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Posted on July 10, 2016 11:35 pm
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kelsey karr
kelsey karr
Reps: 105
Culture in the Classroom - Teaching Tolerance
Culture in the Classroom

Professional Development: Understanding Culture
Educators today hear a lot about gaps in education achievement gaps, funding gaps, school-readiness gaps. Still, there's another gap that often goes unexamined: the cultural gap between students and teachers.

"A bunch of teachers here, they think they know what's wrong with us. But they don't know. If people want to help us, they have to see what we've been through, not from what their own experiences tell them."
Billie, a Lakota teen speaking of the teachers at her high school

Most of us in the education profession are white, middle-class, monolingual-English speakers. Increasingly, the same profile does not hold true for our students. Often, when we stand before our classrooms, the faces looking back at us do not look like our own. Many of us try to bridge this difference with an embrace of color-blindness or the Golden Rule, treating others the way we would want to be treated.

But the truth is: culture matters.

Culture isn't just a list of holidays or shared recipes, religious traditions, or language; it is a lived experience unique to each individual. As educators, it's our job to stimulate the intellectual development of children, and, in this era, it's simply not enough to operate on the axis of color-blindness.

To truly engage students, we must reach out to them in ways that are culturally and linguistically responsive and appropriate, and we must examine the cultural assumptions and stereotypes we bring into the classroom that may hinder interconnectedness.

Overcoming Stereotypes
To engage students effectively in the learning process, teachers must know their students and their academic abilities individually, rather than relying on racial or ethnic stereotypes or prior experience with other students of similar backgrounds.

Many teachers, for example, admire the perceived academic prowess and motivation of Asian American students and fail to recognize how even a "positive" stereotype isn't positive if it presses students into molds not built for them individually.

Source: http://www.tolerance.org/culture-classroom
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted October 18, 2016 1:07 am

Kristen OBryant
Kristen OBryant
Reps: 103
Beginning the school year with a "Get to Know You" activity which incorporates questions about culture can help open up the classroom to embracing differences and fostering learning about differences while pointing out basic human similarities.
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aDuZyJ
aDuZyJ
Reps: 99
Culture is indeed very important, not just the holidays and celebrations. It is so much more than that.
  Posted on: March 4, 2017 9:49 pm

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Solution 2
Posted July 10, 2017 3:45 am

uReZyW
uReZyW
Reps: 101
I agree culture is important. I like when the article says "Culture isn't just a list of holidays or shared recipes, religious traditions, or language; it is a lived experience unique to each individual. As educators, it's our job to stimulate the intellectual development of children, and, in this era, it's simply not enough to operate on the axis of color-blindness."
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Solution 3
Posted July 7, 2017 3:05 pm

ePeHuG
ePeHuG
Reps: 101
Incorperating cutlure in to the classroom by posters and acticites is a good way to be culturally aware.
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