Understanding and Appreciating Cultural Differences By: Group 2 Courtney Chaisson Danielle Dorsaneo Chris Johnson
What is culture? • Can anyone sum up what culture means to them in one word? • We said culture is differences, customs, and beliefs. • “Culture is a shared system of meaning, which includes values, beliefs, and assumptions expressed in daily interactions of individuals within a group through a definite pattern of language, behavior, customs, attitudes, and practices.”
How People View Culture. • People are usually so involved and connected to their own culture that they don’t think of why they are doing or what they are doing, only that it feels right. • Most people have a hard time explaining their culture or how their actions and attitudes relate to it.
Your Goal as a Teacher… • As a teacher you need to become culturally sensitive. • First, you need to understand and recognize your culture, and the way you see the world. • Don’t make lists of cultural traits, these lists can become generalizations, and generalizations can be stereotypes. • Learn something new.
Your Goal as a Teacher…(cont.) • Suspend judgment. What may look wrong from your point of view may look right to someone else. • Don’t take behaviors for face value, look beneath them to discover their meaning.
“In each head there is a world.” • Expanding this world means to understand people who are different from one’s self. • This goes beyond celebrating differences in ethnic foods, music, and customs.
What Teachers Can Do… • Withhold judgement. • Look at things through their point of view. • Gain deeper understanding. • Keep an open mind. • Value the differences.
Example. • When parenting practices raise questions be culturally sensitive, responsive, and build good relationship with the parent. • Example: Joey is fasting for his beliefs. You notice he is fatigued. • How do you respect and honor practices that seem to be incomprehensive, bad, wrong, or maybe even harmful?
The End. Reference: Gonzalez-Mena, J. (2010). Strategies for communicating and working with diverse families : Understanding and appreciating cultural differences. Upper Saddle river, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.