Beyond Heroes and Holidays Discussion

We “jigsawed” the reading of several sections from:

Lee, E., Menkart, D., and Okazawa-Rey, M., eds. 2006. Beyond Heroes and Holidays: A Practical Guide to K-12 Anti-Racist, Multicultural Education and Staff Development. Washington, D.C.: Teaching for Change.

Each group of four then shared the essence of the section they read and discussed. Please comment on a highlight from the small group discussion OR the whole group share out and post it in the BH&H category.

Image source: Free vector graphic – heart handshake,

Cultural Self-Study


While we investigate issues related to multicultural education, we must come to understand how our own perspectives have been socially constructed over time. People are not born with biases or prejudices – rather, these opinions and judgments are constructed by both explicit and hidden messages in our environment. Life experiences with our families, communities, schools, and media all shape us as cultural beings. The purpose of this assignment is for the student to use writing as a vehicle to synthesize his or her own thinking and growth.

  • Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.
  • Culture is the systems of knowledge shared by a relatively large group of people.
  • Culture in its broadest sense is cultivated behavior; that is the totality of a person’s learned, accumulated experience, which is socially transmitted, or more briefly, behavior through social learning.
  • Culture is a collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another.
    (Choudhury, faculty, Texas A&M University)

For this essay, you should present your cultural identity and analyze your knowledge and beliefs about multicultural issues and topics. Through one coherent narrative, or several shorter, focused stories, readers should gain insight into the beliefs and socialization that resulted in your cultural identities.

Part 1: Cultural Identity

  1. Traditions and Customs (language, holidays, meals, religious activities, marriage, birth, death etc.)
  2. Heritage (immigration, migration, homesteading, genealogy, family “traits,” oral tradition, socio-economic class)
  3. Beliefs and Attitudes (spiritual, political, social/independent, traditional, progressive, mainstream, minority, societal norms, race, gender, class, sexual orientation, age, (dis)ability, values, beliefs, goals regarding success/failure in life)

Part 2: My View of “Others”

  1. What generalized experiences have you had with people who are different from yourself? What did these experiences teach you about people who are different from you? What messages have you heard or assumed about people who are different from you?
  2. Recount an incident that you had with an individual different than yourself in some significant way (race, ethnicity, language, class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, [dis]ability) that stands out in your mind. This can be either a positive or negative experience. Why is this experience memorable? What effect has this experience had on your view of “others”?

Please submit final draft in APA format on Bb. Due: June 20 at 8:30 a.m.

Element Criteria Score
Cultural Identity Thorough and insightful discussion of forces shaping cultural identity. Goes beyond the “surface culture” and gets to deeper attitudes and beliefs.

2-3 pages

My View of “Others” Insightful expression and thorough understanding of generalized and specific experiences with “difference”.

2-3 pages

Writing Elements

(spelling, grammar, organization, style, and voice)

Writing is error-free, or close to error free and is easy to read; lively and interesting; organized; professional language.    /20
Total Points    /100

Image source: Identity – free images on Pixabay,


ED 680 Bibliography

Alaska Native Knowledge Network website at

Alaska Standards for Culturally Responsive Schools at

Alaskool website at

Anyon, J. 1980. “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work.” Journal of Education. 162 (1): 67-92. Retrieved from

Banks, J. and Banks, C., eds. 2010. Multicultural Education: Issues and Perspectives, 7th ed. Danvers, MA: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Benson, S. and Christian, S. 2002. Writing to make a difference. New York: Teachers College Press.

Culture Card at

Definitions of Multicultural Education, The National Association for Multicultural Education: Advancing and Advocating for Social Justice & Equity.

Delpit, L. 2012. Multiplication is for White People: Raising Expectations for Other People’s Children. New York, NY: The New Press.

Dick, A. (1997). Village science. University of Alaska Fairbanks: Alaska Native Knowledge Network.

Edutopia (2015). Preparing for diversity: Resources for teachers. Retrieved on May 26 from

Gorski, P. 2004. “History and Social Studies Education: A Guide to Online Resources.” Multicultural Perspectives, 6(3), 27–32. Retrieved from

Gorski, P. 2005. “I Don’t Want to Live Without Them: Twenty-Five Websites for Educational Equity.” Multicultural Perspectives, 7(3), 24–27. Retrieved from

Guide to Implementing the Alaska Cultural Standards for Educators

Kawagley, A.O. and Barnhardt, R. (1998). Education indigenous to place: Western science meets native reality. University of Alaska Fairbanks: Alaska Native Knowledge Network.

Kohl, H. 1994. I Won’t Learn From You: And Other Thoughts on Creative Maladjustment. New York, NY: The New Press.

Lee, E., Menkart, D., and Okazawa-Rey, M., eds. 2006. Beyond Heroes and Holidays: A Practical Guide to K-12 Anti-Racist, Multicultural Education and Staff Development. Washington, D.C.: Teaching for Change.

Multicultural Education: Definitions. Connecticut Department of Education.

 Multicultural Education.

 Multicultural Education. Last updated 8.29.13. The Glossary of Educational Reform for Journalists, Parents, and Community Members.

 Oleksa, M. 2005. Another Culture/Another World. Juneau, AK: Association of Alaska School Boards.

Ozturgut, O. 2011. “Understanding Multicultural Education” Current Issues in Education. 14(2), 1-14

Pratt-Johnson, Y. (2006). Communicating cross-culturally: What teachers should know. The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. XII, No. 2, February 2006.

Teaching Tolerance.

Villegas, A.M., Lucas, T. (2002) “Preparing culturally responsive teachers: Rethinking the curriculum.” Journal of Teacher Education 53(1), 20-32.

Weissglass, J. 2001. Ripples of Hope: Building Relationships for Educational Change. Santa Barbara, CA: Center for Educational Change in Mathematics and Science.

Image source: University of Louisville Library Guides,

Characteristics of Culturally Responsive Teaching

Reflect on what you have seen and heard this week. Think about the panel of Elders, our visit to the Goldbelt Heritage Institute culture camp, the lesson on math trails presented by Tina Pasteris, the lesson on developing place-based science lessons by Paula Savikko, and the lesson on testing the absorbency of moss presented by Angie Lunda.

Now think about culturally responsive teaching (CRT). According to Gloria Ladson-Billings:

Culturally Responsive Teaching is a pedagogy that recognizes the importance of including students’ cultural references in all aspects of learning. Culture is central to learning. It plays a role not only in communicating and receiving information, but also in shaping the thinking process of groups and individuals. A pedagogy that acknowledges, responds to, and celebrates fundamental cultures offers full, equitable access to education for students from all cultures (Ladson-Billings, 1994).

Please respond to the following prompts in a blog post:

  • What are some of the characteristics of culturally responsive teaching? Give examples from the lessons in which you participated, witnessed, heard about during your interviews with students, or gleaned from the Elders?
  • The focus this week has been on CRT strategies in math and science. Even if you are not a math and science teacher, what are some ways these CRT strategies can be extrapolated to social studies, music, English, or other content areas? If you are a math or science teacher, how might you integrate other disciplines into your CRT lessons?


Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The dreamkeepers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishing Co.

Image source: Photo taken by Jerry Demmert on 6/17/16.

Wisdom of our Elders

I invited three Elders to talk with you about education – to share advice for new teachers.

Selina Everson (left) fights for Tlingit language and culture preservation. She grew up speaking Tlingit. It was her first language. At school, she was told to speak only English. Ms. Everson broke that rule and courageously spoke Tlingit anyway. Ms. Everson remains a champion for her culture as a Tlingit language teacher. She’s known as “Grandma Selina” by hundreds of children at the school where she teaches. More

Linda Belarde (center) is a life-long educator. Most recently, she worked for Sealaska Heritage Institute as a Tlingit Curriculum Specialist. She is passionate about preserving the Tlingít language and culture having created many language resources and developing culutrally relevant curriculum for use in public schools. More

David Katzeek (Kingeistí) is most known for his years of service and leadership in the Tlingit community and as a clan leader for the Eagle Moiety, Shangukeidí Clan of Klukwan. Katzeek is a Chilkat Eagle Tlingit of the Shangukeidí Clan from the Thunderbird House, the House Lowered by the Sun, and the Tree Bark House in Chilkat Kwáan Klukwan, Alaska, after his mother Anna Klanott Katzeek (1925-2011).

Mr. Katzeek has worked in business and finance prior to becoming the first president of Sealaska Heritige Foundation (now Insititute) from 1982-1992.  Since that time Katzeek has been a financial and cultural consultant. He has been a consultant to numerous Tlingit organizations, such as the Sealaska Heritage Institute and Goldbelt Heritage Foundation. He has also served on the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Council of Traditional Scholars for nearly two decades. He has devoted much of his time in the past decade to education, especially within the K-12 education system in the Juneau School District. More

Task: Write a blog post that responds explains:

  • What advice did you hear that resonated with you?
  • What implications might this have for you as a teacher?

Click here for student responses

Math Trail

Math Trail FAQ’s

What is a math trail?

A math trail is a guided walk through a locale where you stop at particular sights to think about math problems that arise naturally from the environment.  A math trail is a fun way to practice and apply skills and strategies.

Who are math trails for?

Math trails are for everyone. Everyone studies math in school. Everyone uses math. Math trail problems should be interesting and accessible to people at all levels of age and experience. The participants of a math trail work collaboratively to respond to the problems posed by discussing how to approach problems and comparing their thinking.

Why use math trails with students?

The trail helps participants to connect mathematics to their local surroundings. During a trail, participants are active physically, mentally, and socially. They get to work together, they get to see that math can be found in just about anything and anywhere, and they get to use their own thinking. By discussing and verifying their thinking with fellow learners, students build confidence in solving problems. Lots of the problems will call for estimates that will motivate students to use nonstandard measurement such as stride and arm span.

What do you do after a group finishes a trail?

Teachers should facilitate a class discussion where students share their strategies used to solve the problems and their results. Most of the problems will have more than one “correct” answer. Celebrate the diversity of strategies. Debrief the social aspects of the experience—how did your group work together? What went well; how could you do better next time? Ask for feedback—were there any questions that should be tossed or are there ideas for other questions?

How do I blaze my own math trail?

Choose a location. Then put on your mathematical glasses and walk through the environment, seeing everything through a mathematical lens. Take photos, brainstorm questions. Try to come up with a variety – easy, medium, hard questions for your target participants. You can make a map or make a photo assisted guide. You also will want to research background information for your sight. Math trails typically have science, social studies, or art connections. You can also have students generate questions for their own math trails. Below are some websites that you can visit if you want to learn more:

Click here for a math trail  created for the UAS campus by Tina Pasteris UAS Math Trail (1)