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Culturally Responsive Teaching Research Paper

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Updated: May 4th, 2022

Positive Perspectives on Parents and Families

Positive perspectives on parents and families imply the parents’ involvement in the children’s academic achievement to provide support and help in the cases of need. Therefore, the development of collaboration between schools and students’ families for promoting academic success is nowadays one of the focuses of various policies and programs. Furthermore, several perspectives should be considered for understanding how parents and families can be positively involved in the academic achievement of students (Hill & Taylor, 2004, p. 163).

One of the primary positive perspectives on parents and families relates to teachers’ ability to effectively engage the families in the process of education in the earliest stages. This can be effectively done if teachers communicate their limitations in terms of interactions with students, and ask parents for support in situations where only a teacher’s actions will not be enough. In such cases, a teacher and parents will have a common goal to be reached when it comes to a student’s academic achievement.

However, positive perspectives on parent’s involvement will only be possible if teachers gain enough cross-cultural skills for effective collaboration since some parents chose not to participate because of their cultural characteristics of religious beliefs. For example, according to the study conducted by Hofferth (2000), there are significant differences in how fathers of different ethnicities treat their children: black fathers exhibit more control and less warmth while Hispanic fathers monitor their children less (p. 3).

Such an example shows that every parent requires separate treatment following the cultural or religious beliefs for their integration into the process of teaching students. Furthermore, the economic situation should also be taken into account since parents that come from impoverished communities usually require more information for promoting positive achievement in their children since there is a high possibility that these parents did not have many positive learning experiences at school (Hill & Taylor, 2004, p. 164).

Communication of High Expectations

Communication of high expectations in culturally responsive teaching implies all students being provided with consistent information that they are expected to perform following the standards set by the educational facility in which they study. Communicating high expectations to students is a task that should be performed by all school personnel involved in the academic lives of students, from teachers to administrators. In some cases, if parents are greatly involved in the academic lives of their children, they can also assist in providing children with information on how can they achieve high standards.

The development of an effective and healthy self-concept in students is one of the main reasons for communicating high academic expectations. Therefore, the teaching personnel should be clear and specific about what students are expected to know or have the ability to do. Furthermore, it is crucial to create an environment with mutual respect and support, where students are offered praise when the expectations are met.

Encouraging a sense of community in a classroom will benefit the communication of high expectations to a large extent (Bond, 2014, p. 14) since all students will consider themselves on the same level and with the same goals and expectations set for them. Encouraging students for meeting the expectations will create a positive educational environment and therefore enhance the students’ self-concept.

Learning Within the Context of Culture

It is common knowledge that people that come from different cultural backgrounds learn differently; therefore, learning and teaching within the context of culture is one of the crucial principles included in culturally responsive teaching. Culturally responsive teaching implies embraces pedagogical techniques that take into account the life experiences of children, the knowledge they attained at their homes, as well as the nature of the surrounding environment for forming an effective curriculum (Lee & Carecer, 2010, p. 199).

However, teaching and learning within the context of culture does not only imply being sensitive to the cultural background of students; it is also crucial to recognize how the concept of culture is based within the context of learning as well as how it urges educators to develop skills of cultural competence (Lee & Carecer, 2010, p. 200). Learning within the context of culture helps students learn more about the world that surrounds them so that, for instance, a student from a minority group is not pressured into changing his or her lifestyle or a framework of beliefs to fit in into the community dominated by the representatives of another culture.

To teach students within the context of culture, an educator should vary the teaching strategies from cooperative to role-playing, as well as assign more research projects on the study of different cultures. Lastly, effective communication, for example, community events, is what will ‘build bridges’ between the cultural differences students have.

Student-centered Instruction

Student-centered instruction is an approach that implies complete engagement from the student, immersion into the task, as well as the personal responsibility for completing the task. However, to prompt significant learning in students it is advised to use several innovative and creative techniques within the educational environment to boost students’ engagement (Young, 2011, p. 290).

The approach of student-centered instructions involves teachers in the role of instructors, however, their role is more associated with coaching rather than teaching. Students are taught to rely on themselves through the action-oriented instruction that can sometimes replace the common method of lecturing. For example, some of the action-oriented instructions include the team projects that require tight collaboration between students, individual assignments controlled by students separately, role-playing assignments, as well as the open-ended programs that require the usage of critical thinking skills.

Culturally Mediated Instruction

Culturally mediated instruction incorporates a diverse framework of understanding and presenting information from a multi-cultural point of view. Therefore, this type of instruction encourages the inclusion of any knowledge that is close and relevant to students that come from different cultural backgrounds. The learning within the framework of the culturally mediated instructions occurs in the context of socially common situations that involve the relationships between students, between students and teachers, and students of different cultures.

According to the article written by Christine Sleeter (2001), students from diverse backgrounds usually tend to bring new experiences and ideas into the process of multicultural teaching and learning compared to the majority of White students that dominate American schools in terms of quantity (p. 94). Several other studies supported the hypothesis, which tremendously influenced the technique of instructions used by the teachers in their practice. Therefore, teachers and students should get an understanding that there are multiple ways for a statement or action interpretation due to the diversity of various cultural ideas and viewpoints.

To implement culturally mediated instruction in their practice, teachers are advised to research the experienced students had in terms of styles of learning and teaching as well as create a supportive environment that embraces the notion of culture. Additionally, to implement culturally mediated instruction, teachers can devise several methods for helping students achieve the set milestones on their academic development, for example, teachers can allow students to use their first language so that it is easier for them to perform assignments in class. Overall, it is crucial to make sure that the set goals are realistic and can be accomplished by students both individually and in groups.

Reshaping the Curriculum

The concept of culturally responsive teaching is the techniques are responsible for facilitating and supporting the academic achievement of students. In a culturally responsive classroom, effective teaching occurs in a context of support and learner-centrism (Richards, Brown, & Forde, 2007, p. 64). Therefore, reshaping the curriculum following the cultural characteristics of a classroom can be regarded as one of the most effective and rewarding strategies teachers can implement.

The curriculum is culturally responsive teaching should be meaningful and integrated into the learning process that includes issues and tasks relevant to the studies of students’ background and culture. Furthermore, the teaching curriculum should be shaped in a manner that is challenging for students to acquire new skill sets and new knowledge related to multicultural learning. To shape the curriculum following the cultural characteristics, a teacher can use a variety of alternative resources and develop a set of activities that will reflect the background of students.

Teacher as Facilitator

The facilitative role of a teacher in the context of culturally responsive teaching is associated with holding a respectful attitude towards the cultural differences as well as having an ability to integrate various cultural resources into the process of teaching and learning (Pewewardy & Cahape, 2003, p. 5). Thus, the teacher acts as a facilitator of learning for the students, providing them with guidelines for how the social, linguistic, and cultural experiences of the diverse students can be reflected in the educational process.

Facilitating culturally relevant teaching means providing support for both school-based and family-based cultures. It will be beneficial for teachers to use the family-based cultural experiences of their students as the basic framework on top of which the rest of the teaching principles can be built. The content learned within such a framework can be regarded as the most significant since it facilitates the transfer between already known information and skills and the information learned in the classroom.

There are three steps, which a teacher needs to know to become an effective facilitator of multicultural learning: get information about the diverse cultures of the students, implement several different teaching approaches to accommodate every student, and use a variety of resources present in the students’ communities. As a facilitator, a teacher has an opportunity to engage students’ parents into the classroom activities for showing the students how various problems can be approached and addressed. Therefore, there are no boundaries that limit the role of a teacher that plays the role of the learning facilitator. The variety of techniques and approaches will greatly benefit the process of teaching, especially when it comes to culturally responsive teaching.

References

Bond, V. (2014). Culturally responsive teaching in the choral classroom. Choral Journal, 55(2), 9-15.

Hill, N., & Taylor, L. (2004). Parental school involvement and children’s academic achievement. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(4), 161-164.

Hofferth, S. (2000). Race/ethnic differences in father involvement in two-parent families: Culture, context, or economy.

Lee, T., & Carecer, P. (2010). (Re)claiming native youth knowledge: Engaging in socio-culturally responsive teaching and relationships. Multicultural Perspectives, 12(4), 199-205.

Pewewardy, C., & Cahape, P. (2003). .

Richards, H., Brown, A., & Forde, T. (2007). Addressing diversity in schools: Culturally responsive pedagogy. Teaching Exceptional Children, 39(3), 64.

Sleeter, C. (2001). Preparing teachers for culturally diverse schools: Research and the overwhelming whiteness. Journal of Teacher Education, 52(2), 94-106.

Young, S. (2011). Diversity and motivation: culturally responsive teaching in College. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

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