Those training to teach in rural and remote areas face different challenges from those who teach in urban centres. It has been proposed that rural and remote communities may have more success recruiting teachers who already live in these communities, rather than trying to recruit urbanites to move to rural communities once they have completed their teacher training.
These three areas reflect the organization of most teacher education programs in North America though not necessarily elsewhere in the world —courses, modules, and other activities are often organized to belong to one of the three major areas of teacher education. The organization makes the programs more rational or logical in structure.
The conventional organization has sometimes also been criticized, however, as artificial and unrepresentative of how teachers actually experience their work. Problems of practice frequently perhaps usually concern foundational issues, curriculum, and practical knowledge simultaneously, and separating them during teacher education may therefore not be helpful.
However, the question of necessary training components is highly debated as continuing increases in attrition rates by new teachers and struggling learners is evident. Teaching involves the use of a wide body of knowledge about the subject being taught, and another set of knowledge about the most effective ways to teach that subject to different kinds of learner; it, therefore, requires teachers to undertake a complex set of tasks every minute. Many teachers experience their first years in the profession as stressful. The proportion of teachers who either do not enter the profession after completing initial training, or who leave the profession after their first teaching post, is high.
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A distinction is sometimes made between inducting a teacher into a new school explaining the school's vision, procedures etc. A number of countries and states have put in place comprehensive systems of support to help beginning teachers during their first years in the profession. Elements of such a programme can include:. Some research  suggests that such programmes can: increase the retention of beginning teachers in the profession; improve teaching performance; promote the teachers' personal and professional well-being.
However, numerous authors   suggest that current teacher education is highly flawed and primarily geared towards a western dominated curriculum. Because the world that teachers are preparing young people to enter is changing so rapidly, and because the teaching skills required are evolving likewise, no initial course of teacher education can be sufficient to prepare a teacher for a career of 30 or 40 years.
In addition, as the student body continues to change due to demographic issues there is a continuous pressure on academics to have mastery of their subjects but also to understand their students. The extent to which education authorities support this process varies, as does the effectiveness of the different approaches. A growing research base suggests that to be most effective, CPD activities should:. There are several educations around the world which have been working to improve CPD for teachers.
Further, it conducts a Certification for teachers to engage with them on these standards and recognise those who are outstanding, thereby providing an incentive for CPp. It is sometimes taken to relate to the quality of the work undertaken by a teacher, which has significant effects upon his or her pupils or students. Further, those who pay teachers' salaries, whether through taxes or through school fees, wish to be assured that they are receiving value for money. Ways to measure the quality of work of individual teachers, of schools, or of education systems as a whole, are therefore often sought.
In most countries, teacher salary is not related to the perceived quality of his or her work. Some, however, have systems to identify the 'best-performing' teachers, and increase their remuneration accordingly. Elsewhere, assessments of teacher performance may be undertaken with a view to identifying teachers' needs for additional training or development, or, in extreme cases, to identify those teachers that should be required to leave the profession. In some countries, teachers are required to re-apply periodically for their license to teach, and in so doing, to prove that they still have the requisite skills.
Feedback on the performance of teachers is integral to many state and private education procedures, but takes many different forms. The 'no fault' approach is believed by some to be satisfactory, as weaknesses are carefully identified, assessed and then addressed through the provision of in house or school based training. These can, however, be seen as benefiting the institution and not necessarily fully meeting the CPD needs of the individual as they lack educational gravitas. A teacher educator also called a teacher trainer is a person who helps other people to acquire the knowledge, competences and attitudes they require to be effective teachers.
Several individual teacher educators are usually involved in the initial or ongoing education of each teacher; often each specialises in teaching about a different aspect of teaching e.
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Not every culture has a concept that precisely matches the English term 'teacher educator' A teacher educator may be narrowly defined as a higher education professional whose principle activity is the preparation of beginning teachers in universities and other institutions of teacher education, such as teacher colleges. A broader definition might include any professional whose work contributes in some way to the initial education or the continuing professional development of school and other teachers.
Even within a single educational system, teacher educators may be employed in different roles by different kinds of organisation. In the European context, for example, people who could be considered to be teacher educators include:. Teacher educators may therefore work in many different contexts including universities , schools , private sector training organisations or trade unions  and their working time may be fully, or only partly, dedicated to the preparation of teachers.
Being able to educate teachers requires different knowledge and skills than those required to teach pupils or students. Some recent research has highlighted the many fields of knowledge that are required by teacher educators; these include knowledge about: the pedagogy of teacher education; learning and learners; teaching and coaching; and the profession of teacher educator itself. In addition, teacher educators need to know about the specific contexts their students will work and working in e.
More experienced teacher educators need expertise in: curriculum development and assessment; the wider context of teacher education, the way it is organised, and in research. The complexity of the tasks of the teacher educator arises in part because, as research has shown, they have multiple professional identities. This is linked to the issues of definition of the term, highlighted above. While some of those who carry responsibility for the education of teachers do self-identify as 'teacher educator', others may self-identify rather as ' researcher ' or ' academic '; others may relate primarily to their academic discipline, such as ' chemist ' or ' geographer.
But the key duality of identity that lies at the core of the teacher educator profession is that of first-order and second order teaching. As first-order educators, they need to be proficient teachers of 'adult' students. As second-order educators, they require, in addition, specific competences and dispositions, such as modelling and meta-reflection, that enable them to teach about teaching.
The acquisition or improvement of teacher competences requires training, through which it will be improved educational planning and assessment. This results in a better learning of students, as evidences show. Reaching this goal supposes to design training programs for teachers of mathematics, starting from identificating their needs, believes, expectations and the use of formative assessment. Just as teaching is no longer seen as simply transferring factual information, so educating teachers also requires a more sophisticated approach, based upon professional awareness  that comes from reflective practice.
In some parts of the world notably the United States, Flanders and the Netherlands specific standards of professional practice have been developed for, or by, teacher educators. These set out the range of competences that a member of the teacher educator profession is expected to be able to deploy, as well as the attitudes, values and behaviours that are deemed to be acceptable for membership of the profession.
While schools and school teachers are often in the news and in political debate, research shows that the teacher educator profession is largely absent from such public discussions and from policy discourse in Education  which often focuses exclusively on teachers and school leaders. Some research suggests that, while most countries have policies, and legislation, in place concerning the teaching profession, few countries have a clear policy or strategy on the teacher educator profession.
Caena  found that some of the consequences of this situation can include a teacher educator profession that is poorly organised, has low status or low formal recognition, has few regulations, professional standards - or even minimum qualifications, and no coherent approach to the selection, induction, or continuing professional development of Teacher Educators. It calls for preparing a 'humane and reflective practitioner' and for fostering the agency and autonomy of the teacher, who can interpret the curriculum meaningfully to the contextual needs of the learners, than merely focus on 'teaching the text book'.
The teacher educator profession has also been seen as under-researched;  empirical research on professional practice is also scarce. However, the importance of the quality of this profession for the quality of teaching and learning has been underlined by international bodies including the OECD and the European Commission.
In response to this perceived need, more research projects are now focussing on the teacher educator profession. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Set of policies, procedures, and provision to equip teachers to perform their tasks effectively. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
January Learn how and when to remove this template message. In the UK, however, the term 'teacher training' is still in general use: see for instance the UK government's information on tda. Archived from the original PDF on Retrieved Research and the Teaching Profession. These same resources also have the potential for enriching the American classroom. Immigrant students bring us opportunities to be explored and treasures to be appreciated, and they help us challenge the status quo. Adopting a truly global perspective allows us to view culturally and linguistically diverse students and their parents or guardians as resources who provide unparalleled opportunities for enrichment.
However, we need a greater repertoire of approaches to teaching and learning to cope with varied styles of learning. Teachers and students alike must cultivate interpersonal skills and respect for other cultures. The new world economy demands this global view. After all, our markets and economic competition are now global, and the skills of intercultural communication are necessary in politics, diplomacy, economics, environmental management, the arts, and other fields of human endeavor.
Surely a diverse classroom is the ideal laboratory in which to learn the multiple perspectives required by a global society and to put to use information concerning diverse cultural patterns. Students who learn to work and play collaboratively with classmates from various cultures are better prepared for the world they face now—and the world they will face in the future. Teaching and learning strategies that draw on the social history and the everyday lives of students and their cultures can only assist this learning process.
Teachers promote critical thinking when they make the rules of the classroom culture explicit and enable students to compare and contrast them with other cultures. Students can develop cross-cultural skills in culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms. For such learning to take place, however, teachers must have the attitudes, knowledge, and skills to make their classrooms effective learning environments for all students.
Given the opportunity, students can participate in learning communities within their schools and neighborhoods and be ready to assume constructive roles as workers, family members, and citizens in a global society. Zeichner has summarized the extensive literature that describes successful teaching approaches for diverse populations.
From his review, he distilled 12 key elements for effective teaching for ethnic- and language-minority students. Teachers have a clear sense of their own ethnic and cultural identities. Teachers communicate high expectations for the success of all students and a belief that all students can succeed. Teachers are personally committed to achieving equity for all students and believe that they are capable of making a difference in their students' learning. Teachers have developed a bond with their students and cease seeing their students as "the other.
Instruction focuses on students' creation of meaning about content in an interactive and collaborative learning environment. Teachers help students see learning tasks as meaningful. Curricula include the contributions and perspectives of the different ethnocultural groups that compose the society.
Teachers provide a "scaffolding" that links the academically challenging curriculum to the cultural resources that students bring to school. Teachers explicitly teach students the culture of the school and seek to maintain students' sense of ethnocultural pride and identity. Community members and parents or guardians are encouraged to become involved in students' education and are given a significant voice in making important school decisions related to programs such as resources and staffing.
Teachers are involved in political struggles outside the classroom that are aimed at achieving a more just and humane society. For the sake of clarity, this chapter breaks the teaching strategies into two main sections. The first section, "Strategies for Culturally and Ethnically Diverse Students," contains strategies appropriate for children whose primary language may or may not be English. The second section, "Strategies for Linguistically Diverse Students," contains strategies that specifically address the unique needs of learners of English as a second language.
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Each strategy includes a brief discussion of the strategy as well as examples of the strategy in use. Resources at the end of each entry allow the reader to explore additional information and resources. Generally, U. For example, poor children and culturally and linguistically diverse students tend to receive inferior instruction because they are usually placed in the bottom reading groups or sent out of the classroom for remedial instruction. Still other studies demonstrate that many teachers fail to communicate effectively with students from diverse backgrounds; typical and hard to change instructional procedures often violate the behavior norms of these students' home cultures Au, ; Cazden, ; Delpit, ; Heath, ; Ogbu, Also, teachers may have low expectations for students of diverse backgrounds and thus fail to present them with challenging and interesting lessons.
Schools have control over some factors but not others. If teachers understand these factors and their effects on young people who are newly arrived in the United States, they will be better able to assess their needs and strengths and find innovative ways of helping them adjust to their new schools and to life in a new culture. Some of these critical factors and their effects include the following issues. The level of the family's socioeconomic resources is associated with success in school but is conditioned by other factors, such as immigrant status.
Prior education in the country of origin is associated with success in school. The age of entrance into the United States affects success in the English language, as well as other academic areas, but the degree of success is also conditioned by literacy in the home language.
Those children who enter the United States before puberty will have an advantage in school. The longer the length of the stay in the United States, the greater the success in school. Unfortunately, this effect is offset by a reduction of motivation that comes through acculturation into the American society. Intact family and home support systems are associated with success in school. Not surprisingly, unaccompanied minors and students from single-parent families are at greater risk of failure in school.
In this context, it is important to understand how we define various ethnic groups see "Major U. Ethnic Groups," p. For example, Asian Americans are often viewed incorrectly as a single ethnic group. There are, however, many distinct subgroups of Asian Americans, each with its own culture, religion, and unique perspective. Generalization across such subgroups can lead to misperceptions and a failure to recognize and address specific concerns and needs.
It is also important to understand that the overall descriptor "Southeast Asian" generally refers to those who report their own ethnic identity as Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian, or Hmong. The recent tendency to stereotype Asians as "high achievers" may mask significant and unique educational challenges and needs.
Similarly, Hispanics or Latinos are also composed of many distinct subgroups. Although the U. Census Bureau classifies all Spanish-speaking peoples under the general heading "Hispanic origin," this term includes all persons who identify themselves as members of families from Mexico, Central and Spanish-speaking South America, the Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands, or Spain. Furthermore, people of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Finally, it is important to be aware that agencies dealing with population data refer to Alaskan Natives or American Indians as one group, even though the customs, languages, and cultures of the many tribes and nations of these two groups are vastly different.
Major U. Ethnic Groups The U. African Americans or blacks refers to those of African ancestry who may have lived for generations in the United States. American Indians , also called Native Americans, were the original populations of North America before the arrival of the Spaniards, who were followed by the English, French, and other Europeans. American Indian groups often prefer to be called by their tribal affiliation or the nation to which they belong i. Asian Americans include all national-origin groups from Asia, some of whom come from technologically advanced countries like Japan.
Others come from countries where some of the population have access to advanced technology and others do not, such as Korea, China, Vietnam, and India. Hispanics also include descendants from Spain, while Latinos are those from the Americas living in the United States. People of Mexican descent are the largest Hispanic group in the United States, and many prefer to be called by their specific national origin such as Mexican American.
Others may prefer terms they call themselves such as Chicanos. Considerable evidence supports this crucial conclusion: the differences in achievement observed between and among students of culturally and ethnically diverse backgrounds and students of mainstream backgrounds are not the result of differences in ability to learn. Rather, they are the result of differences in the quality of the instruction these young people have received in school.
Moreover, many students who are at risk of failure in U. A multitude of complex factors contribute to students' at-risk status; many of these factors—crime, drugs, and poverty, among others—are beyond the control of educators. But educators do have the power to replace ineffective instructional practices. The strategies that follow have been demonstrated to be effective in increasing student achievement.
Strategy 2. Teachers who express high expectations convey the belief that their students have the ability to succeed in demanding activities. Such teachers avoid repetitive rote learning; instead, they involve young people in novel problem-solving activities. They ask open-ended questions requiring students to use their judgment and form opinions. They choose activities where students must use analytic skills, evaluate, and make connections.
They expect students to conduct research, complete their homework, and manage their time effectively. Now that detracking and accelerated learning with support have been shown to be effective, teachers can confidently advocate for them. Hugh Mehan , p. According to Mehan , research has shown that the schools' practice of tracking neither provides students with equal educational opportunities nor serves the needs of employers for a well-educated workforce.
Students from low-income and ethnic or linguistic minority backgrounds are disproportionately represented in low-track classes and they seldom move up to high-track classes. Students placed in low-track classes seldom receive the educational resources that are equivalent to students who are placed in high-track classes. They often suffer the stigmatizing consequences of negative labeling. They are not prepared well for careers or college. In an attempt to provide greater educational equity, educators in California schools have been trying an alternative to tracking since the s. In San Diego, one such program— Achievement Via Individual Determination AVID —has revamped the curriculum, course structures, and pedagogical strategies into "multiple pathways" to college and career so that students are better prepared and have more options when they complete high school.
AVID "untracks" low-achieving ethnic and language-minority students by placing both low- and high-achieving students in the same rigorous academic program. Students are taught explicitly how to study, how to work with teachers, and how to write college applications. These are skills often passed on by parents who have attended college, but they must be taught to students whose parents lack this form of "cultural capital. From to , 94 percent of AVID students enrolled in college, compared to 56 percent of all high school graduates.
Jaime Escalante captured media attention with his success in teaching calculus to Hispanic students. His high expectations for his students and their subsequent accomplishments were the subject of the film Stand and Deliver. Yet many teachers who will never be the subject of a Hollywood film have inspired and guided pupil achievement. When teachers believe that students can learn, they communicate these expectations explicitly, thus encouraging young people, and they also spend more time creating challenging activities.
They ask higher-order questions that require not only identification and categorization but also comprehension and analysis, application to other situations, synthesis, and value judgments. Heath and McLaughlin have found that one of the reasons for the effectiveness of after-school youth programs organized by community-based organizations is that staff members, often operating on a shoestring budget, depend on students to take some of the responsibility for activities.
Young people plan, teach others, and perform a variety of tasks vital to the program. When students are brought into the planning and become coaches for others, they are given "adult" responsibilities and challenges; everyone must be able to depend on everyone else to show up on time and do his or her part. In addition, involving students in the financial aspects of such operations whether by fundraising or making requests of foundations fosters involvement, responsibility, and the learning of math skills.
Students acquire social skills along with communication and performance skills. In such collaborative work, diversity of skills is seen as a resource for the entire group; everyone brings something different to the table. When journal writing is a required part of students' group responsibilities, they reflect on what they are learning, practice writing skills, and keep the staff informed of their individual progress and well-being.
Students tend to want to participate and do their best when a teacher is nurturing and caring. Nel Noddings advocates that when society around us concentrates on materialistic messages, "we should care more genuinely for our children and teach them to care" p. Of course we want academic achievement for our students, she notes, but "we will not achieve even that unless our children believe they themselves are cared for and learn to care for others" p. Noddings describes a practice called "looping," where teachers stay with the same group of students for two or more years.
By following the same group of students for two or more years, teachers get to know their students' needs and strengths better; trust develops between teacher and students and among classmates. Looping also offers teachers the opportunity to provide more differentiated instruction, even tailoring lessons to individual children.
Noddings's definition of caring "implies a continuous search for competence.
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Noddings suggests using integrated curricular themes to teach caring to students. In the domain of "caring for self" we might consider life stages, spiritual growth, and what it means to develop an admirable character; in exploring caring for intimate others, we might include units on love, friendship, and parenting; under caring for strangers and global others, we might study war, poverty, and tolerance. Younger students also get excited when they learn that they can care for the environment through recycling projects, joining others in cleaning and beautifying local parks, starting a community garden, or planting a tree.
These themes could be adapted for students from elementary school through high school. In addition, Noddings suggests alternative methods of staff organization in schools. Elementary students would benefit from having the continuity of the same teacher or a stable group of specialists for two or more years. Even at the high school level, students might benefit if their teacher taught two subjects to the same 30 students rather than one subject to 60 different students.
By learning the strengths and challenges each student faces, teachers can refer children and their families to community-based organizations that provide after-school homework help and programs in sports and the arts. High-performing schools also tend to have systems in place to provide extra help for struggling learners or high-achieving students taking challenging coursework Viadero, , according to the NCEA's Just for the Kids Best Practices Studies and Institutes: Findings from 20 States. Teachers need support in this work.
Developing communities of teachers focused on student work was another practice cited by the NCEA. Successful schools accomplish goals through collaboration. The teachers in one Selma, California, high school hold "focus lesson meetings" in which educators from different disciplines meet and give feedback on one teacher's lesson plan, then try out the revision in one of their classes and give further feedback.
Others have "scoring parties" to develop common ideas about what constitutes high-quality student work. Educators must understand and respect the many different ways of being a parent and expressing concern about the education of one's children. For example, Gibson , reports that Punjabi immigrant parents in California believe it is the teacher's task to educate and that parents should not be involved in what goes on at school. Punjabi parents support their children's education by requiring that homework be done and ensuring that their youngsters do not "hang out" with other students but instead apply themselves to schoolwork.
Even though the parents themselves may be forced to take more than one job, they do not allow their children to work so that they have time to complete their homework. As a result, Punjabi students as a group have higher rates of graduation and college acceptance than other immigrant groups. Parental involvement is well established as being correlated with student academic achievement Epstein, Valenzuela and Dornbusch challenge "the dominant myth that academic achievement is obstructed by collective orientations.
They suggested that when young people have relatives who have attended a U.
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Also, being part of a dense social network of relatives enhances the opportunity for "multiple alternatives for academic support. Seek information about students' home cultures by asking them to interview their parents about their lives as children, the stories they remember, favorite poems, and family recipes. The results of these interviews can inform the teacher about the rich diversity in his or her classroom.
The interviews also can be made into booklets and, subsequently, reading materials for the entire class to share. Parent-teacher organizations can hold meetings at times convenient for parents to attend, and they can provide translators for those who do not speak English. A room in the school can be set aside for parents to meet and to discuss issues concerning their children's education or the school community.
Teachers can visit parents in their homes, or they can use parent-teacher meetings as a time to discuss homework and discipline. Parents who are welcomed into the school in ways that are culturally appropriate for them become more accessible both as resources and as learners. Immigrant parents can learn both English as a second language ESL and survival skills for their new culture.
Parents who are bilingual may be asked to translate for those who have not yet achieved fluency in a new language. Parents who attend workshops can learn family literacy and math activities that enhance their own abilities to support their children's learning of these skills. When students see that their parents are respected by the school, there may be less of the conflict between home and school cultures that can cause a breakdown of discipline within the family.
Parents and guardians are a child's first teachers, but they are not always aware of the ways in which they mold children's language development and communication skills. Children learn their language at home; the more interaction and communication they have at home, the more children learn. Teachers can support this crucial role by sharing information about the link between home communication and children's learning.
For example, teachers can act as "culture brokers" by talking with parents to emphasize the key role they play in their children's education. Teachers can assist parents in understanding the expectations of the school and their classroom as they elicit from parents their own expectations of teachers and students. Teachers also can suggest ways in which parents might converse more often with their children to prepare them for communication in the classroom. Parents may not be aware of how they support their children's academic efforts when they discuss the importance of education and take them to informal educational resources in the community.
Teachers play an enormously important role in referring parents to community resources such as children's museums, art and science museums, and community-based organizations that offer homework help and arts and sports programs. Children learn the importance of language in expressing ideas, feelings, and requests if parents or guardians respond to them and acknowledge their thoughts. Children also need guidance in learning patterns of communication that are necessary in the classroom, including how to make a request, ask a question, and respond to a question.
If parents or guardians are literate in any language, they can read to their children in that language to encourage reading for pleasure and to help children begin to make the connection between oral language and reading. Even if parents or guardians are not literate, they can use wordless books or create prose as they hold their children and "read" with them.
Even the simplest evidence of caring about the importance of literacy pays huge dividends in a young person's schooling. Parents or guardians can take time to talk with their children about any activity they are doing together—eating a meal, for example—thereby encouraging language development.
These conversations between parent and child are beneficial whether they are in the home language or in English. Parents or guardians can ask their children questions about whatever activity they are engaged in and how it relates to another activity, as well as ask how they feel about the activity or what they predict may happen next. They are thus modeling the kinds of communication patterns that young people will use in school.
At the same time, of course, simply giving children the gift of attention pays huge dividends. Programs in family literacy can help parents acquire or strengthen their own literacy skills, making them better able to assist their children's development of literacy. Other techniques, such as the use of recorded books, allow adults and children to learn reading skills together. Children are encouraged to read when they see their parents reading and have their parents read to them. Quite simply, reading for fun encourages more reading. Their materials assist with parent involvement in schools; their website includes summaries of research on family involvement.
For example, NNPS studies Epstein, showed that through high school, family involvement contributed to positive results for students, including higher achievement, better attendance, more course credits earned, more responsible preparation for class, and other indicators of success in school Catsambis, ; Simon, Catsambis and Beveridge analyses indicated that students in neighborhoods with high concentrations of poverty had lower math achievement test scores, but this effect was ameliorated by on-going parental involvement in high school.
NNPS studies at the high school level indicated that it is never too late to initiate programs of family and community involvement, as the benefits accrue through grade Similarly, Sheldon and Epstein b found that when teachers involve families in subject-specific interventions in reading and related language arts, "students' reading skills and scores are positively affected" cited in Epstein, , p.
Moreover, NNPS studies found "significant results of subject-specific family involvement [in homework] for students' science report card grades and homework completion" cited in Epstein, , p. Students' self-esteem and motivation are enhanced when teachers elicit their experiences in classroom discussions and validate what they have to say. Young people become more engaged in lessons when they are brought into the initial dialogue by being asked what they know about the topic and what they want to know.
If their questions are written down and used to form a guide for inquiry into the topic, students are far more likely to be interested in doing further research than if the questions simply come out of a text. The teacher also obtains a better understanding of students' previous knowledge about a subject—a pre-assessment, as it were—that can guide the planning of the subsequent lesson. One way in which teachers can ensure recognition of students' contributions is to use "semantic webbing. For example, the teacher or one of the students might put the topic "culture" in a center circle on the chalkboard.
Then, the recorder notes students' associations in circles around the center circle. As a next step, the class can discuss and connect with lines all the related aspects of "culture," making a web of relationships on the board. This work can be expanded by categorizing the subtopics. The teacher also can ask students what they want to know about the topic at hand. Students' questions, recorded for later use, can serve as guides for research. Students are more likely to be interested in researching a topic when they begin with their own real questions.
Those real questions lead them on an ever-widening path of investigation. Implementing this strategy can be as simple as asking children to voice their questions about a given topic at the beginning of a lesson. After gathering student questions, the teacher can ask whether any student already has information about the topic. Before drawing on books and other resources, the students themselves can be resources by using their own knowledge and prior experiences. Students' self-esteem is strengthened when they see and read about the contributions made by their own racial or ethnic groups to the history and culture of the United States.
Whenever possible, teachers adapt the curriculum to focus lessons on topics that are meaningful to students. This kind of focus allows students to practice language, thinking, reading, and writing skills in real, meaningful, and interactive situations. Students also come to realize that teachers value and appreciate each child's culture and language. Teachers can select texts or, if necessary, supplementary materials such as children's literature written by a variety of authors that incorporate the perspectives, voices, historical events, poetry, artwork, journals, and illustrations of the range of racial and ethnic groups that make up U.
Teachers can ask students to interview their parents about their history, including their culture, poetry, music, recipes, novels, and heroes. The student can videotape, audiotape, or write the interview and share it with the rest of the class. In interviews conducted by the Latino Commission Rodriguez, , high school students observed that they feel left out when the curriculum of the school contains nothing that relates to their own culture.
Conversely, they feel that both they and their culture are valued when their culture is included in the curriculum. For younger students, children's books about young people in their own cultural context can provide avenues for discussion and comparison of the similarities and differences between the culture of their parents and that of the school or community in which they now live. If the teacher allows sexist or racist language and stereotypes to pass unchallenged, students will be harmed in two ways: 1 by the demeaning depiction of their group, which may become part of their self-concept and 2 by the limitations they will feel on their ability to live and work harmoniously with others in their classroom and in their society.
Teachers can select texts or supplementary materials to address the issue of stereotyping. The supplementary materials should be written by a variety of authors who incorporate a wide range of perspectives on historical events, poetry, artwork, journals, music, and illustrations of women and men, as well as varied ethnic and racial groups. Teachers also can point out sexist language and ethnic, racial, or gender stereotypes in everyday instructional materials. Weis and Fine have documented the development of a sense of community and the contesting of stereotypes across the usual boundaries of race, class, and gender in two different school situations.
In the first, racial and class stereotypes dissolved in a 9th grade literature class guided by two teachers in a racially integrated public school in Montclair, New Jersey. The school has a range of socioeconomic groups, from those living in conditions of extreme wealth to those living in conditions of dire poverty. The school is tracked academically, but the world literature class documented by Michelle Fine was detracked. The teachers asked questions that demanded taking a position and defending it. Students also were asked to develop a new perspective by getting inside the minds and emotions of the literary characters being studied and saying what they might say.
Teachers guided the students over the semester as they developed a new consciousness of the range of abilities of their classmates, irrespective of race. Weis and Fine also documented an abstinence program among 8th grade girls in the Arts Academy, an urban magnet school in Buffalo, New York. The students differed only in racial identity; all lived in conditions of poverty. However, they developed an identity as a group and distanced themselves from others of their same background who were taking a different path that they saw as unproductive hanging around men, smoking and drinking, and becoming pregnant at an early age.
The group came to see that they shared common problems and could share solutions across racial lines. Through the facilitation of a staff member from the gender-based prevention outreach service Womanfocus, invited by the school guidance counselor, these girls came to share many aspects of their personal lives over the course of the semester.
Supporting one another, they planned to graduate from high school, go on to college, and succeed. In doing so, they contested the notions of femininity, victimhood, and race prevailing in their neighborhoods. Identifying and dispelling sterotypes can be as simple as pointing out examples of sexist language in everyday curriculum materials, such as the use of "man" for "human" or the use of the pronoun "he" in referring to both men and women. The teacher can move beyond simple awareness of such stereotypes by asking students how such language makes them feel.
To encourage exploration of how it feels to be in another's shoes, the teacher also can ask students if they would like to be labeled "non-Eastern" because they live in the Western Hemisphere—just as many North Americans refer to those who live in the Eastern Hemisphere as "non-Western. The teacher can compare the dichotomy used in categorizations of racial groups in the United States i. These striking differences lend themselves to a discussion of the social construction or definition of racial groups; students enjoy the opportunity to research the history and derivation of these definitions.
When the norms of interaction and communication in a classroom are very different from those to which students have been accustomed, they may experience confusion and anxiety, be unable to attend to learning, and not know how to appropriately seek the teacher's attention or participate in discussions. By acknowledging students' cultural norms and expectations concerning communication and social interaction, teachers can appropriately guide student participation in instructional activities. The aspects of culture that influence classroom life most powerfully are those that affect the social organization of learning and the social expectations concerning communication.
The organization of the typical U. Such whole-class instruction is often followed by individual practice and assessment. By contrast, Jordan reported on the results among Hawaiian students in public schools whose reading achievement improved greatly after culturally compatible classrooms were implemented through the Kamehameha Early Education Program KEEP.
In an ethnographic study of the students' home life, Jordan and colleagues in the Hawaiian Community Research Project in the late s and early s found that older siblings were responsible for taking care of younger siblings and doing tasks cooperatively in the home without direct parental supervision. Consequently, these educators structured their 3rd grade classroom into learning centers. After direct instruction from the teacher, small mixed-gender groups of four or five students could assist one another with tasks at the centers, without the direct supervision of teachers—similar to their home situation.
Meanwhile, the teachers worked with small groups of students using comprehension-oriented, direct instruction reading lessons using particular sociolinguistic and cognitive patterns and a system for managing child behavior which built on standard contingency management to assist the teacher in presenting herself as a person who was both "tough and nice," these being key attributes of adults that Hawaiian children like and respect. Jordan, , p. In a collaboration with the Rough Rock Demonstration School in Arizona, Jordan reported that the same approaches were tried with 3rd grade Navajo students, but the techniques did not work well with them.
They learned that in Navajo culture, boys and girls were expected to stay in same-gender groups. Also, because their dwellings were so far apart, they didn't have experiences with many children outside of school in peer companion groups as the Hawaiian children did. Thereafter, changes were made in the classroom organization, and the Navajo children were more comfortable working at learning centers with just one other child of the same gender. According to Tharp , teaching and learning are more effective when they are contextualized in the experiences, skills, and values of the community and when learning is a joint productive activity involving both peers and teachers.
Learning is furthered by "instructional conversations"—dialogues between teachers and learners about their common learning activities. A teacher notices that a Chinese American girl tends not to raise her hand to participate in discussions. The teacher discovers that the child is afraid to respond in front of the whole class because she is still learning English and worries that others will laugh at her.
The teacher divides the class into groups of four to do collaborative research so that the girl can practice speaking in English in a smaller group.
Too often, when young people speak a language other than English and are learning English as a second language, teachers of ESL or reading in English may restrict their activities to the lowest level of decoding and phonics, levels that do not challenge students intellectually. Only when students have the opportunity to continue learning in their native language can they operate at their cognitive level and grow intellectually. After reading a book or article in their native language, they can be challenged with comprehension, application, and analysis questions—the higher-order thinking skills.
Moll, Diaz, Estrada, and Lopes found that the level of questioning is much more restricted in ESL reading groups than in native-language reading groups. Jordan, Tharp, and Baird-Vogt found that Hawaiian children's academic achievement increased when certain aspects of their home culture were integrated into the elementary classroom. The use of a culturally appropriate form of communication called "talk story" engaged the students more fully. In addition, Hawaiian students were more comfortable in school when they were recognized as being able to take responsibility for maintaining the order and cleanliness of their classroom.
In their homes, Hawaiian children have many responsibilities for the care of younger siblings and cooperate in doing household chores. They felt more "at home" when they could come in early, straighten up the room, and set out other students' work for the day. Teachers made the classroom more culturally compatible by learning about the culture of the home.
One of the most difficult issues faced by teachers in multiethnic classrooms is that students, particularly those from ethnic groups suffering social discrimination, tend to cluster in cliques based on ethnicity. Students may observe that one peer group draws itself apart and, in reaction, may come to feel that they must do so as well.
To break down this defensive withdrawal into ethnic groups, teachers need to give students time to get to know each other and to find that they share common ground, common problems, and common feelings. One way to break down artificial barriers between students is to encourage them to participate in a small group over an extended period of time, collaborating on a shared activity with a shared goal that can only be achieved by working together. Children who have an opportunity to work in cooperative learning groups with fellow students of other races and ethnicities get to know those students as real people rather than as stereotypes.
As students learn together and get to know one another, mutual respect and friendships can develop. The teacher assigns students to groups of five or six and gives each student a specific task in the scientific experiment they are to do collaboratively. One reads and sets up the materials for the experiment; one performs the experiment. Another student records their results, another illustrates their findings, yet another reads the recorded experience to the rest of the class, and so forth. The social skills that support such cooperative learning must be taught.
Students must learn to listen and give feedback, to manage conflict, to lead, to contribute, and to take responsibility for a part of the task. Teachers need to allow groups ample time to "process" their own performance in a task by talking about their interaction and how it could be improved. Tasks that include positive interdependence as part of the activity—that is, tasks requiring each person in the group to be dependent on the whole group's doing well in order to achieve the goal—are more likely to be successful.
Especially effective are "jigsaw" tasks, which cannot be completed unless everyone helps or unless each participant learns one piece of the job and teaches the others. Cooperative learning is more than having students sit next to each other; it involves structuring young people's need to communicate, to get to know one another, and to work together. Learning is more likely to occur when young people's expectations about how to interact with adults and other children match the teachers' and administrators' expectations for such interaction. Saravia-Shore and Martinez found that Puerto Rican high school dropouts who had succeeded in an alternative high school credited their increased achievement to the difference in the way adults treated them in each school.
They reported that they felt they were treated as children in the regular high school, but the staff members of the alternative school treated them as adults. Specifically, their new teachers expected that they do their homework because they had enrolled in order to pass the GED examination. Teachers in the alternative high school showed Diverse Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners an understanding of the students' cultural norm of having families at an early age and being responsible for other members of their family.
Since they knew the students had genuinely pressing responsibilities including caring for their families and working to support them , they did not criticize students for being late to class, so long as their work was completed. Simply put, the students felt that the teachers in the alternative school understood their life experiences and cared about their success.
Jordan, Tharp, and Baird-Vogt have shown that when teachers incorporate the home culture's expected patterns of interaction and discourse, students feel more comfortable in school and participate more actively in learning situations. When students are used to caring for other children at home, they have a foundation for cooperative learning and peer teaching.
They can succeed with cooperative learning and peer teaching if they are given the opportunity to use them and the support of the teacher. If children are accustomed to having responsibilities in caring for their physical environment at home, they often feel comfortable in caring for and managing the school environment as well. Nothing makes learning come alive more than engaging students in arts activities that encourage dialogue on issues that are important to them.
Providing opportunities for students to express themselves through the visual and performing arts enables them to learn about and develop their talents and multiple intelligences: not only verbal and mathematical intelligences but also visual, spatial, musical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligences Gardner, Young children benefit from being encouraged to make sense of their world and their relationships through drawing and painting graphic images. Encouraging students to use their imaginations and taking time to elicit their interpretations of visual arts through open-ended questions in a classroom setting is valuable in itself.
Yet these conversations also enable students to understand, as they listen to other classmates, the multitude of interpretations that are possible when viewing the same work of art. Parents can be invited to accompany their children as a group to an art museum and to observe the teacher asking children to describe what they see and what the artwork means to them. Once they've made such a visit, parents may be more comfortable taking their children back to the museum. Similarly, poetry can be a jumping-off place for discussions. Then, students can learn how to perform their own work.
Researchers summarized the results of programs that integrated the arts in curriculum in Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development Deasy, They agreed that "well-crafted arts experiences produce positive academic and social effects" p. In CAPE schools, teams of teachers and teaching artists planned and taught curriculum units that typically integrated a visual art form with an academic subject such as reading or social studies. The results "demonstrated that the low SES children in arts-integrated schools perform better than those in comparison schools in terms of [standardized tests of mathematics and reading] test scores" Deasy, , p.
DeMoss and Morris investigated the question of how the arts support cognitive growth in students. They found that "students from all achievement levels displayed significant increases in their ability to analytically assess their own learning following arts-integrated units," while "no such gains were associated with traditional instructional experiences" , p. Observations of final performances in the arts-integrated units corroborated students' own assessments. Students who had difficulties controlling their behavior and staying on task performed their parts in final events with seriousness and competency.
This finding held particularly true for those children hardest to reach by traditional approaches. These developments could have significant positive effects on students' general cognitive growth over time, particularly if students experience arts-integrated learning in their classrooms on a regular basis. A more recent study demonstrating the benefits of integrating visual arts in the curriculum on young children's cognitive development was reported in the New York Times Kennedy, Third grade students in the Learning through Art program sponsored by the Solomon R.
Guggenheim Museum were found to have "performed better in six categories of literacy and critical thinking skills—including thorough description, hypothesizing, and reasoning—than did students who were not in the program" Kennedy, , p. In this program, the Guggenheim Museum sends teaching artists to the schools where they collaborate with the teacher for 90 minutes per class one day a week over a or week period, helping students and teachers learn about and make art. Groups of students are also taken to the Guggenheim two or three times in that period to see exhibitions.
Posters of artwork can enliven a classroom and be a starting point for enriching conversations. If there are restrictions on displaying such work on the walls, use inexpensive foam core panels that fold out and stand up as the background for a classroom gallery. Invite children to describe the artwork on the posters and create a story about what is happening in the pictures—what may have happened before and what may happen next. Children can learn how to mix primary colors, discovering the secondary colors that are created when any two primary colors are combined.
Children enjoy painting, whether it's finger paint for the youngest students or tempera paint for middle and high school students. Students can do collaborative arts projects, putting together individual pieces into quilts or developing murals. Lawrence uses art to interpret the history of African Americans who migrated from the South to the North during the early 20th century. Such visual references to historical events bring social studies to life. Photography is another art form that children can learn from an adult, be it a teacher, a teacher's colleague, or a parent.
Students can use disposable cameras to select locations, people, and objects from their environment to photograph; the photos can be posted in the classroom "gallery" and discussed or used to build a story, play, or poem. Photographic "essays" are another way of sharing one's home culture with others. Middle and high school students enjoy "poetry slams" in which they compete to be the best performer of their own poems. Learning songs is another way to experience poetry. From the youngest children's songs of Woody Guthrie to favorite world folk songs to the songs of social justice in the Civil Rights Movement, music illuminates the human condition and makes social studies more memorable.
Students can even read plays aloud in the classroom, and later the students themselves can write and perform plays for the class. Caring for students includes positively influencing their decisions related to their physical well-being. Congress passed the Child Nutrition Act in June , requiring school districts to craft "wellness" policies. Such policies should include goals for nutrition education and ways to increase the physical activity of all students.
Educators who are aware of the growing epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes are alarmed. According to Kleinfield a, p. A1 , "One in three children born in the United States [in ] are expected to become diabetic in their lifetimes, according to a projection by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The forecast for Latinos is even bleaker: one in every two. Nationally, the growing problem of overweight youngsters affects minority students disproportionately.
Childhood Type 2 diabetes, the most common form, is often linked to obesity. In the —04 Child Trends study, Compare their rate to the figure for black males Among girls ages 6—11, the highest percentage In the 12—19 age range, black females were the highest percent of overweight youngsters at Moreover, "Asians, especially those from Far Eastern nations like China, Korea, and Japan, are acutely susceptible to Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease" Santora, , p.
In addition, they develop Type 2 diabetes at far lower weights than people of other races; at any weight they are 60 percent more likely than whites to contract the disease. Teachers can help to counteract television commercials for fast food, larger portions, sodas, sugary snacks, and sedentary lifestyles that feed childhood obesity and often lead to diabetes, particularly among Asians, Latinos, and African Americans.
Unfortunately, "even as health authorities pronounced obesity a national problem, daily participation in gym classes dropped to 28 percent in from 42 percent in , according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention" Santora, , p. To promote healthier eating habits, teachers can assign research projects comparing the calories in fast foods in various restaurants, soft drinks including diet sodas , breakfast foods, and snacks fried versus baked chips, the nutrition facts about various kinds of microwave popcorn. If each child researches one product, the class can create a chart comparing all of them.
A similar class project could ask students to act as detectives, uncovering the amount of high-fructose corn syrup in various products by investigating and recording the information on the ingredients label. Teachers of older students can show the film Super Size Me , which puts a human face on the effects of fast foods and also contains information about nutritious foods. Teachers interested in making wellness a part of the curriculum can integrate units on the health benefits of food with complex carbohydrates beans and multigrain or whole grain bread compared to highly refined carbohydrates such as white bread and most pastas.