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Culturally-Responsive Classroom Management & Organization. Elise Trumbull California State University, Northridge. Overview of Session. Classroom management and organization as part of culturally-responsive pedagogy Equity issues related to management and organization

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Culturally responsive classroom management organization

Culturally-Responsive Classroom Management & Organization

Elise Trumbull

California State University, Northridge

Overview of session
Overview of Session

  • Classroom management and organization as part of culturally-responsive pedagogy

  • Equity issues related to management and organization

  • Using a cultural framework to understand differences

  • Crafting management and organization strategies that are culturally-responsive


  • Classroom Management: the set of strategies used to ensure a productive, harmonious learning environment

  • Classroom Organization: the ways teachers structure time, space, and classroom interactions to promote learning

Definitions continued
Definitions continued…

  • Discipline: any action taken by the teacher to directly control student behavior

  • Punishment: a form of discipline entailing either withdrawing a privilege or subjecting the student to unpleasant consequences

  • Culture: the shared values, beliefs, and ways of knowing and living of a group

Casting a broad net
Casting a Broad Net

  • “Classroom management … involves planning, facilitating, and monitoring experiences that are conducive to high levels of learning ... It also entails creating … classroom environments that are personally comfortable, racially and ethnically inclusive, and intellectually stimulating.”

    Geneva Gay, 2006, p. 343

Management and organization part of culturally responsive pedagogy
Management and Organization: Part of Culturally-Responsive Pedagogy

  • Culturally-responsive pedagogy: Instructional practice… designed with learners’ cultural values, knowledge, and ways of learning taken into account and that empowers students to succeed…

    Trumbull & Pacheco, 2005, Vol.I, p. 85

Equity concerns
Equity Concerns

  • “[M]uch of the current high levels of racial disproportionality in school discipline is a reflection of teachers not understanding and incorporating the cultural values, orientations, and experiences of African, Latino, Asian, and Native Americans into curriculum and instruction.”

    Geneva Gay, 2006, p. 343

Cultural competence
Cultural Competence

  • Teachers’ cultural knowledge is essential also to the development of caring relationships and the interpersonal skills to interact with not only students but also their families.

    Weinstein, 2003

When a visitor comes
When a Visitor Comes…

  • Mrs. Hernandez is in the middle of alphabet review with her 18 kindergarten-first-grade students seated on the rug in front of her. She has to leave the group for several minutes at a time to talk with with Mr. Sanchez, a parent volunteer who is building some shelving for the classroom.

  • What can she do to keep the children appropriately busy?

Proverbs reflect cultural values
Proverbs reflect cultural values.

  • Stand on your own two feet.

  • The early bird gets the worm.

  • None of us is as smart as all of us.

  • The nail that stands out gets pounded down.

  • God helps those who help themselves.

  • Many hands make light work.

Two different orientations


Classroom= a group of individuals with individual needs who learn individually

Individual responsibility, individual materials, prescribed helping

Developmental goal: independence


Classroom= a group who can benefit from each other and jointly learn

Group responsibility, shared materials, automatic helping

Developmental goal: interdependence

Two Different Orientations

Cautions about generalizations
Cautions about Generalizations

  • Framework only a starting point for raising questions

  • All cultures are both I and C– just different emphases

  • Individuals vary

  • Many people multi-ethnic/multi-racial

  • Cultures change

The bridging cultures project
The Bridging Cultures Project

  • Seven teachers– who became researchers

  • Four researchers @ three institutions

  • Latino students in Los Angeles area

  • Individualism-Collectivism Framework

When is helping cheating
When is helping cheating?

  • A student reads workbook directions for another student.

  • A student helps his friend with a math problem in class.

  • A student whispers an answer to another student in response to a teacher’s question.

  • Three students work on homework together.

  • One student shares her homework with another.

  • Four students work together on a standardized practice test.

  • One student whispers an answer to another during a written spelling test.

When is sharing okay when is it borrowing stealing
When is sharing okay? When is it borrowing?… stealing?

  • A student takes a pencil from a friend’s desk without asking.

  • A student gives her pencil to a friend. Now she has none.

  • A student takes a book home from the classroom without asking.

  • A student wears his brother’s shirt to school without asking.

  • A mother eats part of her child’s school breakfast without asking.

Capitalizing on students cultural strengths bc examples
Capitalizing on Students’ Cultural Strengths: BC Examples

  • Students help each other and the teacher.

  • Students teach each other.

  • Students manage the classroom when the teacher cannot.

  • Students share jobs.

  • Students share classroom property and space.

  • Students help absent peers.

Classroom as family
Classroom as Family

  • Orientation of helping, sharing, group success……

  • Cited as positive for both African American and Latino students

  • Builds on what students know from home

  • Makes sense to parents

Mrs p rez s pledge to the world
Mrs. Pérez’s Pledge to the World

  • I pledge allegiance to the world,To cherish every living thing,To care for earth and sea and air,With peace and freedom everywhere.

Organization and culture
Organization and Culture

  • Desks and tables

  • Bulletin boards

  • Materials

  • Social relationships

  • Home-school connections

A goal classroom orchestration
A Goal: Classroom Orchestration

  • structuring classroom interactions and activities in ways that harmonize values of home and school and draw on students’ cultural resources to resolve problems, avoid conflicts, and minimize the need for discipline

    Rothstein-Fisch & Trumbull (in press).


Evertson, C. M., & Weinstein, C. S. (2006).Classroom management as a field of inquiry. In C. M. Evertson & C. S. Weinstein(Eds.). Handbook of classroom management: Research, practice, and contemporary issues (pp. 3-15). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Gay, G. (2006). Connections between classroom management and culturally responsive teaching. In C. M. Evertson & C. S. Weinstein (Eds.), Handbook of classroom management: Research, practice, and contemporary issues (pp. 343-370. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The dreamkeepers: Successful teachers of AfricanAmerican children. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Rothstein-Fisch & Trumbull (in press). Reconceptualizing Classroom Management: Building on Students’ Cultural Strengths. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Trumbull, E., & Pacheco, M. (2005). The teacher’s guide to diversity: Building a knowledge base. Vol. I, Human development, culture, and cognition. Providence: Brown University.

Trumbull, E., Rothstein-Fisch, C., Greenfield, P. M., & Quiroz, B. (2001). Bridging cultures between home and school: A guide for teachers. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.