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I just started working in my position as a Cultural Resource Specialist in a large school district with a high percentage of Native American students in some of the schools. I work with approx. 15 elementary and middle schools to provide Native Culture presentations and resources. Each building is unique and at different levels of culturally responsive teaching. I'm looking for an assessment that I can give to the principals/teachers I work with, so I know where to begin working with the staff.
Expert's keyword(s) : culture, Native AmericanAnswer : The Diversity Kit: An Introductory Resource for Social Change in Education http://www.lab.brown.edu/pubs/diversity_kit/index.shtml contains an activity titled Exploring Values, Beliefs, and Ideas. This activity is designed for use in group settings and helps educators examine the hidden elements of their culture. It is used to start a conversation about the differences and commonalities among cultures and the changes cultures undergo. If you decide to develop your own questionnaire, you might look at Hollins and Oliver, (Eds.), Pathways to Success in School: Culturally Responsive Teaching, published by Erlbaum, for an overview of important elements to consider in needs assessments in Native American communities. Most helpful would be to include members from the local community in developing the needs assessment. They would ensure that you develop your questions within the framework of real issues of importance to them.
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how to handle mathematics in middle school in a culturally diverse classroom ?
Expert's keyword(s) : mathematics, diversityAnswer : As with all subjects, it's important for teachers of mathematics to communicate high expectations to all students. One way teachers achieve this is by sharing their content objectives with students, both orally and in writing, for each lesson and by tying those objectives to grade-level curriculum standards. High expectations are also communicated when teachers include all students in activities, especially those activities that challenge students intellectually and engage students in thoughtful discussions, even when students are still learning English.
Making connections to students' lives and interests is an important element in engaging all students in math activities. Culturally responsive teachers build upon students' learning strengths and preferences and cultural and experiential background to extend their knowledge of mathematics. These teachers look for ways to learn about students' backgrounds and interests. Some strategies teachers have found helpful for learning about students are: facilitating activities in which students set personal goals, and providing opportunities for students to engage in collaborative projects so that teachers can observe and listen to students share experiences and strategize to get work done.
When teachers begin to develop an awareness of students' interests and backgrounds, they can select or modify math tasks and problems to ensure relevance to students' everyday experience. It is important to help students develop a sense of the importance of mathematics outside the classroom. When students develop new ways of seeing math as connected to their lives, their understanding of math deepens.
For enhancing math skills, a variety of active teaching methods can help students who are acquiring English. Manipulatives, hands-on activities, realia, and visuals, when incorporated regularly into math lessons, help students to conceptualize the abstract concepts of mathematics.
In culturally responsive teachers' classrooms, cultural sensitivity frames instruction. Individualized interaction between teacher and student, as well as collaborative activities among students, provide opportunities for students to get to know others, learn from one another, and develop respect for each other. Culturally responsive teachers devote time at the beginning of the school year to working with students to establish guidelines for respectful collaboration in their classrooms, as well as time throughout the year to reinforce classroom values.
To help students build capacity in the academic discourse of mathematics, culturally responsive teachers devote class time to working on tools of critical math thinking and expression. Many English language learners come to the United States with limited English proficiency, but with prior education in mathematics that is more advanced than the levels of the classes in which they are placed. Teachers of these students engage students in cognitively demanding activity, give them time to express concepts and processes initially in their own way, and then explicitly teach the language of math, helping students to articulate their thoughts and questions in academic discourse.
Echevarria, J., Vogt, M., & Short, D. J. (2004). Making content comprehensible for English learners: The SIOP model. Boston: Pearson.
Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The dreamkeepers: Successful teachers of African American children. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Minorities in science and math. ERIC Digest. (1999). Retrieved July 19, 2005, from http://www.ericdigests.org/2000-2/minorities.htm
Presmeg, N.C. (1999). Culturally mediated instruction in mathematics: Strengths and barriers. In E. R. Hollins & E. I. Oliver (Eds.). Pathways to success in school: Culturally responsive teaching. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
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There are many wonderful ways that teachers can create classrooms that are responsive to different cultures, languages, learning abilities, learning styles, etc. However, despite the fact that it is "just good teaching", A seemingly large number of teachers do not choose to incorporate these strategies, even when give training- What are some resources for research, or you, about the beliefs and attitudes of teachers regarding differentiation?We can do a lot of staff development and rpodding, etc. but the beliefs and attitudes seem to need to be understood to get better "buy in". Thank you
Expert's keyword(s) : teacher attitudesAnswer : Professional development that incorporates language acquisition and cultural awareness theory and implications provides necessary foundational knowledge. Direct experience with the tasks of learning in a new language can enhance that knowledge. Teachers report that taking part in learning situations in which they must perform tasks in another language is a powerful way to gain a deeper understanding of the complexity of their students' learning tasks. Events that facilitate conversations about learning between teachers and ELL students or alumni captures student experiences that may have been invisible to teachers and gives teachers a chance to ask questions directly. Presentations by or conversations with parents of ELLs can shed light on family and community goals, values, and funds of knowledge that may be unknown to teachers.
Teacher beliefs and attitudes develop over time. Sustained professional development in which teachers have the opportunity to discuss integrated topics -- sheltering, differentiation, language acquisition and cultural awareness, to test implementation strategies in their classrooms, and to reflect collaboratively on their successes and concerns may be the most expedient path to gradual buy in.
Karabenick, S. A. & Clemens Noda, P. A. (2004). Professional development implications of teachers' beliefs and attitudes toward English language learners. Bilingual Research Journal 28. 55-75.
Ramos, F. (2001). Teachers' opinions about the theoretical and practical aspects of the use of native language instruction for language minority students: A cross-sectional study. Bilingual Research Journal 25. 251-268.
Walker, A., Shafer, J., & Iiams. M. (2004). "Not in my classroom": Teacher attitudes towards English language learners in the mainstream classroom. NABE Journal of Research and Practice 2, 130-160.
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What type of course would you suggest the department of education should design to help the certification, recertification of ESL teachers and the re-title of bilingual teachers? What type of courses should be designed for the mainstream, middle school, high school teacher so they to be prepared to face the LEP student and know what to do when LEP students are in their classrooms.
Expert's keyword(s) : courses, ESL teachersAnswer : Teachers need knowledge and tools in many areas, if they are to play an effective role in helping English language learners succeed. Ideally, all educators would have an introduction to the following topics, with ongoing professional development to deepen the foundational knowledge and build critical expertise.
All teachers need an understanding of language, bilingualism and language acquisition, literacy and academic language development, the role of culture and language in learning, the sociocultural contexts of schooling, and different perspectives on human development. Additionally, teachers need skills to applying this knowledge to instruction through learning about students and modifying instruction accordingly.
All teachers need a fundamental understanding of what language is, how it is used and how it is learned. (Adger, Snow & Christian) Teachers should know the most recent research findings about the stages of language acquisition and ideal conditions for language growth, as well as the positive effects of continued first language growth on second language acquisition. (Collier) Different types of English, including multiple dialects, their rules and discourse structures, is an important topic that helps teachers gain an appreciation for the variety of language norms children master. (LAB) This understanding can help teachers to assist students in developing yet another English dialect or language type ? that of school.
Understanding the distinction between informal, conversational language and structured, academic language is the foundation for an understanding of recent research on how literacy is best taught to students who enter school in a new culture. (Valdez-Pierce; Escamilla and Coady) Issues surrounding literacy for students who are already reading in the first language and for those who are not yet reading in any language, regardless of age or grade level, concern all teachers. (Freeman and Freeman) Courses should prepare teachers to work effectively with students whose conversational and academic language levels may be far apart.
Courses should help all teachers explore culture ? their own cultural identity as well as that of others in their schools. Cultural ways of knowing, learning, and communicating, as well as information on how to learn about the cultural ways of groups, are topics all teachers need to explore. (Fradd, Garcia) Teachers need to learn strategies for tapping in to student resources for learning (Moll et al.) and to understand the multiple ways in which families and communities contribute support to learning.
Courses should provide teachers with tools to apply knowledge in the above areas. Teachers need to develop the ability to connect with their students' different perspectives, knowledge and ways of knowing. Teachers need to know how to modify their instruction accordingly. Sheltering instruction (Echevarria, Vogt & Short) involves grounding curriculum and instruction in standards for both the content and language areas; designing lessons with specific attention to these objectives; and developing activities and assessments that differentiate for language ability and provide scaffolding as students advance in language skill. Teachers who model and provide scaffolding for students, give students the opportunity to participate fully in learning activities and assessments and thereby maximize their content learning, while they grow in proficiency in their new language. (Valdez-Pierce)
Adger, C. T., Snow, C. E., & Christian, D. (Eds.). (2002). What teachers need to know about language. McHenry, IL: CAL/Delta.
Collier, V. P. (1995). Promoting academic success for ESL students: Understanding second language acquisition for school. Elizabeth, NJ: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages-Bilingual Educators.
Echevarria, J., Vogt, M. A., & Short, D. (2004). Making content comprehensible for English language learners: The SIOP model (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Escamilla, K. & Coady, M. (2001). Assesssing the writing of Spanish-speaking students: Issues and suggestions. In S. R. Hurley & J. V. Tinajero (Eds.). Literacy assessment of second language learners. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Fradd, S. H. (1993). Creating the team to assist culturally and linguistically diverse students. Tucson: Community Skill Builders.
Freeman, Y. S. & and Freeman, D. E. (2002). Closing the achievement gap: How to reach limited-formal-schooling and long-term English learners. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Garcia, E. (2000). Student cultural diversity: Understanding and meeting the challenge, (3rd ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
LAB. (2002). The diversity kit: An introductory resource for social change in education. Providence: Brown University.
Moll, L. C., Amanti, C., Neff, D., & Gonzalez, N. (1992). Funds of knowledge for teaching: Using a qualitative approach to connect homes and classrooms. Theory into Practice, 31(2), 132-141.
Valdez-Pierce, L. (2001). Assessment of reading comprehension strategies for intermediate bilingual learners. In S. R. Hurley, & J. V. Tinajero (Eds.), Literacy assessment of second language learners. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
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Can you direct me to various protocols that encourage classroom dialogue to share and construct knowlege? (ie., socratic, chalktalk...)
Expert's keyword(s) : protocols, classroom dialogueAnswer : Several protocols are available through the Coalition for Essential Schools http://www.essentialschools.org The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol contains a section on student interaction, which provides a piece of what you are looking for (Echaverria, Vogt & Short). CREDE (Center for Research on Education, Diversity and Excellence) offers a case study series called Teaching Alive! on video and CD-ROM that could also be helpful http://www.crede.uscs.edu
You might also consider working with a team of teachers to construct your own protocols around some of the collaborative activities recommended for English language learners. These include Collaborative Groups (Peregoy & Boyle), Jigsaw (Aaronson, Peregoy & Boyle), Instructional Conversation (CREDE), Anticipation Guides (Readance, Moore & Rickleman; Tierney, Readance & Dishner), and Reciprocal Teaching (Palinscar & Brown, Freeman & Freeman).
Aaronson, E. (1978). The jigsaw classroom. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
CREDE. (2002). Instructional Conversation. Retrieved March 31, 2004, from http://www.crede.ucsc.edu/standards/5inst_con.shtml
Echeverria, J., Vogt, M. E. & Short, D. (2000). Making content comprehensible for
English language learners: The SIOP model. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Freeman, Y. S. & Freeman, D. E. (2002). Closing the achievement gap: How to reach
limited-formal-schooling and long-term English learners. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Palinscar, A. & Brown, A. (1984). Reciprocal teaching of comprehension-fostering and
comprehension-monitoring activities. Cognition and Instruction 1, 117-175.
Peregoy, S. F. & Boyle, O. F. (2001). Reading, writing, & learning in ESL: A resource
book for K-12 teachers. New York: Addison Wesley Longman.
Readance, J. E., Moore, D. W. & Rickleman, R. J. (2000). Prereading activities for
content area reading and learning. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Tierney, R. & Readance, J. & Dishner, E. (Eds.). (1990). Reading strategies and
practices: A compendium (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
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What can technology do to facilitate culturally responsive teaching? Teachers who don't speak a student's native language may have difficulty finding out about the student's background knowledge, characteristics and interests. What might technology offer is this regard?
Expert's keyword(s) : Resources, Meaningful applications of technologyAnswer : A couple of online resources speak directly to this question. The Diversity Kit, Part II, Culture, gives suggestions about ways teachers can learn about students' home cultures, as well as ways to use this understanding to make their teaching culturally responsive. The Diversity Kit is accessible online at http://www.lab.brown.edu/tdl/diversitykit.shtml .
The Teaching Diverse Learners website: http://www.alliance.brown.edu/tdl/ will soon post a section on policy, which will include important information schools should collect in assessing English language learners on entry, including a home language survey.
Thanks to Cathy Lalli at the Education Alliance for the following: The "big picture" in addressing the effectiveness of technology and ELL students is really the same with all students. On the highest level, every student is being prepared for the next level of development, whether it is junior high school, high school, the work force, or college. Experience with technology is a component part of that development to participate and compete at the next level. Effectiveness for each individual depends on the appropriate use of technology, software, and meaningful work to match the student's age, learning style, language skills, academic level, and interests.
For ELLs, there is evidence that technology empowers individuals through meaningful activities. Pittman (2003) cites a study in which "fourth graders advanced two to three grade levels in language skills in one year while using technology to communicate with students in other states" (p. 44). Wiburg (2003) references Maria Mercado, a university professor of bilingual education who emphasizes the ways that "technology can support the developing identity of linguistically and culturally diverse children. . . . For example, children can use technology to capture oral histories of their communities, create interactive multimedia related to the origins and travel that have occurred in their extended families, and create their own newsletters about issues of concern to the community. . ." (p.28). These are examples of meaningful applications of technology that have replaced remedial drill-and-practice strategies of the past.
Pittman, J. (2003). Empowering individuals, schools, and communities. In G. Solomon, N. Allen, & P. Resta (Eds.), Toward digital equity: Bridging the divide in education (pp. 41-56). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Wiburg, K. M. (2003). Factors of the divide. In G. Solomon, N. Allen, & P. Resta (Eds.), Toward digital equity: Bridging the divide in education (pp. 25-40). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
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What specific classroom strategies are accessible to teachers to address the achievement gap?
Expert's keyword(s) : achievement gapAnswer : Several works have been written about the achievement gap and strategies that teachers have found effective in working to close it. For a discussion of what the achievement gap is and how it applies to English language learners, see Williams & McTighe and Freeman & Freeman. For a look at a study on how different types of educational programs affect the achievement gap for English language learners, see Collier and Thomas.
The following brief list includes strategies that appear repeatedly in the literature on the achievement gap as it applies to English language learners. A list of suggested resources for further exploration of these and other strategies follows.
* Design curriculum for all students around themes, focusing on the essential understandings within the curriculum.
* Develop assessments that are meaningful to students and that provide multiple ways for students to demonstrate their understanding of the essential concepts.
* Communicate high expectations to all students. Base units and lessons on the same high standards and learning objectives for all students; differentiate for students at different levels of English proficiency by providing role options in activities and multiple vehicles for assessment.
* Get to know students, their families, communities and cultures. Find out about strengths, values and priorities. Do this through direct, genuine interaction with people, not merely through reading about culture.
* Explore what students already know. Develop projects and assignments that build on student knowledge and lead to deeper understanding.
* Express high expectations for all students in multiple ways. Study how teachers and students communicate expectations in direct and indirect ways. Talk with students about ways to maximize positive messages and eliminate negative ones.
* Build in frequent and varied opportunities for students to work collaboratively with peers on meaningful tasks that lead to deeper understanding of essential concepts.
* Help students to identify their own strengths, recognize their own progress and develop strategies to work through difficult tasks.
* Involve parents as directly as possible in the curriculum.
* Communicate your passion for teaching and learning as well as your enjoyment of what you do.
Ada, A. F. & Campoy, F. I. Home-school interaction with culture or language diverse families. Westlake, OH: Del Sol Books.
Echevarria, J., Vogt, M. & Short, D. J. (2000). Making content comprehensible for English language learners: The SIOP model. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Freeman, Y. S., Freeman, D. E., & Mercuri, S. (2002) Closing the achievement gap: How to reach limited-formal-schooling and long-term English learners. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Gardner, H. (2000). Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the 21st century. New York: Basic Books.
North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL). Closing the Achievement Gaps: Strategies for School Improvement. Retrieved July 28, 2003, from http://www.ncrel.org/gap/summary/strategy.htm
Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory (LAB). Teaching Diverse Learners. Retrieved July 28, 2003, from Brown University, the Education Alliance Web site: http://www.lab.brown.edu/tdl/index.shtml
Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL). Closing the Achievement Gap requires Multiple Solutions. Retrieved July 28, 2003, from http://www.nwrel.org/cnorse/infoline/may97/srticle5.html
Thomas, W. P. & Collier, V. (1997). School effectiveness for language minority students. NCBE Resource Collection Series, No. 9. Retrieved July 28, 2003, from: http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/ncbepubs/resource/effectiveness/
Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2000). Understanding by design. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Williams, B. (Ed.). (1996). Closing the achievement gap: A vision for changing beliefs and practices. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
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I am looking for research or books written about "reverse mainstreaming." Thank you.
Expert's keyword(s) : reverse mainstreamingAnswer :
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What resources are available for instructing teachers in Native American teaching styles, most importantly for non-native teachers in reservation schools?
Expert's keyword(s) : Web sites, digests, videoAnswer : The following resources may be useful in learning about learning and teaching styles in Native American schools:
An informative site listing multiple resources is the American Indian Education Foundation ( http://www.aiefprograms.org/history_facts/websites.html ). The site includes history and facts about American Indian education, laws, research and other resources. This site is linked to the Journal of American Indian Education. See
jaie.asu.edu/v27/ for a brief list of articles on learning and teaching styles.
The IndiaEduResearch.Net site is also a useful resource, with links to data sources, reports and digests. ( http://www.indianeduresearch.net/edorc01-13.htm ).
ERIC has several Digests that could be helpful. One, titled "American Indian/Alaskan Native Learning Styles: Research and Practice," looks at learning styles and the implications for teachers in making instructional choices.
( http://www.ericfacility.net/ericdigests/ed335175.html ). A second ERIC Digest, "Instructional Conversations in Native American Classrooms" ( http://www.cal.org/ericcll/digest/ncrcds03.html ), explores sociolinguistic, cognitive, motivational, and social factors that inform the instructional conversation as an effective tool for teaching native American students.
The National Film Board of Canada in Montreal offers a video program titled First Nation: The Circle Unbroken. The video includes 23 short segments about cultural identity and current issues in the First Nations. A teacher's guide provides background information and activities.
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What is the best way to learn about the cultures represented by the children in my classroom? Are there written resources, or are there other sources that would give me a quick overview?
Expert's keyword(s) :Answer :
There are many commercially produced resources about culture. Books,
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When there are a number of cultures represented, how can the teaching environment be made culturally relevant without it being 'tokenism'?
Expert's keyword(s) :Answer :
Dr. Mignonne Pollard, a staff member of the Equity Assistance Center housed at The Education Allliance at Brown University offers this strategy:
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Cultural diversity should be infused in the classroom and school setting, yet manyacademic institutions and school districts keep this vital aspect of education at the bottom of the priority ladder. What routes can be taken within educational settings in order to "climb" to a higher level of understanding and acceptance? Should action be taken with administrators? and what would this entail? Or should more emphasis be placed on teacher training?
Submitted by: S. Carmona
Expert's keyword(s) :Answer :
Culturally relevant practice is important at all levels of school functioning. The critical issue here is acknowledging and exploring the relationship between culture and learning. Learners and teachers need opportunities to share their cultural ways of knowing and learning, to acknowledge and appreciate the differences, and to reflect on the multiple ways of demonstrating what is known. Learning about the connections between culture and learning helps teachers not only to assist their particular learners in accessing and mastering the school curriculum, but also to broaden their own awareness of the various ways that individuals approach and manipulate content, language and literacy. These understandings are important to administrators, too, so that they can make informed decisions about program, policy and procedure across grades and subject areas.
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How can educators who are interested in furthering the culturally relevant teaching" agenda with all that it entails re: empowerment, curriculum, etc. make an impact in this "standards" dominated educational environment. It seems to me that the standards reformers are putting the cart before the horse. That is not to say that high standards are not needed for all students, but not much emphasis is being put on that basic level of interactions between teachers and students where so much of of the culturally responsive strategy takes place.
Expert's keyword(s) :Answer :
Ideally, the cart and the horse go forward together. When we engage in culturally relevant practice, we implement high standards in ways that are culturally respectful to learners. We take into account each learner's cultural perspectives and language levels in both the first and second language. That requires some learning on our part as teachers: we need to study our learners. Because their stories may be new to us, we may need to learn something about their countries, their cultures, and their prior experience. Acknowledging that each learner comes to the learning task with a unique composite of experience, knowledge and values, and that these factors are worth exploring, we incorporate what we have learned into our decisions about how to make learning material accessible, so that each learner can attain high standards.
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