Please reflect on the following Essential Question that has been posted on the front wall for the last three weeks:
1. How does understanding culture and power impact your teaching?
2. Pick three terms that resonate with you from the Multicultural Education word wall. Define the terms and discuss why you chose these three terms.
3. Describe your plan to teach in a culturally responsive way in the coming year. Include teaching strategies you might employ as well as content/units you will implement.
- Culture is the lens through which one views and makes sense of the world. Everything around one makes up culture: language, place, habits, beliefs, values, food, clothing, attitudes, spirituality, etc. Understanding culture enables a teacher to be able to understand how students perceive the world around them. It is less likely that students will grab ahold of topics and issues presented if the material is not related to their culture; if it is irrelevant.
- Three words that stand out for me off the world wall are “critical thinking,” “fragmentation,” and “hope.”
Critical thinking is the process of thinking and of thinking about how to think. It is observing and analyzing and creating something (e.g. ideas) from said information. It sticks out to me as it is, in my opinion, the main end goal in all aspects of education, regardless of subject. More than anything, I as a teacher want my students to be able to look at the world and all the information it contains and be able to think about everything and how it all interrelates. I want them to be able to make sense of the world and to create new things with existing information.
Fragmentation is the idea of splitting a society into distinct cultures and partaking in an intersociety battle of whose culture is more important or whose culture has suffered the most. To me, it’s a term that needs to be remembered about and referenced to frequently enough to not forget that it exists; that peoples everywhere bring things to the table and have lived through different struggles. No one cultures struggles are greater or less than anyone else’s, and all cultures are to be recognized and valued.
Hope is an expectation or desire for something to happen. Everyone has hope, but for different things, and there is lots of hope around. Students may hope to learn something or pass a class, and teachers hope students exceed expectations.
3. My plan is to include as many cultures as are present and wish to be represented in my classroom. A big section of culture is place, which will be used in my French classroom; using the locale of Juneau to describe the students’ world in French. An idea I have to extend French outside the classroom is to introduce students to other French speakers in the community and create an extra-credit system of having students speak with these people outside of class in French. It may even work within the school proper, having students talk to each other across experience levels.