understanding culture and multiculturalism n.
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Understanding Culture and Multiculturalism

Understanding Culture and Multiculturalism

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Understanding Culture and Multiculturalism

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  1. Understanding Culture and Multiculturalism

  2. RULES FOR DISCUSSION • Treat others as you would like to be treated • Classroom discussions are confidential • Mutual respect for each other must be tolerated • Attacks on another person are not permitted • We can agree to disagree • Everyone must speak from their own experiences • Try to refer to one another by name

  3. Commonly used terms • Culture • Ethnicity • Race

  4. CULTURE • A totality of learned behaviors in the context of a social system (Slonim, 1991) • Includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capacities and habits acquired by individuals as members of society • The characteristics of that individual’s society or some subgroup within that society • We live it and may cause some distress when we are out of our culture. • Attributes include familial, linguistic, religious, spiritual, aesthetic, socioeconomic, educational, dietary, gender etc.

  5. Culture-explicit and implicit • Explicit aspects of culture-language, dress, food habits, religion, aesthetic conventions-taught deliberately and learned (tip of iceberg) • Implicit aspects of culture-equally important; habits often invisible to us-timeliness, what is proper or improper

  6. RACE • A socially determined category that is related to physical characteristics in a complex way (Banks & Banks). • Not a stable category; has changed over time • Used often in US as if there is total agreement about definition ( school forms, Birth/death certificates etc) • Has been defined socially, biologically and geographically

  7. RACE-PHYSICAL • Physical and inborn characteristics • Skin color, body build or facial features • Unlike culture-race cannot be changed or learned or acquired after birth • Other terms used-Negroid, Caucasoid and Mongoloid

  8. RACE-GEOGRAPHICALLY • Determined by the region of the world and country • African, American Indian, Asian, Australian, European, Indian, Melanesian, and Polynesian

  9. RACE-UNITED STATES • Should not be reviewed solely but important to note • Individuals are asked to state race on forms • Society places emphasis on race and some individuals may claim that their race affects the quality of their life experiences • ( Some African American and Latino American men may feel some harassment due to their race)

  10. RACE-Why is it difficult to discuss? • May be considered taboo to discuss (especially in mixed settings) • There may be denial on personal prejudice, racism, failing to acknowledge its impact on the individual’s life • Not easily defined or understood

  11. Ethnicity • An individual’s sense of identification and provides a sense of belonging to a reference group [derived from five major racial categories-African American, Native American, Asian American, Latino American, European American] (Slonim, 1991) • African-Caribbean , Jewish American, Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Italian American, Muslim, Cherokee, Navajo

  12. More on Ethnicity • Persons can be at different stages of the ethic awareness • Ethnic group is a cultural group with a sense of peoplehood, shared history, common ancestry, and common set of political and economic interests


  14. Multicultural Education-IT IS • An idea • An education reform movement • A process

  15. Multicultural Education • A multifaceted, organizational, change-oriented strategy aimed at seven goals 1. Educational equity 2. Empowerment of students, parents, and teachers 3. Development of society that values cultural pluralism 4. Understanding and harmony in classroom, school and community 5. Maintenance and expansion of freedom and democracy 6.knowledge of cultural and ethnic groups 7.develop all staff , parents and students with multicultural perspective

  16. Cultural Pluralism • The notion that groups should be allowed and even encouraged to hold on to what gives them their unique identities while maintaining their membership in the larger social framework. • It does not advocate separatism but promote diversity - not a melting pot but a salad bowl concept-unity with uniqueness!

  17. Multicultural Education-A little history • Grew out of the civil rights movement of the 1960s which was grounded in the democratic ideas of freedom, justice and equality • Extends the values and beliefs inherent in a democracy- the promotion of human rights and privileges, the sharing power and equal participation in all social contexts

  18. Communication and Culture Playing by the Rules

  19. Educational Setting Schools have a culture that has values, beliefs and norms that are related to school success

  20. School Culture • Rigid schedules • Analytical reasoning • Individual achievement • Competition • Definition of disability according to laws • Certain learning styles (visual and auditory)

  21. Possible home cultures • Flexible schedules • Intuitive reasoning • Achievement through cooperation • Definition of disability by physical characteristics, intuition, other family members with disability. • Different learning styles

  22. Language and Communication • “language and culture are so inextricably intertwined that it is often difficult to consider one without the other” (Padron & Knight, 1990) • It includes: • Pronunciation • Vocabulary • Phonology (rhythm, tempo pitch) • When to speak and what is left unspoken • Questioning • Dialects, accents

  23. Language and Communication • Students whose spoken and written language does not match the requirements of mainstream language experience academic difficulties due to differences in language capabilities. • May cause overrepresentation of students in Special Education due to language differences- especially students who speak English as a second language .

  24. Nonverbal Communication • 65% of all communication is related to nonverbal communication • Proxemics (interpersonal space) • Kinesics (body language) • Haptics (frequency of touching) • Paralanguage (voice, tone, pitch and rhythm) • Inexperience teachers often overreact to nonverbal cultural manifestation by imposing rules and prohibitions

  25. Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Students Addressing Learning Styles is affective way of instructing CLD student Example:Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences

  26. Field dependent learners vs field independent learners

  27. Field independent learners • Focus on parts instead of whole • Focus on things • Prefer learning by watching and listening • Prefer learning individually • Can learn without the need for hands-on activities

  28. Field dependent learners Respond to things in terms of the whole instead of isolated parts Prefer learning in groups Focus on people rather than things Prefer learning by doing More proficient in nonverbal communication Prefer kinesthetic, active, hands-on instructional activities Does not focus on competition

  29. “All students have an incredible capacity for developing the ability to use multiple learning styles in much the same way that multiple language competency can be accomplished” (Hillard, 1992)