Volume 8, Number 3 (2012)
Table of Contents
A Method for Critical Analysis of Multicultural Picture Books
Author Jill Sydney Madsen, Ed.D
Director of Early Childhood Education
Sabes Jewish Community Center of Minneapolis
Adjunct Faculty in Masters of Teaching Program
Abstract Children’s literature conveys powerful messages to about social and moral behaviors and ideas thus are a powerful tool for Multicultural teaching and learning. The Instrument for Critically Analyzing Multicultural Books guides educators through a process of reading and reflecting selected literature. It was developed using best reading practices as described by the literature and tested through a pilot study. The purpose of using the instrument is to provide educators with a process to analyze text, gain a deeper understanding of whose perspective is included in the selected literature and whose are being omitted, and uncover various messages that can be used to guide instruction. The outcome of using the instrument is not to create a list of books to no longer use in the classroom, rather to inform teachers and transform the use of the books to ensure equity and social justice are promoted within Multicultural teaching and learning.
Key Words: Multicultural Education, Multicultural Literature, Picture Books, Critical Analysis
Keeping watch on diversity: Human services challenge
Author Mike Meacham, Ph.D., LCSW, DCSW
Valdosta State University
While diversity remains central to the values of human services, this article is a challenge to change some of our notions about teaching and practicing diversity. The article gives arguments as to how diversity can become stereotyping or outright discrimination and how human services have overlooked particular individuals in majority and minority groups in our efforts to advocate. The article ends with several caveats and six suggestions on how to improve our attitude toward diversity.
“Teachers, Flip Your Practices on Their Heads!”: Refugee Students’ Insights into How School Practices and Culture
Must Change to Increase Their Sense of School Belonging
M. Kristiina Montero,
Wilfrid Laurier University
Informed by the literature of school belonging, culturally responsive pedagogy, and critical multiculturalism, this article explores the perspectives of government assisted refugees attending a secondary school in Ontario, Canada. Using qualitative research methods, the purpose of the study was to understand factors that influence refugee students’ sense of school belonging. In addition, the researchers asked refugee students how educators can better address their socioemotional needs in the public education system. Findings suggest that refugee students’ sense of school belonging might be improved by validating their first language skills in the context of school, fostering a more equitable disciplinary school climate, and supporting and sustaining opportunities for refugee student leadership in the school. Based on these findings, three recommendations are made for practice.
Key words: sense of school belonging; refugee students; students with limited prior education; students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFEs); critical multicultural education.
Creating a Patient-Experienced Communication Barrier in Healthcare Education
Tondra L. Moore, PhD, JD, MPH
Texas State University-San Marcos
Increased diversity in the United States patient population requires that healthcare education adequately prepare its students with the requisite soft skills to improve patient healthcare encounters and outcomes. Teaching students how patients feel is a difficult task. The SWHM (Something’s Wrong…Help Me) activity was created to allow healthcare administration students to experience a patient-like communication barrier. The activity is based upon family games using drawing, guessing and clues. The activity was evaluated using both undergraduate and graduate students revealing that 74% of the students reported experiencing an affective state experienced during a communication barrier such as confused, frustrated or helpless. The SWHM activity effectively allows patients to experience an affective state similar to patients during a healthcare encounter that is complicated by a communication barrier.
KEYWORDS: Communication barrier, soft skills, training, activity
Promoting Critical Thinking through Inclusion and Discussions
Author Mario V. Norman, Ph.D.
Clayton State University
Abstract Students enroll in college with different expectations, aptitudes, and cultural backgrounds. Research supports the need for faculty to create an atmosphere where students feel comfortable discussing cultural sensitive issues. Critical thinking and the ability to form and articulate thoughts proficiently have become essential competencies for effective communication in all avenues of life. Discussion as a method of teaching encourages the development of critical thinking skills of students. Moreover, students’ intellectual progress by means of the discussions enhances from critically evaluating views from diverse perspectives. Faculty should become knowledgeable of self as a cultural being and the sociopolitical history of marginalized groups to better foster a classroom climate of respect to ensure that the discussion perspectives from all students are inclusive and valued.
Key Words: Discussions, Critical Thinking, Inclusion, Diversity
Language and Ideology: Unmasking Underlying Discourses of Multiculturalism in Campus Wide Strategic Statements
Author Hannah Oliha Ph.D.
West Texas A&M University
Abstract Despite the ongoing conversations to recruit, retain, and foster the educational success of students of color in US higher education, research suggests that they still drop out at higher rates compared to their White counterparts. While many reasons like campus climate have been cited, this paper explores the import and impact of written organizational texts in fostering feelings of belonging and inclusion. Specifically this paper interrogates the multicultural ideals that are espoused through one campuses strategic document to determine its potential impact on the recruitment and retention of students of color who are historically underrepresented in US higher education. This case study illuminates the importance of identifying the ideological underpinnings of campus wide strategic statements. The present study suggests that students of color may feel less institutional affiliation and belonging due to this campuses mobilization of conservative and left-liberal multicultural ideals. The paper accomplishes this through discourse and content analytic methods through the lens of McLaren’s (1994) multicultural typological framework.
KEY WORDS: multiculturalism, marginalization, ideology, diversity
Children with Ethnic or Migratory Background: Transition from Family to Kindergarten
Author Vassilis Pantazis
Assistant Professor University of Thessaly, Greece
Dimitris Mylonas, MSc
Teacher - Greece
Multiculturalism could be referred as one of the most important factors outlining the current situation related to education, since the presence of children with other ethnic background is quite pronounced in the schools of Greece, lately.
The smooth adaptation of students with different ethnic background in school settings is directly related to their satisfactory transition and integration in the new educational and social environment. At the same time, family determines to a great extent the raise of children. The aim of this research studies the transition of children with different ethnic background from family to kindergarten; the relationship between teachers of these schools and their families, as well as the employees’ point of view in kindergarten regarding this group of children.
To achieve so, a questionnaire was asked to fill in by 107 teachers who worked in 48 schools situated particularly in Patra, Greece in March-April 2011. The main findings of the study are discussed along with certain suggestions for further studying referring to the transition of children with migratory background from family to kindergarten.
Keywords: multiculturalism; transition; family; preschool education
Increasing Multicultural Students’ Writing Confidence and Motivation through Relational Care and Culturally Responsive Teaching: An Exploratory Inquiry
Author Janet C. Richards, Ph. D.
Department of Childhood Education and Literacy Studies
College of Education
University of South Florida
Stephanie M. Bennett
College of Education
University of South Florida
Abstract “Children from immigrant families are the fastest growing segment of the child population” (North West Regional Education Laboratory, 2012, p. 1). In addition, a large percentage of children in the United States are dialect speakers (Wilson, 2008). Thus, classroom teachers and those currently in teacher education programs are likely to teach writing to students who do not speak, or write in standard English (Banks, 2006).
Article Intercultural Dynamics for Improving School Performance
Author Beatriz Ruiz,
Department of Phycology
University of Oviedo, Spain
Eduardo Dopico Rodrogiez
Department of Education Sciences
University of Oviedo, Spain
Abstract Culture should be taught through a window, not through a mirror. Developing intercultural dynamics in socio-educational contexts contributes to melt cultures. It also helps to improve core competences and school performance. We try to show it here. Immigrant students of kindergarten and primary education with learning difficulties have been the target of this research. 266 students with psych educational support of an intercultural program, they approached the inclusive culture. They did it while they were working, in out-of-school hours, school tasks. The results indicate that students have gained significant improvements through the intercultural dynamics. You can see the evidence of this in terms of core competences in different areas of the curriculum and linguistic immersion. The summative evaluation reveals positive changes in the organization of school work, the application of study skills, motivation in educational field, in classroom behavior and relationships with peers. These results state that interculturality is learned
Keywords: interculturality, intercultural dynamics, socio-educational immersion, shared assessment
Multicultural Children’s Literature: Linking African American children’s literature, culturally responsive teaching and constructivist strategies in an urban setting
Author Jennifer Dyer Sennette,
Texas A & M University-Commerce
Abstract Schools are becoming more diverse every year. Educators must find a way to reach students who do not belong to the mainstream culture. By using African American children’s literature in the classroom, teachers can show that they respect and value their African American student’s culture and provide opportunities to explore issues of equity and diversity.
The purpose of this paper is to describe how two male early childhood teachers from different cultural groups teach their African American students about issues of diversity and equity using African American children’s literature in schools whose missions support multiculturalism. In addition, implications for future research and teacher education are discussed.
Am I Culturally Competent? A study on Multicultural Teaching Competencies among School Teachers in Malta
Author Brian Vassallo
Abstract This paper examined the relationships between teacher multicultural competencies and their demographic characteristics. Participants completed two surveys; a demographic survey outlining teachers’ characteristics and a Teachers’ Cultural Competence survey designed for the purpose of this study. Teachers were divided into groups based on the following teacher characteristics: sector, school level, gender, qualifications; teaching experience and participation in inset courses. Teachers’ characteristics were then compared to the following four different types of cultural competencies: awareness, attitudes, knowledge, and skills. Findings indicated significant differences among the different types of cultural competencies with teaching experience, number of courses and teaching sector being the most significant factors. Recommendations follow based on findings. Suggestions for future development and research are also provided.
Keywords: cultural competence, multicultural teaching competencies
ESL Teacher Candidates’ Perceptions of Readiness to Teach English Language Learners
Author Chiu Yin Wong, Ph.D.
Mary Cain Fehr, Ph.D.
Mary Frances Agnello, Ph.D.
Stephen M. Crooks, Ph.D.
Texas Tech University
Abstract In a qualitative study, teacher candidates were surveyed to assess their knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to teaching diverse students and their sense of readiness to teach English Language Learners in P-12 schools. This report includes results of two open-ended questions related to their self-perceived strengths and the challenges they expect to encounter. Responses were ranked according to a six-level developmental scale. The findings of the study showed that many teacher candidates with a specialization in English as a Second Language (ESL) have concerns about teaching culturally and linguistically diverse students. Recommendations are made for ESL certification programs in teacher education.
Key Words: ESL, English Language Learners, Diverse students, Teacher Perceptions, Teacher Preparation