culturally V&L – Chap. 5-conclusionsOct 3 responsive teachersOct 10 Revisiting Villegas & Lucas – Community project – group setting up community project section due individual sectionOct 17 Cultural diversity & ELL Freeman, Freeman & Ramirez intro chapt 1-2Oct 24 Bilingual Ed & Effective F, F & R Chapts 3-5 practices for SPED & Gifted Midterm goals dueOct 31 Multiple intelligences, using F, F & R Chapts 6-8 technology & early childhoodNov 7 Middle school math, literacy & F, F & R Chapts 9-11 Social StudiesNov 14 Revisiting Freeman, Freeman Community project – individual and Ramirez – setting up final section due project options.Nov 21 Classroom today, beliefs and Yatvin intro, 1&2 Mixed language classroomNov 28 Welcoming ELLs English Yatvin 3-5 instruction – Teaching Reading & WritingDec 5 Content Learning, learning Yatvin 6-8 together & further support Final goals dueDec 12 Final Presentations Final Project due *Video clip due (extra credit)