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The Cajun Culture

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on 25 November 2013

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Transcript of The Cajun Culture

The Cajun Culture
The Cajuns are hard working, thrifty, fun-loving, religious people who are very proud of their heritage and of the unique civilization they have created. Society at large has stereotyped them as white trash, undereducated, and that they don’t contribute to the world as much.
Cajuns
Educators need to know about the culture of the Cajuns so they can teach them to their best ability. The teachers should know what makes the Cajun students willing to learn instead of what will make them act out and rebel.
From this presentation, the objective for educators would be to learn about the Cajun culture and what they stand for, what they have been through in the past, and what society thinks of them in the incorrect ways. America is considered a salad bowl of different cultures. As teachers we need to teach the students the correct information about the different cultures. ( Multicultural Education reading 1 Page 22)
Significance and Objective
It is important society because they seem to have the wrong outlook on Cajuns and they need to know the truth instead of just making assumptions about a group of people they know little about.This research project connects to the field of education because it gives teachers a sense of who the Cajuns are and how to get the best responses from the students. By teaching students about the Cajun culture, their perceived prejudice reduction towards this culture will decrease. We read about Prejudice reduction in our Multicultural Education article (Page 14)


Important to society and how
it connects to education
After this, extensive ethnic mixing happened between British, Spanish, German, Italian, Native American, French Creole and other groups, causing the diversity seen today.
Throughout the 20th century Cajuns experienced hardships and prejudice, including the ban of their language in schools, but due to their work in translation during the Second World War, they overcame much of this.
Many Cajuns found themselves in oil-related jobs that brought them to Texas from Louisiana during the 20th century.
By the beginning of the 21st century, the term ‘Cajun’ was no longer considered an insult. Many associate it with cultural pride.
Much of Cajun culture was born out of segregation, isolation, and persecution.
1604 – settlers arrive from France at St. Croix (Virgin Islands)
1605 – settled Port Royal (Jamaica)
1654 – England captures Acadia, the French region of current day New Brunswick and Nova Scotia but in 1670 – France regains control of Acadia
1764 – The first
Acadians arrive in Louisiana
1785 – Seven ships bring
Acadians from
France to Louisiana
When it comes to the topic of Cajuns with regards to the field of education, I have firsthand experience because of where I grew up and went to school. I am from Orange, TX in the very Southeastern most corner neighboring Louisiana. A lot of the people in my home town and former school have Cajun heritage and identify with the Cajun culture, as do I, because of our geographic location. My grandpa grew up in a very Cajun family and has Cajun blood. I am proud to say that I am also part Cajun. The Cajun culture is so unique from other cultural groups in the United States that I take pride in telling people that I am part Cajun. Growing up so close to Louisiana, the central hub for the Cajun atmosphere, I got to see many sides of what it means to be Cajun and the stereotypes associated with Cajun people. I have Cajun blood, but I would not say that I was a stereotypical Cajun person in terms of other peoples’ common opinion on the culture. Most of the time, I saw that people had a negative image of Cajuns. Many people who are not familiar with this culture view Cajuns as low income, dirty, and even sometimes dumb. True full blooded Cajun’s have a very distinguishable accent that non Cajuns often have difficulty understanding what is being said. Most of the students that I went to school with and associated with the Cajun culture did not have this linguistic disadvantage, but based on the stereotypes associated with the culture you could walk into my school and pick out the students who appear to have Cajun heritage. For the most part I didn’t see any real negative impacts on students with these stereotypes. I believe this has a lot to do with the fact that Cajun culture has such a strong presence in the community that people do not react nor do they pass judgment on folks with Acadian roots. If a true Cajun were to move somewhere deeper into Texas, or along the east or west coast, they would be looked at weird and possibly treated differently than others native to the area. For students this would have a very detrimental effect on their education. Their peers may make fun of the Cajun students. The teachers on the other hand may not understand the culture and where these students come from. It could affect the way students are understood by their teachers. The students and teachers unfamiliar with the Acadian culture may, as a result of lack of understanding, create an atmosphere in which students are not comfortable in the classroom.
Joseph Tutt
I loved researching this culture that is so well known these days from reality TV shows. However, we do not know the ‘real’ Cajuns and what they believe deep in their roots. After researching this interesting and complex group of people, I have new thoughts about how they are and what they represent. I couldn’t be more happier with my group’s choice and dedication to this.
Jemma Bohlar

Great video to sum up the History of the Cajun culture.
Cajun Sterotypes
Sterotypes : a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.
Cajun Sterotypes: That they are uneducated, and not intelligent. Even though a few of the older generation may have had a incomplete formal education, they used life experience and the formal education that they did have to take excellent care of large families
Cajun Hate Crime
Hate Crime: a crime motivated by racial, sexual, or other prejudice, typically one involving violence.
Cajun Bigotry
Bigotry: bigoted attitudes; intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.
We accuse different cultures of hate and sterotypes
because we judge what we dont know.
Incorporating The Cajun Culture in the classroom
Lets recap the main Ideas
The Cajuns are hard working, thrifty, fun-loving, religious people who are very proud of their heritage and of the unique civilization they have created.
Educators need to know about the culture of the Cajuns so they can teach them to their best ability. The teachers should know what makes the Cajun students willing to learn instead of what will make them act out and rebel.
It is important society because they seem to have the wrong outlook on Cajuns and they need to know the truth instead of just making assumptions about a group of people they know little about.This research project connects to the field of education because it gives teachers a sense of who the Cajuns are and how to get the best responses from the students.
The figure to the right is from our Multicultural Education reading 2. This figure shows how teaching students the correct Ideas about Cajun Culture, will produce a better understanding of the student, which will promote positive thoughts towards the culture.
Critical Questions:
1. Who are the Cajuns and what are major sterotypes we associate with them?
2.What are some ways that Teachers can get rid of
the Cajun sterotypes in clasrooms, espically those in Lousianna?
3.Society thinks the Cajuns are lazy and can only cook, what do the Cajuns see themselves as?
4.Do you have any personal experences with Cajun classmates?
Personal Reflections
Taylor Tschantz
Mark Hallam
Christine Nimnich
I really enjoyed researching this culture group. Living in Texas, we hear about the stereotypes of the Cajun culture, but never really learn about them. This project really opened my eyes to see who the Cajuns truly are, and how society sees them. In my future classroom, I will be sure to use the information I have learned through this project to allow my students to view the Cajun culture for who they really are.
One Principle of Multicultural Education that was identified in our project was "oral and nonverbal communication patterns between student and teachers are analyzed and changed to increase the involvement of students in the learning process". Society believe Cajuns are a non-smart group of people, so when teachers are in the classroom they need to make sure to never belittle the Cajun students or make them feel incompetent. This can make the student feel that if the teacher already thinks I am dumb I might as well go along with it.
While I do not have extensive experience with the Cajun culture, I did interact with a number of people throughout my school years that were of Cajun descent. I will admit that I did not hear many complaints about persecution or segregation due to the modern civil rights movement that has encouraged equality and diversity in school culture. Due to the lack of understanding of the Cajun culture, however, I could see how it would be difficult to tailor education to their needs. I would certainly say that I have learned much more about the Cajun culture through this project than I previously grasped. As such, I feel that I’ve gained a more thorough understanding of the struggles throughout their history that shaped their culture and social interaction. These hardships, such as their deportation and persecution would undoubtedly influence the manner in which they approach societal fundamentals such as education, and thus, they must be considered when designing curricula that best meet their needs.
Another principle of multicultural education that we used in out project was "ME must deal with the social and historical realities of American society and the global society and help students gain a better understanding of the causes of oppression and inequality, including racism, ageism, sexism, and classism." In this project we discussed some stereotypes of the Cajun community. Through this we have emphasized how stereotyping is not a good thing at all. Teachers should be cautious of this while teaching, and teach the students the truth of other cultures so the students can gain a true and better understanding of the cultures.
After doing much research, we found that there really is not much stats or information regarding Cajun culture in the classroom. However, we did come across this cool, interesting article on a teacher in Louisiana who takes incorporating Cajun Culture in her classroom to the max.

http://www.houmaweekly.com/feature/2011/teacher_injects_cajun_culture_into_lesson.html

The teacher in the article that we found displays what we read in the Culture Clash article in class.
When researching and exploring the topic of the Cajun culture I found myself to come across many familiar references and cultural ideals. Much of my family is from Mississippi and the Louisiana area and the Cajun culture is very dominate in many of the areas that my family is originally from. I also feel that I had a firsthand experience in seeing how the Cajun culture can affect a classroom. After hurricane Katrina when I was in middle school, many families that lived in the New Orleans area moved to Texas, specifically Dallas and Houston. This influx of students into a classroom in such a short period of time created an interesting dynamic. I’m thankful that I went to a school where my teachers seemed to be very effective in their multicultural education techniques and practices. Not only did these students have to move into a new area away from where their felt comfortable but they had to begin to learn in a different cultural setting. Quickly I noticed our teachers began shifting their teaching styles to allow those new students to feel comfortable in the classroom. We learned about some of the history of Louisiana and learned about their culture, this made those students feel more comfortable and more willing to engage in the classroom activities. I think something that is ultimately important in all situations in making sure the students have a place that they can feel comfortable because without this element the student will never learn effectively.
This is an example of a TEKS that could be used to help students learn about the Cajun culture, and a description of what that may look like in a classroom.

§113.22. Social Studies, Grade 6, Beginning with School Year 2011-2012.

(b) Knowledge and skills.

(1) History. The student understands that historical events influence contemporary events. The student is expected to:

(B) Analyze the historical background of selected contemporary societies to evaluate relationships between past conflicts and current conditions.



In a sixth grade social studies class I could see a teacher using these TEKS as a basis for a project assignment in which students are assigned a specific culture or society. They then have to compare and contrast aspects of that group of people from the past to the present. They would also go into detail about the events leading up to the changes or similarities of the past. For example students could look at the history of Cajuns and the current status of Cajun people. They would research the history of Acadians, and discover that specific events caused the creation of the Cajun branch of Acadian culture. With many of the other middle school social studies TEKS similar ideas could be used to help students learn about the Cajun culture as well as any other culture the instructor sees fit.
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