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Volume 7, Number 4

Volume 7 (2012), Number 4

Table of Contents

Article

Using Case Studies to Engage Urban Students on the United States Constitution

Author

William B. Russell III, Ph.D.
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL 32816

Christopher Busey
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL 32816

Abstract

In the age of the multicultural classroom, social studies teachers and teacher educators are constantly searching for ways to engage students from diverse backgrounds in the content. The purpose of this article is to share classroom-tested case studies activities, which is an effective, yet often overlooked pedagogical tool to engage and make social studies content relevant and meaningful to urban students’ everyday lives. This article looks at shares two case studies that were used to engage urban students in two 12th grade American Government classrooms. Through the use of case studies, the diverse classrooms became more engaged in the content and the students were able to find relevancy to the Constitution in their own lives through a deeper understanding of what it takes to formulate such a document.

Article

Maintaining Cultural Identity in a Small American City on the Great Plains: a Vietnamese-American’s experience

Author

Di Ryter
University of Nebraska

Abstract

How can immigrants be included in American society while maintaining a sense of cultural identity and maneuvering between contrasting mainstream and home cultures? A narrative inquiry was performed to address this question. This study consists of an inquiry into the education and cultural experiences of a second generation Vietnamese-American named Lina (pseudonym). Two paradigms, an advocacy and constructivist worldview influenced the purpose of conducting this study. Issues and concepts surrounding topics of identity, community, multicultural and citizenship education are included in this study. The significance of these topics is that it can lead to enhancing educational policies and pedagogy toward greater awareness and understanding of the social, economic, and political factors affecting our diverse communities in the United States. Moreover, understanding these issues allows teachers to understand and include the identities and cultures of their students in the classroom. This inquiry also provided a space for Lina and her family to describe their experience, understanding, contribution to, and need for greater cultural awareness and inclusion in a small city on the American Great Plains.

Keywords: community, culture, identity, bilingualism, multiculturalism, and civic education

Article

An Exploratory Study of Assimilationist Educational Strategies and Their Impact on Diverse Learners in South Korea

Authors

Andrew Schenck
Seoul National University
Seoul, South Korea

Wonkyung Choi
Pai Chai University
Daejeon, South Korea

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore teachers’ attitudes toward multicultural education and problems caused by the application of an assimilationist paradigm in the South Korean classroom. Twenty-six South Korean middle and high school teachers were given a survey to assess multicultural attitudes and experiences. Select teachers with experiences teaching diverse learners were then given a follow-up qualitative interview to collect more information. Results of the initial survey revealed that teachers had a positive attitude towards multicultural education, but did not fully grasp its relevance. Results of the follow-up interview revealed challenges to multicultural education, such as conflict over perceived roles of teachers and students, avoidance of discussion about diversity, overprotective teachers, problems comprehending the traditional Korean school curriculum, and limited involvement of both students and parents from diverse backgrounds. These problems appear to reflect an overall failure of the South Korean education system to embrace and accommodate diversity.

Article

A multiple case study on parents’ perspective about the influence of the Islamic culture on Muslim children’s daily lives

Author

Dina Shalabi
University of Ottawa

Maurice C. Taylor
University of Ottawa

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore how Muslim parents interpret the influence of the Islamic culture on their children’s daily lives. Using a qualitative multiple case study, family members from five ethnically diverse households were observed and interviewed. Data were analyzed employing a within-case and a cross-case analysis using a framework adapted from Stake (2006). Eight themes emerged from the study which focused on the centrality of religion in these households, the collective cultural paradigm and the scope of identity negotiation taking place on a daily basis. Implications point towards cultural responsive teaching so as to integrate Muslim students into classroom pedagogies.

Article

Understanding Cultural Diversity: An Analysis of the Influence on Middle Grades Teachers

Authors

Ervin F. Sparapani 

Pamela L. Ross McClain

Abstract

This study explored the changes that occurred in middle grades teachers when they “got to know” and came to understand a family of a different culture or race. Three objectives were addressed: middle grades teachers would develop a relationship with a family unit that was culturally/racially different from them; the relationship would go beyond mere textbook learning; the teachers would change their classroom practice. Thirty-five middle grades teachers and thirty-five families were involved. Teachers kept a journal record of all interactions. Results verified the objectives. Also, four common themes emerged: to make assumption about families based solely on race or ethnicity was inappropriate; communicate with families appropriately; education about sex, substance abuse, and societal norms and mores was important; the influence of peer pressure. This study documented that for teachers to truly understand the diversity of their students, they must also understand their students’ families.

Keywords: understanding diversity, cultural communication, and family units.

Article

Word for Word: An analysis of diversity content within institutional documents

Author

Vera L Stenhouse, Ph.D
Decatur, GA 30033

Abstract

Guided by Zeichner, Grant, Gay, Gillette, Valli, and Villegas’(1998) design principles for multicultural teacher education, a content analysis of documents was used to examine the congruence of diversity content within the institutional context and the curricula within a teacher preparation program. Findings across documents yielded a continuum of visibility ranging from opaque to translucent to transparent. The continuum offers faculty, administrators, and staff ways to examine definitions of diversity and multicultural education currently in use and in turn, refine claims regarding the visibility of matters relevant to diversity and multicultural education in relation to an institution’s intentions.

Keywords: diversity, multicultural education, documents, teacher education, content analysis

Article

Culturally Responsive Parental Involvement: The Chuukese Way

Author

Catherine Stoicovy
School of Education, University of Guam

Kelle L. Murphy
College of Natural and Applied Sciences
UOG Station, Mangilao

Sweeter Sachuo
School of Education, University of Guam

Abstract

With the change in the cultural landscape of U.S. schools, parents’ involvement in education has become an even greater challenge for educators. Parental involvement is consistently cited as an important correlate of effective schools. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe Chuukese adults’ perceptions of parental involvement in schools on Guam and the cultural contexts that underlie these perceptions. A total of twenty nine (N =29) participants (females = 18 and males = 11) participated in the study. Five focus groups were conducted and were divided by gender: three focus groups for males and two focus groups for females. Overall, it was found that Chuukese felt that it was the responsibility of the school administrators to be more accommodating of their needs. This included conducting school meetings and functions at alternate sites and times. Chuukese also felt that communication needed to improve between the school administrators and them. This included providing translators and translated materials. Realistic expectations by both the Chuukese families and the school administrators need to be implemented.

Keywords: culturally responsive education, culturally responsive parental involvement, pacific islanders, Chuukese

Article

Response to Intervention for English Learners

Author

Shannon K. Stuart, Ph. D.
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Claudia Rinaldi, Ph.D.
Educational Development Center

Abstract

This article provides a framework for using Response to Intervention (RTI) with students who are English Learners (ELs). It examines the characteristics of these students; defines the RTI process; and then outlines how schools can use grade level teams, a school management group, and professional development to support literacy. The authors include specific recommendations to screen and monitor progress.

Keywords: English Learners; Response to Intervention; English Language Learners; ELs; ELLs

Article

Mexico’s Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Immigrant Children: A Call for Collaboration Among Educators

Authors

Susan Unruh, Ph.D. NCSP
School Psychology
Wichita State University

Abstract

Children of Mexican immigrants in the United States are at risk for developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to increased levels of violence brought on by the drug wars in Mexico. PTSD can negatively impact the achievement and behavior of immigrant children in US schools. Teachers, school psychologists, nurses, counselors, and social workers are called upon to collaborate in raising awareness of this phenomenon. Teachers may well be the first to see the manifestations of PTSD in their students. Support staff can aid teachers in recognizing the signs and symptoms of PTSD and can help the child and family access the necessary treatment so that the effects of the disorder will be ameliorated and the child can make a more positive adjustment to the school.

Keywords: Hispanic, Mexico, posttraumatic stress disorder, collaboration, immigrant

Article

Multicultural Literature in the Curricula: Relevance and Challenges

Authors

Dr. Divya Walia
The IIS University, Jaipur

Abstract

The world is fast becoming a global village on account of technological innovations and developments taking place all over. With such changes on national and global front, territorial/spatial boundaries are fast disappearing causing inter-cultural and inter-racial scenario to emerge and influence the way we think and live. Such hybridized and inter-mingled contexts in our life and literature, arts and language, theory and practice are what we call cultural plurality or multiculturalism. “In fact, the word ‘multiculturalism’ connotes either some mode of transnational interrelationships between the cultures of two or more countries or it suggests in a more circumscribed manner, the broader dimensions of multiple cultural identities within the boundary of a single nation.” (Chandra, 2010, p.XI)

With due consideration to the increasing influence of the multicultural context on the social, political and economic setup, it is becoming essential to address this aspect even in the field of learning and education. Multicultural literary texts serve this purpose of introducing learners from heterogonous cultures to the varied cultures being discussed by the writers from different cultures and races and their respective social, political and economic issues. Besides an effective understanding of the material being presented to the learners, such texts also help them appreciate the other cultures , their beliefs, values system and social set up, thus broadening their horizon of learning and making them culture sensitive.

Based on these assumptions, the paper is an attempt to explore the concept of multiculturalism, its relevance in the curricula and the challenges thereof.

Article

Is the Melting-Pot Policy Giving Way to a Policy of Multiculturalism? The Narrative Featuring the "Oriental" in the Sheaves Anthologies, 1958-1966, Compared with Simply Literature Anthologies, 2000-2001

Authors

Dr. Sara Zamir
Ahvah College of Education and Ben-Gurion University, Eilat

Abstract

The aim of this research is to examine the narrative featuring oriental characters in the Sheaves (Alumot )school anthologies (1958-1966) in contrast to the narrative featuring oriental characters in the Simply Literature (Pashut Sifrut) anthologies (2000-2001). The findings show that in the first anthologies, sheaves, there are, in all, three stories representing oriental characters. All three deal with the Zionist narrative of immigration to the Land of Israel – the return to the homeland and its settlement. Two of the stories even extol the virtues of the melting pot immigration policy of those days, which was intended at assimilating the immigrants into the new nation. Accordingly, the immigrants underwent a process of de-socialization that involved the shedding of their previous identity in all its variety, followed by a process of re-socialization.

In Simply Literature anthologies, there are eight literary works representing oriental characters. Its narrative is entirely different, including both direct and indirect criticism of the absorption and integration policy practiced in the country during the 50's and 60's.

The motif of poverty of the oriental communities in the country described in the great majority of the stories in these anthologies serves to a large extent as an indictment against the melting pot policy of the authorities, perpetuating at the same time the oriental stereotype in modern Israeli society, which gives only lip service to the value of multiculturalism.

Keywords: melting pot, multiculturalism, literature anthologies, oriental narrative, content analysis


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