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Cultural Diversity

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Kristi Mahood

on 3 April 2014

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Transcript of Cultural Diversity

How do public schools or teachers
care and instruct the immigrant child?

Jane Addams (1908) discussed how to help the immigrant children to adjust to the changed conditions of life, the society and future adult life. In her opinion, the main role of the public school is to value the immigrant student as an individual and promote understanding between this student, their school, classmates and world.
Multiculturalism is about creating new spaces, creating a we, by bring together people across borders. (p 167)
"Because California's Public School Accountability Act uses English tests as the
outcome measures in its school ranking system, it is increasingly difficult for teachers to stray from the reading/language arts standards even if their own professional experience leads them to believe that doing so would benefit their students." (Sleeter & Stillman, 2013, p. 262)
What is being taught?

Peck, Sears and Donaldson (2008) conducted a study on grade 7 students in rural New Brunswick on student understanding and awareness of cultural diversity in their school and community. They concluded the following:
- Students prior knowledge was not used as a starting point for learning (p.68).
- Superficial Elements such as food, holidays and festivals were taught (p. 68)
- Students had little understanding of cultures in their communities and viewed them as remote and in the past (p. 75)
-More resources and supports were needed for teachers to teach students about different cultures effectively (p. 87)

Cultural Diversity
By: Kristi Mahood, Kelsey Sheehan and Nannan Wang
What Do We Do Now ?
The existence of a variety of cultural or ethnic groups within a society.
Definition of Cultural Diversity from Oxford Dictionary:
What do students from culturally diverse background think?
Hamilton (1991) Video
Speak It
on Canadian African Americans in Halifax
Students want to learn
about their
own culture
or curriculum that is
to them.
Students view teachers as naive to racism. They stand behind belief that school is a racism free environment.
Students think their
history is not represented
accurately in the curriculum or text books
want equal representation
in the curriculum and courses offered at school.
Subtractive Schooling- Valenzuela (2013)
This study was explored the representation of Mexican-Americans in the curriculum taught and courses offered in an inner city Houston School called Sequin High. Valenzuela noted:

wanted teachers to care
about who they were before they cared for school demands" (p.295)

subtle negative messages
in the
such as student's culture
not being represented
or even taught undermined student’s culture. This
erodes students social capital
and they start to resist schooling" (p.294)

effective teachers
at the school
taught with compassion and consideration
of student’s culture in pedagogy "(p.297).

" a
critical analysis of all curriculum
is needed to make it less subtractive and representative of the diversity of the school's students " (p.298)

"BEd programs in Canada need to include more education for new teachers on teaching in a diverse classroom " (Egbo, 2012, p. 24).
Sequin High
Students at Sequin High
"BEd programs should be to empower prospective teachers to be agents of change starting
early in their career when teaching, accepting and understanding diversity" (Egbo, 2012, p.34)

We need to educate new teachers
" develop successful programs that are inclusive of a range of cultures and operate under micro level pedagogical practices (reaching outcomes by teaching content that is relevant to students)" (Egbo, 2005).

"teachers can improve their own teaching at the micro level by being reflective, democratic and culturally literate to advance acceptance of different cultures in the classroom" (Egbo, 2005).
We need to take steps in our own classrooms.
Sequin High School
"teachers that incorporated interactions/participation experiences students have at home in the classroom, resulted in students having greater success at school. To make this happen teachers need to adopt culturally responsive teaching based on each student in their classrooms culture" (Ladson-Billings, 1995, p.467)
Curriculum needs to be reviewed
"a critical analysis of all curriculum
is needed to make it less subtractive
and more additive " (Valenzuela, 2013 p. 298)
Between: Living in the hyphen
Interviews a number of Canadians with mixed backgrounds, part European and part visible minority
Uses the example of the hyphen between “Chinese-Canadian” or “Japanese-Canadian” and trying to live in-between, not choosing one or the other
Here are some quotes from the interviews we found interesting
"Canadian isn't
an identity, but
I'm not really
Chinese either."
(Nakagawa, 2005)
"Stop telling me what I'm not."

(Nakagawa, 2005)
"I think that multiculturalism was
never really designed to imagine me." (Nakagawa, 2005)
"Teachers would see me as a little indian girl, and the other indian kids would see me as a privileged white girl or a privileged half-breed." (Nakagawa, 2005)
"People think about you based on who you are, their preconceived ideas of where you come from." (Nakagawa, 2005)
"I remember as a very young child watching westerns ... with cowboys and indians... I remember watching and wondering, ok, now where do I fit in here? If I was in this battle, where would I be? ... I had different visualizations where I would be shot by an arrow on one side and shot by a gun on the other." (Nakagawa, 2005)
"I'm white enough to get away with it"
(Nakagawa, 2005)
"I think that there's always part of me that feels like a fraud"
(Nakagawa, 2005)
"I wouldn't mind being being Canadian if I could just be a mixed person, and Canadian meant mixed person, but it doesn't, Canadian still means white European, and that's the picture the rest of the world has." (Nakagawa, 2005)
" Third spaces are not about simply breaking down boundaries and making everywhere "the same", but are spaces in which both home and school knowledge can be valued and brought together as part of a shared endeavor of learning." (Grant (2011) p. 299)
Standardizing Knowledge in a Multicultural Society
Collection Code Curriculum (Strong Classification)

“ the stronger the classification, the more hierarchical the structure of knowledge, the more status academic knowledge has over everyday knowledge, and the greater degree to which teaching moves sequentially from basic facts toward the deep structure of a given discipline.” (Sleeter & Stillman, 2013, p. 254).
Integrated Code Curriculum (Weak Classification)

“boundaries are blurred, and knowledge is viewed muss less hierarchically. Curriculum tends to be organized around themes and emphasizes the knowledge construction process rather than accumulation of disciplinary facts and concepts.” (Sleeter & Stillman, 2013, p. 254).
Strong Classification
Weak Classification
Strong Framing
Weak Framing
Sleeter and Stillman (2013) briefly examine the shifts in curriculum in the USA from the 1960's to the early 21st century
The article examines 4 curriculum documents from California, with an emphasis on how the standards movement (started in the 1980's) affected the balance of educational power
The authors place a special focus on ELL students and how the curriculum documents were adjusted for them. "In academic year 2002-2003... one out of every four students was an ELL" (Sleeter and Stillman, 2013, p. 257)
Language Arts documents were analyzed from socio-cultural and skill-based perspectives, History and the Social Sciences were analyzed for themes related to multicultural content and for pedagogical approaches
more hierarchical knowledge structure
academic knowledge has more status than everyday knowledge
distinct boundaries between subjects
start by learning basics, then move to deeper knowledge
less hierarchical knowledge structure
everyday knowledge is given more importance
emphasizes the process of constructing knowledge more than basic facts and concepts
boundaries between subjects are less rigid, curriculum is organized more around themes
less decision making power in the hands of teachers and students
more decision making power in the hands of teachers and students
early 1960's
early 1980's
general movement
from early 1960 to 1980
general movement
from early 1980's to 2000
early 2000's
The authors found that the California curriculum had a top down power structure and the curriculum documents represented strong classification and strong framing
The primary objective of Language Arts instruction appeared to be to train students to think in English, rather than to think as well as learn English
The curriculum is presented as though their ideology is the only reasonable one, with experts and research cherry picked to support what they want the documents to say
“At several points in the ELD and ELA documents, the authors mention the “special needs” of ELLs and suggest that teachers modify their instruction to better meet them. Paradoxically, neither document suggests how to do this.” (Sleeter & Stillman, 2013, p. 263)
"Further, the reading/language arts documents consistently refer to California’s non-white, non-English speaking students as “these students” and “they” instead of one of “us. " (Sleeter & Stillman, 2013, p. 265)
Learning To "Do" School
CLD - culturally and linguistically diverse
“What are the literacy practices and events CLD students encounter within early years classrooms? In what ways does this “lived” curriculum facilitate and constrain cultural and linguistic assimilation and acculturation as CLD students acquire ESL? What part does it play in the negotiation of their identities?” (Iannicci, 2006, p. 57).
Recommended Readings and Guiding Questions

1. How do you think cultural diversity is or is not represented in the curriculum?
2. How does cultural diversity in your own classroom effect your teaching practice?
3. In what ways do you go "deeper "to support students from a variety of cultures in your classrooms (besides recognizing different holidays and celebrations).
What does that mean for you teaching now?
You need to know your students strengths, "deficits", interests and personal resources.
One size or program does not fit all people, classrooms or even communities and you need to know what the specific needs are in your environment.
Then you can apply a "Potluck Learning Approach" where everyone has something to bring to the table. This includes learning from the students.
We need to make sure that the resources we are using are reflective of our personal student population and that the resources don't perpetuate stereotypes. We can use technology to support our students' exposure to these resources (Tumble Books, Raz Kids, Reading A to Z, and other online readers)
We need to create more of a "third space" where the focus is on creativity, learning, engagement and communication.
Addams, J. (2013). The public school and the immigrant child. In D. J. Flinders & S. J. Thornton (Eds.), The curriculum studies reader (4th ed., pp. 41-43). New York: RoutledgeFalmer.
lberta Education. Importance of Culture. Retrived from : http://education.alberta.ca/francais/admin/immersion/handbookimm/02success/culture.aspx
Alberta Education. Culturally Responsive Educational Practices. Retrieved from: http://education.alberta.ca/admin/fnmi/collaborativeframework/themes/culturally-responsive.aspx
Chan, E. (2013). Teacher experiences of culture in the curriculum. In D. J. Flinders & S. J. Thornton (Eds.), The curriculum studies reader (4th ed., pp. 301-314). New York: RoutledgeFalmer.
Egbo, B. (2011). What should preservice teachers know about race and diversity? Exploring a critical-knowledge base for teaching in 21st Century Canadian Classrooms. Journal of Contemporary Issues in Education, 6(2), 17-35.
Egbo, B. (2005). Critical pedogogy as transformative micro level praxis. Retrieved from: http://www.unco.edu/ae-extra/2005/6/Art-4.html
Ghosh, R., & Abdi, A. (2004). Education and the politics of difference: Canadian perspectives. Toronto, ON: Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc. Retrieved from: http://www.library.ualberta.ca/permalink/opac/5625768/WUAARCHIVE
Grant, L. (2011). 'I'm a completely different person at home': using digital technologies to connect learning between home and school.
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 27
, 292-302
Hamilton, S. (Director). (1992). Speak it! From the heart of Black Nova Scotia [Motion picture]. Canada: National Film Board. Retrieved from http://www.nfb.ca/film/speak_it_from_heart_of_black_nova_scotia/
Iannacci, L. ( 2006). Learning to “do” school: Procedural display and culturally and linguistically diverse students in Canadian Early Childhood Education (ECE).
Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, 4(2)
, 55-76. Retrieved from http://pi.library.yorku.ca/ojs/index.php/jcacs/article/viewFile/17005/15807
Ladson-Billings, G. (1995). Toward a theory of culturally relevant pedogogy. American Education Research Journal, 3, 465-491.
Nakagawa, A. (Director). (2005).
Between: Living in the hyphen
[Motion picture]. Canada: National Film Board. Retrieved from http://www.nfb.ca/film/between_living_in_the_hyphen
Peck, C., Sears, A., & Donaldson, S. (2008). Unreached and unreasonable: Curriculum standards and children’s understanding of ethnic diversity in Canada. Curriculum Inquiry, 38(1), 63-92. Retrieved from http://login.ezproxy.library.ualberta.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.173274398&site=eds-live&scope=site
Sleeter, C. & Stillman, J. (2013). Standardizing knowledge in a multicultural society. In D. J. Flinders & S. J. Thornton (Eds.),
The curriculum studies reader
(4th ed., pp. 253-268). New York: RoutledgeFalmer.
Valenzuela, A. (2013). Subtractive schooling, caring relations, and social capital in the schooling of U.S.- Mexican youth. In D. J. Flinders & S. J. Thornton (Eds.), The curriculum studies reader (4th ed., pp. 289-300). New York: RoutledgeFalmer.

Procedural display – “a learner’s need to “pass” by echoing, mirroring and complying with peer and teacher accepted responses and behaviors.” (Iannicci, 2006, p. 57)
Iannicci used overt participant observation (students knew they were being observed) with 4 elementary school classrooms
The paper examines the uses of procedural display with CLD students and offers suggestions on how to improve the way language and other instruction is offered to CLD students
Iannicci found that with worksheet tasks and context-reduced communication, it was difficult for CLD students to successfully participate and independently complete assignments
When students did not understand the task fully, or the task expected them to have cultural-specific knowledge that was missing, the students could not understand what was expected of them on general terms let alone the specific
“Without contextual support, the otherwise undemanding tasks became difficult for the students since the cognitive, culture, language and learning load of the events created barriers to meaningful instruction for CLD students (Meyer, 2000). “ (Iannicci, 2006, p. 66).
Ideas from Iannicci
Use activities that allow CLD students to be active learners
Use modified language with context attached
Give CLD students time to assimilate language as they experience it
Use materials that focus on individual skills are as an aid to literacy learning, not as the primary focus
Play was observed as a useful way for students to develop context-embedded language and communication abilities
Teach language skills so that students can use them to communicate, not just to demonstrate their knowledge
How do teachers implement of
a truly multicultural curriculum?

A truly multicultural curriculum is more than a good intention.
"Integrated" (Paley,1995)curriculum had parents and children discussing vales, rituals, and cultural experiences through family stories in order to foster a sense of community within the classroom. (Chan,2013,p301)
The Research
Elaine Chan did the research on how the two middle-school-level teachers (William and Dave) were attempting to implement a curriculum event (the Boyne River Field Trip).

Teacher Perspectives interacting with Parent Perspectives
William supported the trip strongly.
However, some parents refused the trip in terms of religion and gender reasons.

William's intervention might create conflict between children and parents.
The Findings
Teachers come to teaching with strong views which may be "biases" in some situations, about some aspects of teaching. (Chan,2013, p309)
Teachers judged practices by their own perceptions and beliefs. (Chan,2013,p309)
The research highlights the complexity of the issues involved in sensitivity to ethnic, religious, and linguistic diversity in a school context, and reinforces the extent to which teachers are, as the receiving culture, unprepared to deal with some of the issues that arise.(Chan, 2013,p309)
Teachers should take awareness effort to overcome their natural trend to look at non-native cultures through the lens of personal bias that comes with their own beliefs and cultural life experience.
The Inspiration
Muliculturalism can be called as a politically correct slogan, however, truly embracing it requires deep knowledge about non-native cultures and deep respect to all cultures as equally valuable.
Multicultural Education
in the Future

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius,power and magic in it. (Goethe)
Multicultural Education
in the Future

The main ideas of a new worldview in education are for a reconceptualized multicultural education, for good education is inclusive: it represents the whole. (Ghosh, R. & Abdi A. p165)
Multicultural education today is for students'
life and workplace success tomorrow.

Awareness ?
Ideas from Ghosh, R. & Abdi A.
1. The relationship of education and society.
--- Education is the understanding of the unity and mutual inter-relationship of all experiences and phenomena.
--- Multicultural education is built on the recognition of the democratic principles of universal dignity, equality (actually equity), and fairness.
---Epistemology is an integral part of education.(p166-172)
2. Education as a process
---Education is a political process, moral endeavor, dialogical.(p173)
3.Examination of education's role in the future
---One hope for peace and survival of humanity in the face of war and environmental disasters lies in a radical transformation in the values and processes underlying education. (p174)
Alberta Education
states that
culturally responsive educational practices
include the following:

◾ instructional practices,
◾ curriculum and content,
◾ assessment,
◾ learning resources,
◾ environment, protocols and celebrating success

experience greater success when learning is relevant
to their personal values and life experiences. Having warm, caring teachers and welcoming classroom environments;

cultures and content into current educational practice
; having
high expectations
of students and recognizing and
celebrating student academic progress and success also supports students
(Alberta Education).

* These comments are made in regards to French Immersion and teaching FNMI students, however both statements were very similar leading to us to assume Alberta Education would assume this for all students from differing cultural backgrounds.
The Definition of Multiculturalism from Ghosh and Abdi
The Conclusion
As educators, we need to design our educational programs as both ideological and concrete possibilities that could counter-balance programs of hate, discord, and wanton destruction.
The balance between personal, social, and political identities become central and teacher education.
The success of school depends not merely on test scores but also on the answer to the question: what kind of citizen is being produced?

Critical Citizen
: one who is directed by a
set of values that embrace principles of
universal dignity, democratic rights and
obligations. (Ghosh&Abdi, p175)
Our Personal Connections to teaching in Cultural Diverse Classrooms
Thank-you for viewing our presentation! We hope it helped you reflect on your own practice and current curriculum in regards to cultural diversity.
Kelsey, Kristi and Nannan
We recommend the following 3 readings.
1. Chan, E. (2013). Teacher experiences of culture in the curriculum. In D. J. Flinders & S. J. Thornton (Eds.), The curriculum studies reader (4th ed., pp. 301-314). New York: RoutledgeFalmer.
2. Peck, C., Sears, A., & Donaldson, S. (2008). Unreached and unreasonable: Curriculum standards and children’s understanding of ethnic diversity in Canada. Curriculum Inquiry, 38(1), 63-92. Retrieved from http://login.ezproxy.library.ualberta.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.173274398&site=eds-live&scope=site
3. Egbo, B. (2005). Critical pedogogy as transformative micro level praxis. Retrieved from: http://www.unco.edu/ae-extra/2005/6/Art-4.html
Personal Connection
- I went to high school in Fredericton, New Brunswick and I can understand from my own experiences why students in this study knew so little about other cultures. New Brunswick is the least diverse province. Classrooms I experienced contained very few people from different cultural backgrounds. I think this study missed the point of relevance. Students were not experiencing different cultures in their daily lives. I wonder whether this study would have yielded different results in a province with more diverse classrooms.

First, "the public school should give to each child the beginnings of a culture wide and deep and universal that he can interpret his own parents and countrymen by a standard which is world-wide not provincial" (Addams, 1908,p42), rather than disregarding their culture to induct children into changed life.

Second, the public school should give proper guide and clue to the immigrant children to prepare for their future life by industrial materials (for now, global materials= multicultural materials)instead of being thrown out.

Third, teachers should encourage the children to bring their cultural or traditional resources to school in order to connect school with family and community.

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