Appreciating diversity
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Appreciating Diversity. In the United States , at least one in every seven people speaks a language other than English in the home (US Bureau of the Census,1997)

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Appreciating diversity
Appreciating Diversity

  • In the United States , at least one in every seven people speaks a language other than English in the home (US Bureau of the Census,1997)

  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was passed by congress in 1990. It requires each state to establish procedures that educate children with and without disabilities together to the maximum extent appropriate Glazer, 1998).

  • The IDEA act was extended to the preschool population and to address the needs of infants and toddlers specifically (Atkins-Burnett & Allen Meares, 2000).

  • Children with special needs constitute about 14% of the total population in the United States. Four categories describe 95% of that population 1). Learning Disabled, 2) Speech and Language Impaired, 3).Mentally Handicapped, 4). Emotionally disturbed (Wiles, 1999).


  • About 6 % of all these children with special needs possess superior intelligence and are capable of high performance; another 6 percent display distinctive talent in a particular area-music, art, social (Willes, 1999).

  • There is no ethnicity that exceeds 50 percent of the population in the US (Bohn and Sleeter, 2001). People who were once thought of as language minority are now the majority, such as children whose first language is Spanish, in areas of the US south west (Billings, 1998).

  • More immigrants entered the US in the last 5 years (1998-1993) than in the previous 2000 years!! (Garcia 1993)

  • Although some languages are spoken by hundreds of millions (English is spoken as their native tongue by 400 million people) and others by only a few thousand, one language is not superior to another simply because it is spoken by a greater number of people (Fox, 1997).


  • Students who are learning English tend to receive lower grades, are considered less intellectually competent by their teachers, score below their peers (Puma, 1992) and are 1.5 times likely to drop out of school than native speakers of English (Waggonner, 1988), and concluded that, “as a profession we seem most able to provide help to those who need it least and, conversely, least able to provide help to those bwho need it the most”

  • (p. 304)

And what is more
And What is More?

  • It takes 7 to 10 years for children who do not speak English to reach age- a in language when all of the instruction is in English ( Thomas & Collier 1997).

  • According to the forum on Child and family statistics (2001), 11 % of white children, 37 percent of black children, and 36 percent of Hispanic children live in poverty.


Ponder for a moment
Ponder for a moment

  • I came to kindergarten so excited and ready to learn. I came with my maleta (suitcase) full of so many wonderful things, my Spanish language, my beautiful culture, and many other treasures. When I got there, though, not only did they not let me use anything from my maleta, they did not let me bring it into the classroom .

  • It is surprisingly easy to think that the groups to which we belong are the “standard” by which other are to be judged.

  • Sometimes, it is contradictory values; For example, as a parent, I want my child to have access to the best learning resources available, but, as a teacher, I want to see resources fairly distributed among schools.

Recommendations for working with diverse groups
Recommendations for working with diverse groups

  • Attitudes- positive, focus on strengths.

  • Fairness – Actually, sometime you will treat children differently while trying to be fair (e.g., Tourette’s syndrome.

  • Rules – Clear expectations, simple rules

  • Directions – clear and concise, demonstration (not merely telling them!)

  • Presentations – Concrete examples (multisensory approaches)

  • Time – Break up instructional time , plus more time to finish activitie.

Strategies conti
Strategies Conti…

  • Adaptations – Give every child a chance to be successful.

  • Narration – interpret the behavior of special needs children for the other students so they begin to understand them better

  • Small spaces –designate a quiet area for reading

  • Encouragement – give specific feedback

  • Families – share success often

  • Professionals – Know where to go to for support when it is appropriate (it is not a personal failure)

  • Celebrations – celebrate all successes (Gabriel talked today!!)

Standards to guide professionals
Standards to Guide Professionals

  • The National Council of Teachers of English (1996) issued the following principles of well prepared teachers:

    • Recognize and value diversity of students

    • Promote communication among cultures to foster mutual understanding.

    • Draw upon the diversity of students to enrich and enhance their academic achievement.

Pedagogical principles of diversity
Pedagogical Principles of Diversity

  • Create learning environments that promote respect for the understanding of individual, cultural, academic, ethnic, racial, etc.

  • Structure the classroom in a manner that encourages students to work independently and collaboratively.

  • Use a variety of materials and media

  • Promote classroom discourses in which children’s thinking is respected and challenged by the teacher and other students

  • Enrich and expand the learner’s language resources for different social and cultural settings