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Project Based Learning and Culturally Responsive Teaching

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Cheryl Heidinger

on 24 June 2013

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Transcript of Project Based Learning and Culturally Responsive Teaching

Project-Based Learning & Culturally Responsive Teaching
What Is Project Based Learning?
According to www.bie.org Project Based Learning or PBL, is where students learn through an extended process of inquiry in response to a question, problem or challenge. These projects help the students learn lesson content through hands-on activities instead of fact memorization and regurgitation which allows them to better remember the information learned.
Teaching in a Multicultural Classroom
Teachers must get to know the students in their classrooms.There are many different things to remember when addressing a diverse classroom.
Practical Guidelines
Innovative Strategies
Learning and Teaching

Multiculturalism can be seen in a classroom in
a variety of ways. Teachers can promote multiculturalism through planning lessons and actively teaching perspectives of different cultures. This teaches students about more cultures than their own and teaches acceptance and tolerance. When doing project based learning and cooperative learning students get to work together and experience the differences for themselves just like people do in the adult working world.
By: Cheryl Heidinger
Culturally Responsive Teaching
Diaz, Carlos. "Effective Multicultural Teaching Practices." Multicultural Education
in the 21st Century. New York: Priscilla McGeehon, 2001. 23-39. Print.
Gollnick, Donna, and Philip Chinn. "Education That Is Multicultural." Multicultural
Education In A Pluralistic Society. 8th Edition ed. Upper Saddle River:
Pearson Merrill, 2009. 376-399. Print.
Irvine, Jacqueline Jordan. "They Bring More Than Their Race: Why Teachers of
Color Are Essential in Today's Schools." Educating teachers for diversity:
seeing with a cultural eye. New York: Teachers College Press, 2003. 52-61.
"Project Based Learning for the 21st Century." Buck Institute for Education. N.p., n.d.
Web. 3 June 2013. <http://www.bie.org/>.
Wood, Robert. "PBL and Culturally Responsive Instruction | Edutopia." Edutopia |
K-12 Education & Learning Innovations with Proven Strategies that Work.
N.p., 12 June 2013. Web. 14 June 2013. <http://www.edutopia.org/blog/
Analyze and Supplement the Lesson
There are many different strategies available to create a nurturing, multicultural environment for students to participate comfortably, learn and grow in.
Look at the cultural make-up of the lesson or course's content. Is it predominantly geared towards white, middle-to-upper-class, male dominated view of the world?
Create a reading list for students with different authors that addresses what is not being represented as a supplement to the lesson.
Incorporate Multiculturalism into Daily Lessons
Vary Teaching Styles
Classroom Communication
One of three main points for PBL.
Students work together to assign roles based on the needs of the project and get organized.
Cooperation occurs during all phases of PBL.
Students cooperate throughout the project including doing research, compiling information performing tasks and presenting the results.
Critical Thinking
Getting students to use higher order thinking skills.
Students need to think critically to answer questions or come up with solutions to problems in PBL. This allows them multiple avenues with which to reach a desired conclusion and makes them feel accomplished.
There are two different ways to address cultural response which are inclusive response and reactive response.
Inclusive responsive teaching involves adding to or supplementing what is missing to a specific course or lesson from a cultural perspective.
Inclusive Teaching
Some examples would be adding more information from a woman's or a minority's point of view instead of a man's or a majority's point of view.
Reactive responsive teaching involves reacting to what goes on in the day-to-day activities of the classroom.
Reactive Teaching
It is the ability to change the structure, activities and focus of a class within the school year as you see the personality of a given group of kids emerge.
"Teachers should treat all students equally".
Preparation is imperative.
Make Empowered decisions.
Honor the key concepts of multicultural education.
Use multiculturalism to make lessons more meaningful.
Create a multicultural climate for learning.
Get involved in curriculum development.
Teachers Should Treat all Students Equally
Yes and No
Teachers should treat all students equally with regards to not having bias against one student or group of students based on their religious views, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
Teachers should take into account students' various backgrounds to help them address and overcome any obstacles they may face while learning.
Preparation is Imperative
Teacher preparation includes three major types of tasks:
1. Acquiring a knowledge base for and engaging in the process of making multicultural instructional decisions.
3. Dealing with how to place multicultural interventions into the proper scope, sequence, and context of other classroom operations.
2. Assessing the adequacy of the decisions made.
Make Empowered Decisions
Teachers should make decisions based on what is best for their present needs.
The environment in the classroom can change on a yearly, monthly or even weekly basis. Teachers need to make decisions based on what they currently need and be able to change them accordingly.
Honor the
Key Concepts of Multicultural Education
Make Lessons More Meaningful
Learning Climate
Curriculum Development
Teachers are always designing and modifying lesson plans.
Teachers should use this to their advantage. As they are developing lesson plans, they should be incorporating multicultural content to make it more culturally and ethnically pluralistic.
Teachers create and nurture learning environments and climates in their classrooms.
Creating an environment that is open and friendly will help students from different cultures and with different learning styles feel more welcome to learning.
"Multicultural education is a means to achieving greater relevance in the curriculum content and instructional strategies for ethnically diverse students".
Making lessons that are personally meaningful to students increases the interest they have in learning as well as their efforts and outcomes.
One example from Multicultural Education in the 21st Century is "Teaching about Japan, the Philippines, or Mexico is not the same as teaching the history, culture, and experiences of Japanese Americans, Filipino Americans, and Mexican Americans".
Effective multicultural education needs both facts and clarification of values and beliefs related to ethnicity and culture.
Knowing you students allows you to have a better understanding of them as individuals. For example,students from certain cultures do not make eye contact with elders or superiors. This does not mean they are not listening. If teachers are aware of behaviors like this, they can be more understanding and minimize any bias.
Communication in the classroom is important. There are a few ways teachers can ensure all students have an opportunity to speak:
Extend and vary waiting time between question and answer periods.
Ask students to summarize points previously made.
Minimize teacher talk. Use student-focused activities like cooperative learning, role playing or small group tasks.
Use different communication methods to relay the same information such as non-verbal gestures or depicting the information visually.
Multiculturalism cannot be taught in a few lessons. It should be integrated into all aspects of learning.
As stated in Multicultural Education in a Pluralistic Society, celebrating African American history only during February or women's history during March, is not multicultural education. It should be in as many lessons as possible. When learning about poets or artists, students should learn about different people from different cultures, not just American poets and artists.
Transfer involves finding examples
and representations of knowledge and information and making a connection between new information and what is known.
In elementary school, students are taught to use their schema in order to make a connection to a story or situation.

When learning about negative numbers in math, teachers can tell their students to think of it like digging and filling
holes in the sand.
This ties in with communication but is important enough to stand on its own.
Use a variety of methods when teaching to reach all learning modalities and forms of intelligence.
Adding visuals like graphs, and videos with captions, or hands-on projects, to lectures can help not just English language learners better understand lessons but also will appeal to different forms of learning.
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