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Supporting Diverse Students In School 110608


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Supporting Diverse Students In School 110608

  2. 2. <ul><li>G eorge Spindler, a professor at Stanford, found that “the longer a Mexican child stayed in school, the lower his or her academic performance, and that even his or her IQ test performance (California Mental Maturity) tended to suffer… In short, schooling wasn’t working for most children of Mexican descent ” </li></ul><ul><li> (McDermott & Erickson, 2000, p. 7). </li></ul>
  3. 3. DIFFERENTIAL SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT <ul><li>Differential school achievement is a complex issue that involves many factors. </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers have been looking at differential school achievement for a number of years from various perspectives. </li></ul><ul><li>There is no one single, easy solution to work through issues related to differential school achievement, but researchers do have some suggestions. </li></ul>
  4. 4. DEFICITS VS. DIFFERENCES <ul><ul><li>This overview contrasts two perspectives on differential school achievement for the purposes of better understanding the needs of diverse students and how teachers can support them in learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Deficit Theory </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What is wrong with students and their home-based cultures and backgrounds? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sociolinguistic/Sociocultural Theory </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What are the differences in cultural communicative patterns that may lead to differences in understanding? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This overview also offers research-based suggestions related to standardized assessments and student achievement. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How can evaluation measures be more indicative of student learning? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. CULTURAL DEFICIT THEORY <ul><li>Previously broadly held theory that attributed lower achievement to a genetic deficit or deprivation in the cognitive, linguistic, and social development of minority students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Viewed students as and their home cultures as the problem and schooling as a remedial process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research finding relevant strengths of minority students that relate to school subjects but are not usually built upon partially refutes this theory </li></ul>
  6. 6. SOCIOLINGUISTIC/SOCIO-CULTURAL DIFFERENCE THEORY <ul><li>Rather than diagnosing what could be wrong with students or their cultures, this theoretical perspective investigates what schools may be doing that may not reach minority students despite the best of intentions. </li></ul><ul><li>This perspective recommends working to understand cultural differences as an alternative to looking for cultural deficits. </li></ul>
  7. 7. EXAMPLES OF KEY DIFFERENCES FOUND <ul><li>Communication styles between teachers and their students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This can include questioning patterns, body language, gestures, expressions, eye contact, and intonation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Different cultural and class-based views on reading </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shirley Brice-Heath’s work looked at how middle-class students were better prepared for school-based activities because they aligned with home-based activities and values. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other students had other highly developed communication skills that were not included in school-based activities and assessments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Schooling may validate the cultural values of one class over another’s </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. EFFORTS TO UNDERSTAND DIFFERENCE: Questions to consider <ul><li>How do teachers view their own cultures and understand cultural differences between themselves and their students? </li></ul><ul><li>To what extent do teachers understand students’ cultural and home backgrounds? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How may classroom instruction challenge students’ cultural understandings? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>i.e., drawing examples from “Sweet Sixteen” as a right of passage, where Latina students may celebrate a Quinceañera (Age 15) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the unintended lessons being learned? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What are the social implications of Latina girls are not being selected as Homecoming Queens or cheerleaders (Foley, 1990) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. EFFORTS TO UNDERSTAND DIFFERENCE: More questions to consider <ul><li>What sorts of instructional approaches may be supportive for a broader group of students? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How may oversimplifying students’ cultural backgrounds and adopting instructional approaches not accounting for the dynamic, shifting, nature of student culture and development challenge students? (Gutierrez & Rogoff, 2003) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the implications of oversimplifying instruction for Latino/a students? Researchers argue this leads to a false sense of accomplishment… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Through interviewing, first and second-generation immigrants in California expressed a desire for “a teacher who marks up my paper and helps me”… “who helps me read a book I think is too hard for me.” (Fine et al., 2007,p. 80) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. MAKING DIFFERENCE AN ASSET EXAMPLE 1: FUNDS OF KNOWLEDGE <ul><li>Gonzalez, Moll, & Amanti (2005) used a Funds of Knowledge approach, where teachers research the communities of students they serve to learn more about the everyday lives of their students, cultural tools, and knowledge contained in those communities that they could draw on in their classrooms. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The purpose of drawing on student experience with household knowledge is not to merely reproduce household knowledge in the classroom… instead, by drawing on household knowledge, student experience is legitimated as valid, and classroom practice can build on the familiar knowledge bases that students can manipulate to enhance learning.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li> (Gonzalez, Moll, & Amanti, 2005, p. 43) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. MAKING DIFFERENCE AN ASSET EXAMPLE 1: FUNDS OF KNOWLEDGE <ul><ul><li>Though this work focused on elementary students, greater awareness of students’ home-lives helped teachers better frame instruction. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consider assigning research projects that may relate to students’ home/community-based concerns at the high school level </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Through home visits and interviews, teachers were able to determine how parents in these communities could contribute their knowledge to instruction in the classroom and become active participants in the schools their children attend </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For example, guest visits from parents where they represent their professions and the associated skills and knowledge </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why this may work: Students’ home lives are better connected to schooling; Home ways of knowing become validated, not challenged; parents become involved in students’ schooling experience </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. MODIFYING INSTRUCTIONAL APPROACHES EXAMPLE 2:ADOPTING A BOTH/AND APPROACH <ul><li>Jerry Lipka (1998) worked with group of Yu’pik native students in Alaska to determine how to incorporate their cultural understandings into schooling. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adopted an “additive” approach to instruction that considered both native and mainstream schooling practices (“both/and”) instead of either one or the other (“either/or”). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Developed instruction in science and math to incorporate both modern-day understandings about science and math and native beliefs and understandings (using narratives of traditional explanations of natural phenomena and activities requiring the use of measurement) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Also, determined that questioning patterns were not culturally congruent with students’ ways of responding and adapted instructional approaches </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. INSTRUCTIONAL APPROACHES FOR SUPPORTING DIVERSE STUDENTS <ul><li>The following suggestions stem from literature to support ELL students in mediating sociolinguistic and sociocultural differences in science instruction (Okhee Lee, P-SELL project). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporate the use of literacy strategies for all students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support English as a Second Language strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use linguistic scaffolding in instruction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invite the use of home language in the classroom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bridge home and community culture into classroom instruction and activities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These suggestions may be applied more broadly across subject areas at other grade levels as best practices that support diverse students in learning. </li></ul>
  14. 14. INCORPORATE THE USE OF LITERACY STRATEGIES FOR ALL STUDENTS <ul><ul><li>All students can use support in literacy learning across the curriculum. Embed literacy strategies that: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Activate prior knowledge </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Promote different genres of writing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use graphic organizers (e.g., concept map, word wall, Venn diagram, KWL) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage student reading, writing, journaling </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>This can be included into regular classroom instruction, essay assignments, lab reports, etc. </li></ul>
  15. 15. SUPPORT ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE STRATEGIES <ul><ul><li>Some would argue that all students are English language learners! Consider how to support students in appropriating language skills related to the subject-matter you are teaching: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use a small number of key terms in multiple contexts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use examples from real life </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage multiple modes of representations (gestural, oral, pictorial, graphic, textual </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide extra guidance when using operational words (for example, what does it mean to analyze ?) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. USE LINGUISTIC SCAFFOLDING IN INSTRUCTION <ul><ul><li>You can have your cake and eat it too! Research indicates that students with limited English language proficiency learn both language and content in content-area classes. However, the following may help better support student learning: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reducing language load while maintaining rigor of instruction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For example, rather than focusing on the pronunciation or spelling of a word, focus on the major concepts you are covering in your instructional unit </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using language that matches students’ communicative competence in length, complexity, and abstraction </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. INVITE THE USE OF HOME LANGUAGE IN THE CLASSROOM <ul><ul><li>Focus on the instructional goals of your lesson rather than correcting students’ grammatical mistakes! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Researchers show that when students use their own ways of talking about things (i.e. own terms, jargon, etc.) content-matter learning occurs. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Allow ELLs to discuss the lesson in class using their native language and own terms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Be explicit when different forms of language need to be used. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For example, encourage the use of both “science terms” and other ways of talking about the science content-matter (the both/and approach). </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Build on students’ lived experiences at home and in the community (i.e., funds of knowledge) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assign students to interview a family/community-member about a relevant topic being discussed in class. For example, in a class discussing agriculture, how does a family member with a garden grow vegetables? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Explore culturally-based ways students communicate and interact in their home and community (i.e., cultural congruence) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask students to write a letter to a family-member or peer about what they’re learning in class. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use students’ cultural artifacts, culturally relevant examples, and community resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Draw on what students bring to class and frame it as a resource to better connect the subject-matter you teach to their everyday understandings. </li></ul></ul>BRIDGE HOME AND COMMUNITY CULTURE INTO CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION AND ACTIVITIES:
  19. 19. TESTING…TESTING…1,2,3…AND MOTIVATION TO LEARN <ul><li>In a climate of increased student testing as a measure of school accountability, educational researchers are finding: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase in instruction toward test preparation in lieu of content-matter instruction, especially in urban school settings serving minority students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evidence of decrease in student interest in participating in school and school tasks with an increase in teacher-based focus on test preparation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greater teacher focus on test-preparation may reinforce the achievement gap </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Researchers argue that students will perform better on tests through instruction that engages them in learning! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alternative, inquiry-based instructional approaches supported Latino ELL middle-school students reach higher scores on standardized measures in reading, writing, math, and science in a Southern California school district (Amaral, Garrison, & Klentschy, 2001) </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. OTHER WAYS OF MEASURING STUDENT LEARNING <ul><li>Though standardized tests are important measures of accountability for schools, they may not be indicative of various kinds of learning. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Researchers point to the use of alternative forms of assessments through portfolios, research assignments, and projects, etc., to better represent student learning (Fine et al., 2007). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive reinforcement from success on alternative measures may motivate students to maintain interest in learning. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. REFERENCES AND FURTHER RESOURCES <ul><li>Amaral, O., Garrison, L., & Klentschy, M. (2002). Helping English learners increase achievement through inquiry-based science instruction. Bilingual Research Journal, 26 (2), 213-239. </li></ul><ul><li>Brice Heath, S. (1982/reprinted 2000). What no bedtime story means: Narrative skills at home and school. In B. Levinson et al. (ed.) Schooling the symbolic animal: Social and cultural dimensions of education , pp. 169-189. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. </li></ul><ul><li>Gonzalez, N., Moll, L., & Amanti, C. (2005). Funds of knowledge: Theorizing practices in households, communities, and classrooms . Mahwah: Lawrence Associates, Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>Gutierrez, K., & Rogoff, B. (2003). Cultural ways of learning: Individual traits or repertoires of practice? Educational Researcher, 32, 19-25 </li></ul><ul><li>Fine, M., Jaffe-Walter, R., Pedraza, P., Futch, V., & Stoudt, B. (2007). Swimming: On oxygen, resistance, and possibility for immigrant youth under siege. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 38 , 76-96. </li></ul><ul><li>Lipka, J., Mohatt, G., & the Ciulistet Group (1998). Transforming the culture of schools: Yup’ik Eskimo examples . Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. </li></ul><ul><li>McDermott, R., & Erickson, F. (2000). George Spindler (Ed.): Interviews and Transmission of American Culture in Fifty Years of Anthropology and Education 1950-2000: A Spindler Anthology. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Publishers. </li></ul><ul><li>Ogbu, J. (1987). Variability in minority school performance: A problem in search of an explanation. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 18 (4), 312-334. </li></ul><ul><li>Settlage, J., & Meadows, L. (2002). Standards-based reform and its unintended consequences: Implications for science education within America’s urban schools. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39 (2), 114-127. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Willis, P. (1982). Learning to labor: How working class kids get working class jobs . New York: Columbia University Press </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Compiled for the Arroyo High School Teacher In-Service Day, November 11 th , 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Cornell University Department of Education </li></ul><ul><li>For further information, please contact : </li></ul><ul><li>Xenia Meyer, Doctoral Student Department of Education, Cornell University 400 Kennedy Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853 [email_address] </li></ul>