Posts Tagged ‘Cultural Differences’

EDCI 506 Culture, Socialization, and Education Week #9

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Culture, Socialization, and Education

I know it will be a challenge having students from all different backgrounds, who have different beliefs and values associated with their respective cultures.  I personally like to think of it as an exciting challenge, because it is a way for me to gain more knowledge about different cultures and a way for me to expand my horizons in general.  When taking the perspective of the teacher in the example, having a lot of Asian Americans will make for challenges in teaching, however I think that I could accommodate by trying to meet every students needs by having a lot of group work and by having certain times designated for individual work.  As it was described in the example, Asian Americans are concerned with the value of the group; therefore, I am assuming they like to work together to accomplish goals outside of classroom.  If a teacher can transmit what students know outside of the classroom, into the classroom, learning will probably make a lot more sense.  Dewey says in his book Experience and Education (1938) that “the beginning of instruction shall be made with the experience learners already have” (p. 74).  If most of the students are Asian American, than they will already have knowledge about how to work together in a team, and will prefer that teaching and learning style.  I, as the teacher, would make sure that the students would have a lot of time to engage in group work, however, I would have to set aside times for individual work for assessments and evaluations.

This type of community feeling in the classroom would transmit to the relationships with parents and families.  If the children learned to think collectively as a culture from their parents, than their parents obviously have the same values, which will require me as the teacher to be very open when it comes to dealing with the families.  One way in which I can transmit their values of the whole society and relate it to the classroom is during parent teacher conferences; I could show them work that their child did individually, but also show them things that the whole class has done.  I would also hope to build a repertoire with my students’ parents by attending events in the community; this way I will get to show them that I am interested in learning about their culture and also want to have a positive relationship with them.

What are some cultural patterns that will influence your instruction?

 

Many different cultural patterns will influence my instruction.  For example, as previously mentioned, I would incorporate a lot of group work for students whose culture value the group and think collectively as compared to individually.  One aspect of cultural patterns that I will try and be aware of is through my own cultural lens.  I know that there is a lot of hidden curriculum in schools today, which can be very culturally biased.  Hidden curriculum is “what students learn, other than academic content, from what they do or are expected to do in school” (Ornstein, Levine, & Gutek, 2011, p. 317).  If I have a student who moves to the United States from a different place where eye contact is viewed as disrespectful, I do not want to punish a child for not looking at me in the eyes.  I would need to expand my cultural knowledge before telling a student to do something that goes completely against everything that they have every learned from their culture.

How will gender roles have an impact in your teaching and your students learning?

 

My hope is that gender roles will not impact my teaching or my students learning.  I know that in a lot of cases students are treated differently or are expected to perform in a certain way based on their gender, and I think that that is wrong.  People tend to believe that boys are better in math and science content areas, while girls are better in language arts (Ornstein, Levine, & Gutek, 2011).  The textbook quotes, “Recent studies in the United States indicate that sex differences in academic achievement are relatively small to nonexistent” (Ornstein, Levine, & Gutek, 2011, p. 327).  In my classroom, I want to have high expectations for all of my students, despite gender.  I will, however, have to be aware of my personal biases when it comes to gender and consciously work at treating all students equally.

How will educational technologies help your instruction?

 

I think that educational technologies will help me a lot when it comes to instruction.  One piece of equipment that I hope to have in my classroom is a smart board.  If I am fortunate enough to have one, then I plan on making interactive games on them for my students to use as a way to expose my students to technology but also to engage my students in interactive learning.  The book mentioned using television programs as a way to related to students, and I think that could be a good idea for some lessons, but I also do not want to promote watching television.  The negative outcomes of watching television outweigh the positives when it comes to using television programs in school, in my opinion.  For example, the textbook mentions, “television, video games, and other media may encourage aggressive or violent behavior” (Ornstein, Levine, & Gutek, 2011, p. 323).  Through using television programs in the classroom, the teacher is essentially promoting those programs, which is why I do not think that I will incorporate television programs into my lessons.  I will however, get to know my students on a personal level, and one way to do that would be to discuss the TV shows they like to watch; these types of conversations will benefit interpersonal relationships.

 

The Chinese Proverb “Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.”

After reading this proverb, answer this question. How will you become knowledgeable about your students differences? 

I will become more knowledgeable about my students differences through being an active community member and being involved so that I understand more about their cultural differences.  I will try and attend events in all areas of town, or at least seek out the areas that my students live in, in order to gain more knowledge about their home life and overall lifestyles.  So much of what a child knows comes from their home life, which can sometimes make it difficult for them when it comes to school.  Students who live in a single parent home are more likely to be in poverty and are more likely to have academic problems (Ornstein, Levine, & Gutek, 2011).  Some children are latchkey, meaning go to unsupervised homes after school, which can lead to poor choices and drug use (Ornstein, Levine, & Gutek, 2011).  I want to know this type of information about my students so that I can better serve them, whether it be getting them into an after school program, or helping to connect families with resources.  The only way for me to really understand my students’ outside lives is to be exposed to them, and the only way to be exposed it to put myself in situations where I can observe and witness what is actually happening in their lives.

 

Here is a link to a website that has awareness activity ideas.  One of the activities that I really liked that reminded me of Freedom Writers is the icebreaker respect exercise.  It allows for students to discuss different ideas of what respect means, which is a way to promote a respectful classroom climate.

http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/activityarch.html

 

References

Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. New York, NY: Touchstone.

Ornstein, A.C., Levine, D.U., & Gutek, G.L. (2011). Foundations of education (11th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.


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