Diversity. BTE363/364. What is Diversity?. A commitment to recognizing and appreciating the variety of characteristics that make individuals unique in an atmosphere that promotes and celebrates individual and collective achievement. Examples?. Age Culture Disability (mental, physical, etc.)
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What is Diversity? A commitment to recognizing and appreciating the variety of characteristics that make individuals unique in an atmosphere that promotes and celebrates individual and collective achievement
Examples? • Age • Culture • Disability (mental, physical, etc.) • Economic background • Education • Ethnicity • Gender • Geographic background • Languages) spoken • Physical appearance • Race • Religious beliefs
Why Do We Need To Address Diversity? • Did You Know?
Reasons for Addressing Diversity • Must be able to educate students varying in culture, language, abilities, and many other characteristics • Teachers must employ theoretically sound & culturally responsive pedagogy • Must create classroom culture where all students are welcomed, supported, & provided with best opportunity to learn • Teachers must help students bridge discontinuity between home and school
What is Culturally Responsive Pedagogy? • It facilitates & supports the achievements of all students • It has a learner-centered context whereby strengths students bring to school are identified, nurtured, & utilized to promote student achievement • 3 dimensions • Institutional • Personal • Instructional
Institutional Dimension • Organization of school • Administrative structure • Use of physical space • School policies & procedures • Impact on the delivery of services to students from diverse backgrounds • Difficult questions • Where are best teachers assigned? • Which students get to take advanced courses? • How are resources allocated?
Personal Dimension • Teacher self-reflection concerning attitudes & beliefs • Teachers values impact relationships with students & their families • Teachers must reconcile negative feelings towards any cultural, language, or ethnic group • When teachers are unbiased, they can better respond to needs of all students
Activities for Becoming a Culturally Responsive Teacher • Engage in reflective thinking & writing • Explore personal & family histories • Acknowledge membership in different groups • Advantages & disadvantages of belonging to each group • Learn about history & experiences of diverse groups • Visit students’ families & communities • Visit or read about successful teachers in diverse settings • Develop an appreciation of diversity • Participate in reforming the institution
Instructional Dimension • When tools of instruction are incompatible with the students’ cultural experiences a disconnect with school is likely. • Some students will underachieve • Some students will not perform • Some students will drop out of school • Culturally responsive pedagogy recognizes & utilizes students’ culture & language in instruction • Culturally responsive pedagogy respects students’ personal and community identities
Activities for Culturally Responsive Instruction • Acknowledge students’ differences as well as their commonalities • Respond to each student based on his/her identified strengths & weaknesses and not on preconceived notions about the student’s group affiliation • Validate students’ cultural identity in classroom practices & instructional materials • Teachers must supplement instruction with resources rich in diversity & sensitive in portrayal of individuals from different backgrounds • More students experience familiar practices in instruction, the greater the feeling of inclusion & higher probability of success
Activities for Culturally Responsive Instruction • Educate students about diversity of world • Classroom diversity is increasing so students need skills to relate to each other positively • Teachers need to help students become more culturally knowledgeable • Promote equity & mutual respect among students • Teachers need to establish & maintain standards of behavior that require respectful treatment of all in classroom • Teacher should be role model—demonstrating fairness & reminding student that difference is normal • Assess students’ ability & achievement validly • Students possess differences to culture & language that might predispose them to different communication & test-taking skills • Assessment instruments should be suited to population being tested
Activities for Culturally Responsive Instruction • Foster positive relationship among students, their families, the community, & school • Everyone benefits when there is mutual respect and value for the contributions all can make to educating the whole student • Motivate students to become active participants in their learning • Teacher should structure a classroom environment conducive to inquiry-based learning • Encourage students to think critically • Help student analyze (examine constituent parts or elements), and synthesize (collect & summarize) information & view situations from multiple perspectives • Help students learn to think “outside the box”
Activities for Culturally Responsive Instruction • Challenge students to strive for excellence as defined by their potential • Teachers must continually motivate all students by reminding them that they are capable & by providing them with a challenging & meaningful curriculum • Low teacher expectation will yield low student performance • Assist students in becoming socially & politically conscious • Teachers must prepare students to participate meaningfully & responsibly in society • Students must be taught that if the world is to be a better place where everyone is treated fairly, then they have to work to make it so
Implications of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy • Teachers have a responsibility to ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve to the best of their ability • Instruction that is culturally responsive addresses the needs of all learners • Teachers must recognize their “power” and use it wisely in teaching other people’s children • Where curriculum falls short in addressing needs of all students, teachers must provide a bridge • Where system reflects cultural & linguistic insensitivity, teachers must demonstrate understanding & support
Diversity Quiz Multicultural Education and Equity Awareness Quiz
Teaching Strategies • Visuals • pictures, photographs, drawings, diagrams, and graphic organizers • Hands-on Learning Experiences • laboratories, demonstrations, educational games, simulations, field trips, and other experiential activities • Cooperative Learning • Students are placed in heterogeneous groups usually comprised of four or five students and they work together on a common goal. • As students collaborate and cooperate with one another, they develop cross-cultural understanding and develop stronger interpersonal friendships than they would by working alone
Teaching Strategies • Peer Tutoring • Pairs two students of different abilities and backgrounds • Promotes communication, motivates students, and helps learners attain higher levels of achievement while developing inter-ethnic friendships • Alternative Assessment • Assessment techniques must be compatible with, and relevant to, the cultural backgrounds and learning styles of all students • Performance based assessments, in particular, have been found to be effective in assessing the achievement of culturally and linguistically diverse students
Caring Teachers teach because they care. Teaching young people is what they do best, it requires long hours, patience, and care.– Horace Mann
Teacher-Learner Relationships • Founded on fundamental human need of knowing that another person genuinely cares • Students know when they are recognized, understood, and respected for their unique abilities and interests by their teachers • Caring is the very bedrock of all successful education—Nel Noddings
A Simple Wisdom… "At a time when the traditional structures of caring have deteriorated, schools must become places where teachers and students live together, talk with each other, take delight in each other’s company. My guess is that when schools focus on what really matters in life, the cognitive ends we now pursue so painfully and artificially will be achieved somewhat more naturally…It is obvious that children will work harder and do things -- even odd things like adding fractions -- for people they love and trust."Nel Noddings, 1998
Pygmalion Effect • If teachers continuously show that they believe in students’ abilities, almost all students will respond with greater effort • Learning is much more likely to occur when positive, reinforcing comments outnumber critical comments
Learner-Centered Education • Sharing decision-making with students to expand their involvement • Supporting students as they build knowledge and make meaning for themselves • Creating learning environments that facilitate students’ greater acceptance of responsibility for their learning • Expanding students’ knowledge base, learning skills, and self-awareness • Promoting self-monitoring by students of their learning
Engaging Students Actively in Learning • Caring teachers use multiple instructional approaches & provide diverse learning experiences • Action-based or experiential learning teams & problem-based learning are more successful than lectures • Curriculum should be designed to address student motivation & engagement by focusing on teaching for understanding • When students are engaged, they are more likely to learn • Caring teachers establish clear & realistic expectations • Knowledge is constructed, not received. Connecting new information with existing knowledge, students see relevancy of what they are expected to learn
Being a Reflective Teacher • Believing in students & actively engaging them in their learning leads to thinking & reflection on teaching • Reflecting reinforces importance of creating a caring, learner-centered environment characterized by positive & respectful interactions with students • Learner-centered teaching-learning process emphasizes • Getting to know students by name & on individual basis • Determining where students are in their learning • Seeking to instill in students a commitment to learning • Structuring assignments & experiences inside & outside of the classroom that facilitate student learning
Closing Thoughts • The teacher who cares is dedicated to a lifelong quest to become the best teacher possible in order to create the optimal learning environment for students. • When teachers genuinely care, students sense it and respond by optimizing their commitment to learning & putting forth greater efforts to reach their potential.