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Using Culturally Relevant Texts to Inspire Writing. Presented by Lisa Kalinowski. About the presenter…. San Antonio Writing Project Teacher consultant (2008) B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies w/EC-4 concentration (2006) M.A. in Education w/Reading and Literacy concentration (2008)

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about the presenter
About the presenter…
  • San Antonio Writing Project Teacher consultant (2008)
  • B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies w/EC-4 concentration (2006)
  • M.A. in Education w/Reading and Literacy concentration (2008)
  • M.A. in Education w/Instructional Technology concentration (2010)
teaching philosophy
Teaching philosophy
  • If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn't want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher's job.  ~Donald D. Quinn
  • Modern cynics and skeptics... see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing.  ~John F. Kennedy
  • A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary. ~Thomas Carruthers
  • Any good teacher has to answer some short but difficult questions: What is your mission? What is it that children will learn from being in your class? What will they take away with them? ~RafeEsquith
  • Teach like your hair’s on fire. ~RafeEsquith
literacy education philosophy
Literacy education philosophy
  • The acts of reading, writing, and talking around texts naturally allow for the construction of meaning based on the prior knowledge and background experiences individuals bring to the text (Rosenblatt, 1978).
  • Freire and Macedo (1987): being able to read the word is the gateway to being able to read the world.
  • Freire and Macedo (1987): “reading always involves critical perception, interpretation, and rewriting of what is read” (36)
  • “When a child perceives a writing task or a text…as belonging to and reaffirming his or her cultural identity, it is more likely that he or she will become engaged and individual meaning will be transmitted or derived” (Ferdman, 1990, p. 195).
theoretical framework for using culturally relevant texts in the classroom
Theoretical framework for using culturally relevant texts in the classroom
  • Purcell-Gates (1995): “All learners are…members of a defined culture, and their identity with this culture determines what they will encode about the world and the ways in which they will interpret information” (4)
  • Perez (2004): “If the school literacy program explicitly incorporates a perspective that allows students to learn about their own culture as well as the majority culture, then students may discover how what they are learning in English relates to their culture and ethnic identity” (283)
  • Jimenez (2000): “Language minority students will succeed or fail to the extent that their language and culture are incorporated into the school program, to the extent that their parents and their overall community are included as an integral part of their education, and to the extent that the students are provided with instruction designed to allow them to generate their own knowledge through activities such as reading and writing” (973)
  • Ladson-Billings (1994): “Culturally relevant teaching uses student culture in order to maintain it and to transcend the negative effects of the dominant culture” (17)
benefits
Benefits
  • For teachers
    • Adheres to culturally relevant teaching practices
    • Promotes respect for all cultures and what each student brings to the classroom
    • Provides more positive and productive learning environment
  • For students
    • Safe learning environment
    • Meaningful and relevant learning experiences
    • Identity and sense of self are validated
    • Respect for self cultivates respect for others
why culturally relevant texts
Why culturally relevant texts?
  • Student Demographics, NISD 2008-2009
    • American Indian 0.3%
    • Asian/Pacific Islander 3.6%
    • African American 7.9%
    • White 24.4%
    • Hispanic 63.7%
    • Total Enrollment 88,400

http://www.nisd.net/general/figures/

why culturally relevant texts1
Why culturally relevant texts?
  • Student Demographics, NEISD 2008-2009
    • African American 9.2%
    • Asian 3.9%
    • Hispanic 48.5%
    • Native American 0.3%
    • White 38.1%
    • Total Enrollment 63,289

http://www.neisd.net/neisdinfo/studentdata.htm

why culturally relevant texts2
Why culturally relevant texts?
  • Student Demographics, SAISD 2008-2009
    • Hispanic 87.8%
    • African American 8.8%
    • White (not Hispanic) 3.0%
    • Asian/Pacific Islander 0.3%
    • Native American 0.1%
    • Total Enrollment 55,406

http://www.saisd.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=17&Itemid=32

why validate cultural identities
Why validate cultural identities?
  • Every individual has a place to fill in the world, and is important in some respect, whether he chooses to be so or not -  Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Nature never repeats herself, and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another - Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  • I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else's freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity - Nelson Mandela
real world implications
Real world implications
  • Structural inequalities
    • Institutions
    • Curriculum materials
    • Assessments
activities
Activities
  • Camera project – use a disposable camera and document a family tradition; make a picture book
  • Family scrapbook – document traditions, clothing, food, community, etc.
  • Class Cookbook & Potluck
  • World Market Day
  • Individual tree – trace the history of personal interests
activities1
Activities
  • Illustrate your name – turn your name into an acrostic poem and draw a picture based on literal meaning or family research (early elem)
  • Power writing – 2 minutes to describe your favorite food (early elem)
  • Memorable moments activity (upper elem-middle)
  • Music as text (high school-college)