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Commentonat least 3 Classmates’Posts (approximately  150 -300 words each)§

– comment must address the R2R prompt and your classmate’s response substantively; if you agree or disagree, provide reasoning and rational evidence from the readings to support your position

– build on the ideas of what your classmate has written and dig deeper into the ideas 

– support your views through research you have read or through your personal and/or professional experiences§demonstrate a logical progression of ideas 

– comments need to be thoughtful and substantive; not gratuitous comments like “this was a good post” or simply that “you agree”. Simply congratulating the writer on their astute insights is insufficient.

– cite the readings in your response by using proper APA Style format and conventions. 

classmate 1 

According to the dictionary, culture is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities and habits of the individuals in these groups. The capacity building series article “Culturally Responsive Pedagogy” explains that culture goes beyond the understanding of ethnicity, race and faith. In regards to teaching and learning, it is essential that teachers understand the similarities and differences about their students various social identities. Gay explains that when academic knowledge and skills are situated within the lived experiences and frames of reference of students, they are more personal and meaningful, have higher interest appeal and are learned more easily and thoroughly (pg. 106). As humans, our identities play a huge role in our overall mood. When we feel unaccepted or neglected, we tend to shut down. It is essential to the learning process that all students are able to identify with their cultures. 

Escudera explains that cultural competence requires that teachers understand their own cultural backgrounds and actively learn about those of their students (2019). Teachers must also take the time to truly learn and understand the different cultural backgrounds of their students. This will allow students to identify with what is being taught and will result in a more engaged group of students. Real learning takes place when students around able to connect with what is being taught. Students and teachers need to coexist. Teachers who are reluctant about obtaining knowledge about culture or incorporating culture into their classrooms may bring their own bias based on their own culture; knowingly or unknowingly. 

Culturally responsive teaching refers to using the cultural characteristics, experiences and perspectives of ethnically diverse students as conduits for teaching (Gay, 2001).  In culturally responsive classrooms, teachers need to develop knowledge about cultural diversity, design culturally relevant curricula, demonstrate cultural caring, build a learning community, have cross-cultural communications, and include cultural congruity in class room instruction (Gay, 2001). Culturally relevant pedagogy is a framework coined by Dr Gloria Ladson Billings in the early 90s. It has three fundamental pillars; academic achievement, cultural competence, and sociopolitical consciousness (Escudera, 2019). In regards to both CRP and CPT, teachers are working toward creating a classroom where culture is woven into the day. One big takeaway from this week’s readings is that being culturally responsive does not mean celebrating culture, it also doesn’t mean taking a specific amount of time to teach about multiculturalism. Rather it is something that is embedded in lessons, in visuals around the room, included in all subject matters. Misconceptions about others and their cultures need to be addressed. Teachers must have knowledge on different cultures, their beliefs and their customs. This will ensure that there is a mutual respect for all students in the room. Acquiring this knowledge will help teachers understand their boundaries; knowing gender roles, speaking/listening roles and different ways of learning will help students better support their students. One suggestion given was to incorporate multiple speaking and listening forms in the classroom to eliminate students feel stressed or confused by just one type. 

Teachers may embrace CRT because they want to create a classroom climate free of bias and discrimination. Teachers who embrace CRT and CRP have the best interest of all students in mind. They know and want all students to succeed, learn, and feel safe in their classrooms. They want to eliminate the divide between the majority and minority so that all students have a fair shot in their education. On the other hand, some teachers may be reluctant because they do not feel like culture has a place in the classroom. This may include teachers who believe teaching to state standards in the most essential part of teaching. One misconception that may make teachers reject CRT and CRP is the idea that receiving this knowledge and implementing it is time consuming. Teachers are already pressed for time as it is, but as mentioned in our readings there is no shortage of quality  resources regarding this information. 

classmate 2

Culture is much more than a person’s race or ethnicity. As the article on culturally responsive pedagogy states, “It encompasses broad notions of similarity and difference and it is reflected in our students’ multiple social identities and their ways of knowing and of being in the world”. I have always strongly felt as an educator of students who come from other countries, it is my job to ensure they feel safe, accepted, and welcome. In order to do that, we must have culturally responsive pedagogy instilled in our classes.

A teacher’s culture and/or identity can greatly impact teaching and learning. As Escudero mentioned in her article “How to Practice Relevant Pedagogy”, teachers should be aware of their own cultural competence. They must understand their own cultural background and actively learn about their student’s cultural background. Escudero states, “In doing so, teachers not only affirm their students’ lived experiences but also empower their students by using their students’ culture as the basis for learning.” This allows students to feel respected and affirmed.

            As stated in the article on culturally responsive pedagogy, ““Culturally Responsive Teaching” or “Culturally Responsive Pedagogy” is a term used to describe teaching that recognizes all students learn differently and that these differences may be connected to background, language, family structure and social or cultural identity.” This is more than simply acknowledging the different cultures that are in our classes, but nurturing it in order to create a better learning environment. This article also described culturally relevant teaching as a means of integrating a student’s background knowledge and prior home experience into the classroom and curriculum.

            I believe that it’s crucial for teachers to embrace CRT and CRP in their classrooms. In Gay’s article “Preparing for Culturally Responsive Teaching” she states, “Culturally responsive teachers are critically conscious of the power of the symbolic curriculum as an instrument of teaching and use it to help convey important information, values, and actions about ethnic and cultural diversity. They ensure that the images displayed in classrooms represent a wide variety of age, gender, time, place, social class, and positional diversity within and across ethnic groups and that they are accurate extensions of what is taught through the formal curriculum”. I believe in doing this, it helps students feel more comfortable and willing to learn. However, I can see why some teachers may not be so welcoming to adapt CRT and CRP practices in their classrooms. Discussions about diversity and different cultures can be uncomfortable and definitely takes a lot more work. I still believe that these discussions are crucial to have, though, and that it will make the educational experience for our students much more beneficial.

classmate 3 

Culture is the arts and knowledge of a specific group of people. Many people assume that culture is found within different races, but that isn’t the only way to identify culture of people.  According to Capacity Building Series (2013), “It encompasses broad notions of similarity and difference and it is reflected in our students’ multiple social identities and their ways of knowing and of being in the world.” So to take culture into a classroom is not as easy and straightforward as identifying one specific subgroup in the classroom, it takes time and research to learn about students and their families. This is done so that schools are a safe place for students where they are able to grow and learn both academically but also their own culture. 

 

Without knowing it a teacher could bring their own bias into the classroom which would impact the teaching and learning of their students. That is why it is important to self reflect on your identity, culture, and beliefs consistently. According to Gay (2002), “Because culture strongly influences the attitudes, values, and behaviors that students and teachers bring to the instructional process, it has to likewise be a major determinant of how the problems of underachievement are solved.”

 

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (CRP) is looking at what the student needs academically and also internally. According to Escudero (2019), “It focuses on the academic and personal success of students as individuals and as a collective by ensuring students engage in academically rigorous curriculum and learning, that they more fully understand and feel affirmed in their identities and experiences and that they are equipped and empowered to identify and dismantle structural inequities—positioning them to transform society.” When looking at CRP, it can be broken down into three main parts. According to Capacity Building Series (2013), “There are three central tenets underpinning this pedagogy: (1) holding high expectations for all students, (2) assisting students in the development of cultural competence and (3) guiding students to develop a critical cultural consciousness. In this student-centred framework, the uniqueness of each student is not just acknowledged, but nurtured.” 

In order to embrace CRP, teachers need to change their mindset. Educators will embrace this because there is sound research that supports this pedagogy. To look deeper into who students are and why will help educators to build strong and trusting relationships with their students. Following CRP is not adding new strategies into the classroom it is keeping those high expectations and the desire to make a difference in children’s lives. What does change is that your teaching has a deeper look at student different cultural backgrounds and realizing that those pieces of a student are just as important as what they learn in school. If we can connect those two pieces together, there will be much higher successes for our students.

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