Volume 8, Number 1 (2012)
Table of Contents
CAN THERE BE AN AFRICAN AMERICAN PEDAGOGY?
Author Dr. Devi Akella
Albany State University
Dr. Jonathan Elimimian
Albany State University
This paper revolves around an attempt by the authors to design a culturally relevant curriculum with culturally adaptive and collaborative pedagogies to increase the learning outcomes of African American students. The paper argues that students from different cultures have different learning styles. To increase student learning, these cultural differences should be considered and accounted for in classrooms. Contemporary education should make an effort to develop cultural relevant instructional methods which fit the race/ethnic backgrounds of their students. Teachers should modulate their teaching and pedagogical techniques to suit the needs of their students and increase their knowledge acquisition. The paper documents effectiveness evidence of a collaborative, experiential pedagogical technique used by the authors at a historical black institution in the southwest part of USA.
Keywords: African American students, culture, teaching, pedagogical techniques
Taking Multicultural Education to the Next Level: An Introduction to Differentiated-Multicultural Instruction
Author Sidonia J. Alenuma-Nimoh
Gustavus Adolphus College
Although there has been a great deal of research on multicultural instruction and on differentiated instruction in isolation, there is hardly any research on the possibility of blending them and taking multicultural education to the next level. Blending these two instructional approaches would result in a superior instructional strategy, i.e. differentiated-multicultural instruction. Multicultural instruction and differentiated instruction are similar in many ways. They are both set on the premise that good teaching caters to the needs of ALL students by ensuring that all students reach their full potential. This article illustrates how combining individual components of differentiated instruction and multicultural instruction can be helpful in meeting the needs of exceptional learners and students from diverse back- grounds in the general education curriculum. This article would demonstrate to readers the ways in which effective teaching must ensure that ALL students are learning by combining the relevant components of differentiated instruction and multicultural instruction.
Keywords: multicultural education, differentiated-multicultural instruction, differentiated instruction, diverse students.
Navigating the Iceberg: Adolescent Perspectives of Religion and Cultural Identity in the Classroom
Dr. Gina Anderson
Dr. Rebecca Fredrickson
Texas Woman’s University
Dr. Elizabeth Cyr
Stillwaters Schools, Oklahoma
Many U.S. public school teachers still teach in a manner that predominately mirrors a protestant, Christian, middle-class belief system even though their students reflect the demographic changes within the communities across the United States (Spring, 2003). Different interpretations of the principle of Separation of Church and State or the lack of knowledge of theology or world religions may cause some teachers to refrain from the inclusion of religion in the multicultural curriculum. This article shares a research study that highlights adolescents’ awareness of their religious, cultural identity and determines how sensitive they are toward peers with religious differences. Bennett’s (1993) Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity and Cushner, McClelland, and Safford’s (2012) Iceberg Model of Culture are utilized in the data analysis and facilitate the exploration of themes that emerge as a result of the study. The adolescent students’ voices as data revealed they were noticeably aware of religion as a part of their cultural identity. Awareness does not guarantee sensitivity; thus, teachers have an opportunity to provide meaningful experiences to help mediate new understandings of cultural and religious differences. Respectful and legal suggestions for inclusion of religion in the multicultural classroom are shared.
Ethnic-Matching Incongruence: Dilemma or Opportunity?
Frank S. Bailey
Doctoral Student, Educational Leadership
This qualitative case study explores staff and consumer perceptions of how Eurocentric staff impacts substance abuse treatment and educational goals of ethnic minorities in a mid-western residential facility for chemically dependent adolescents. Historically, the sample agency has employed mostly European American staff to facilitate services for a more diverse clientele that includes European American, Native American, African American, and a small number of Hispanic American consumers. Face-to-face and electronically generated semi-structured interviews, conversations, document analysis, and observations create the database. The study highlights personal perceptions, attitudes, and experiences of staff and minority youth regarding the staff-to-student ethnocultural disparity. In sum, neither considered the ethnocultural disparity to be an insurmountable problem in achieving educational or treatment goals. Students considered it a non-issue.
Keywords: Eurocentric, minorities, substance abuse, education
Developing Cultural Literacy in the STEM Disciplines
Julia Balén, Associate Professor, English and
Faculty Director, Center for Multicultural Engagement
California State University, Channel Islands
Nancy Deans, Lecturer, Chemistry
Blake Gillespie, Associate Professor, Chemistry
Nitika Parmar, Assistant Professor, Biology
Brian Rasnow, Lecturer, Physics
Cindy Wyels, Professor, Mathematics
California State University, Channel Islands
Abstract Given national movements to better integrate the STEM disciplines, faculty at California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) have come together across disciplines to explore the cultural attributes of the STEM disciplines and the importance of STEM faculty becoming more broadly culturally literate in order to better serve an increasingly diverse student body. Based on an action research model, this article uses participant reflection to describe the exploration process and development of creative teaching and mentoring interventions to develop more inviting environments for all students in the STEM disciplines that may prove useful to others who are working to engage more diverse populations of students in these disciplines.
Keywords: Cultural literacy, STEM, Science, Math
Political & Pedagogical Dimensions in Holocaust Education:
A Comparative Analysis among Task Force Member Countries
Author Dr. Angelyn Balodimas-Bartolomei
North Park University
Abstract Within the past decade, there has been an increased effort to incorporate Holocaust study in educational systems throughout the world. Usually taught under the subject of history, students generally begin to learn about the Holocaust study in sixth grade. Although Holocaust Education is currently a vital component of national curricula, cross national comparative studies on Holocaust education are lacking. Such information is pertinent for enhancing our understanding and asserting policy and practices from an international perspective. The present study analyzes Holocaust Education within sixteen ITF member countries by comparing and contrasting political and pedagogical dimensions of each educational system.
Multicultural Children’s Literature: The interplay of text and images send meaningful messages to children
Author Daniella Ramos Barroqueiro and Samantha Sprouse
Abstract It is important that children are exposed to multicultural children’s literature so that they are given the opportunity to explore the heritage and values of the variety of people living in their society and perhaps shed some of their preconceived notions and negative attitudes toward others. This article will explore the problem of the limited quantity and poor quality of multicultural children’s literature and the under-representation of minorities as authors and main characters in children’s literature. It will describe the importance and benefits of multicultural children’s literature and lay out criteria for its evaluation.
Pre-service Teachers Curricular Design for Internal Culture:
A Mexican Dinner Party
Author Dorothy E. Blanks and Jessica Horton
University of Tennessee
A critical issue in both multicultural and global education movements is the need to help pre-service teachers teach to the diverse student populations that they will encounter in their classrooms. By addressing the internal cultures of students rather than the external culture (Merryfield, 2011), teachers can focus on the essence of people’s identity and their world views. Also, by designing and integrating curriculum that uses the transformation approach, (Banks, 2004) teachers enable students to view concepts, issues, events, and themes from the perspective of diverse ethnic and cultural groups rather than on more superficial cultural elements like holidays and food. One pre-service group of teachers at a Southeastern University, when asked to create a lesson on a self-selected culture and learning style, accomplished all of the above exemplars of teaching to and for an ethnic population. This has positive implications for teacher training in our complex, diverse society.
Key terms: Teacher training, Internal Culture, Mexican-American
Liberatory Education for Gifted African Americans
Dr. Mario V. Norman
Clayton State University
Abstract Liberation education is a pedagogy which enables gifted youth, especially gifted African American youth, to critical view the systemic inequities that hinder their development. This educational paradigm addresses the needs of not only gifted African American youth, but is an educational pedagogy that addresses the educational and psychosocial needs of all humanity. Ultimately, the goal of gifted education is the development of all of humanity, to develop the natural genius of all youth so that they may bring about a global renaissance for humanity.
Keywords: Liberation education, gifted African American males, multicultural education, liberation psychology.
Multicultural Children’s Literature and Disability: Its Importance and Visibility in the Diversity Landscape in the United States Educational and Sociocultural Context
Author Antonio Causarano, PhD
Alfred University, NY
Abstract This article investigated the importance and visibility of disability in Multicultural Children’s Literature in the United States on the Internet since on-line databases are becoming a second nature for educators and teachers in K-12 schools. Eighteen websites were analyzed by applying grounded theory (Glaser and Strauss, 1967) to assess the visibility and importance of disability within Multicultural Children’s Literature in the United States. The results of the present study demonstrates that disability is marginal as a concept within Multicultural Children’s Literature and this negatively affects the perception and use of disability as a crucial component in the United States educational and sociocultural landscape. A transformation model following Banks and Banks (2004) is proposed for a paradigm shift in the perception and importance of disability in the United States educational and sociocultural landscape by proposing quality Multicultural Children’s Literature where disability has an important role in education to diversity for K-12 students in the 21st century.
KEYWORDS: Multicultural Children’s Literature; Disability; Diversity; Read/Write Web.
Are Teacher Education Programs Failing the Nation’s Urban Schools? A Closer Look at Pre-service Teachers’ Beliefs about Working with Inner-City Students
Author Servet Celik
Karadeniz Technical University
Kilis 7 Aralik University
Abstract To address the issue of pre-service teachers being under-prepared for work in multicultural and impoverished environments in America’s urban schools, teacher education programs have taken steps to improve diversity-oriented curricula and provide relevant fieldwork experience. However, research indicates that a large proportion of teacher candidates still do not have the necessary skills to deal with students from divergent upbringings. This interpretive study investigated the beliefs of pre-service teachers about urban students and how well their teacher education programs are addressing the issues of working in inner-city schools. The results revealed that, although some progress has been made, a significant gap remains between the need to prepare teachers for work in urban schools and the reality that many teacher education programs fall short of this goal. The authors concluded that further research is necessary to pinpoint the failings of teacher education programs in training future teachers for work in diverse settings.
Keywords: Urban schools, urban students, pre-service teachers, teacher education programs
Beyond Relevance: Cultural Competency for Teachers in a Changing World
Author Maliika M. Chambers
California State University, East Bay
Abstract Incorporating the concept of culturally relevant pedagogy as part of regular classroom practice continues to be challenging for pre-service and first year teachers, particularly for White teachers working in urban schools. Much of the literature in this area implies that culturally relevant teaching is “just good teaching”, and focuses on goals of awareness, tolerance, and sensitivity, while avoiding the specifics of how and what teachers need to do to develop cultural knowledge and competence in the classroom. In this article, the author suggests a framework for the development of cultural competence as it relates to teacher practice, asserting that the cognitions that relate to personal values and identity of the individual are linked to the classroom teachers’ ability to develop culturally competent practice. A review of the related literature in conjunction with Derek Sue’s Multidimensional Model of Cultural Competence is discussed, and suggestions for future research are offered.
Keywords: culturally relevant teaching, cultural competence in education, multicultural urban education, pre-service teacher preparation
Silent Voices in a Fifth Grade Classroom: An Exploration
into Students’ Cultural and Gender Discourses
Author Melissa Conaghan
Marlton, New Jersey
Rose Anne Noll
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Abstract The research was an attempt to understand the marginalization of students in a fifth grade classroom. The study draws on the framework of James P. Gee’s (1999) work on Discourses. This exploration seeks to understand the fundamental thinking that causes division among peers and the silencing of certain voices. The authors used multicultural Cinderella fairy tales as a framework to critically examine students’ Discourses of culture and gender. Students' discussions of characters, plots, and themes provided a window into their fundamental beliefs systems that interfere with the acceptance of students who differ in race, gender, ethnic, and social class. The findings indicate that students’ Discourses are already established and evident at the ages of ten and eleven. The purpose of the study was to use the data to plan lessons in critical thinking that would give students the tools to challenge a system that empowers some students and closes doors for others.
Key Words: Multicultural, Fairy Tales, Discourses
Getting My Nervouses Out: The Power of Repeated Oral Reading Performance to Develop Fluency in Bilingual Readers
Sam Houston State University
Sam Houston State University
Sam Houston State University
Reading fluency, comprehension, and motivation form a synergistic relationship within the reading behaviors of young adolescents. This case study of a sixth grade, bilingual student named Catherine, describes her perceptions of herself as a reader and her experiences while participating in oral reading practices and performances designed to increase fluency and content learning. Reader self-perception is a significant facet of overall fluency development. Some readers may not display significant changes in their oral reading fluency, but my feel more confident about reading in front of an audience. For other readers, increased motivation to read during practices and performances may be driven by a desire to be perceived by others as a capable, strong reader. Guided repeated reading activities were particularly beneficial to the focus participant. Considering that she was a bilingual student, the oral reading activities provided her with an additional model for fluent reading and pronunciation of words that she may have heard but not recognized in written form. Also, these activities obliged her to pay attention to individual words that may have been avoided otherwise. Finally, corrective feedback cues helped Catherine to focus on her mispronunciations and provided models for words that she was having difficulty reading.
Key Words: Reading, reading fluency, corrective feedback
Teacher Responses to Participation in Hawaii's Kahua Induction Program
Author Dr. Rebecca Thigpen Coyne
New Mexico State University
Abstract This qualitative, phenomenological study investigated teachers’ responses to participation in the Kahua Induction Program for public school teachers in Hawaii. In-depth interviews were conducted with nine teachers who had participated in the program for at least one year on the island of Hawaii. Four themes emerged. First, before entering the Kahua Program the participants needed cultural understanding, guidance in teaching effectively in the unfamiliar culture, and supportive professional relationships. Second, the program provided knowledge of Native Hawaiian culture through field trips and instruction on ways to implement this cultural knowledge in teaching practices. Third, the induction program enabled the teachers to introduce culturally responsive teaching practices that increased their students’ engagement in learning and their sense of personal empowerment. Fourth, the Kahua Program helped the participants to build supportive relationships with students’ families, with colleagues, and with members of the community, which increased the participants’ sense of professional satisfaction.
Keywords: Induction, Multicultural education, Culturally responsive teaching, Hawaii