Education and Cultural Diversity: Concepts for Special Education Banks suggests six major components or elements of culture: 1.Values and behavioral styles 2.Languages and dialects 3.Nonverbal communication 4.Awareness (of ones cultural distinctiveness) 5.Frames of reference (normative world views or perspectives) 6.Identification (feeling part of the cultural group)
Education and Cultural Diversity Macroculture- race, religion, social class, disability, gender, and ethnic group; these elements together make up a national or shared culture Microculture- smaller cultures that share the common characteristics of the macroculture but have their unique values, styles, languages, and nonverbal communication
Education and Cultural Diversity Nearly 1 in 5 Americans does not speak English at home More than 2 million grandparents are raising their grandchildren The number of adults who work solely out of their homes has grown a third since 1990 1 in 6 children lives in poverty The nation gained more immigrants in the 1990s than in any previous decade Poverty places children at higher risk of disability
Sociocultural Theory Theory that the individual, interpersonal or social experiences, and community or institution are all important and inseparable causes of human behavior and that language ties all of these aspects of development together
Sociocultural Theory A complete account of learning and development must take into account three levels: 1.The individual plane- individual cognition, emotion, behavior, values, and beliefs 2.The interpersonal plane- communication, role performances, dialogue, cooperation, conflict, assessment 3.The community plane- shared history, languages, rules, values, beliefs, and identities
Ethnic minority communities have a strong influence on students achievement and school behavior, three cautions: 1.Guard against stereotypes 2.The fact that minority communities may have a strong influence on school success does not relieve schools of the obligation to provide a multicultural education 3.The support of families and the minority community may be insufficient to improve the academic success of minority students
Purposes of Multicultural Education 1.To promote pride in ones own cultural heritage and understanding of microcultures different from ones own 2.To foster positive attitudes toward cultural diversity 3.To ensure equal educational opportunities for all students
Purposes of Multicultural Education Two questions complicate the matter when we get below the surface and address the actual practice of multiculturalism in education 1.Which cultures shall we include? 2.What and how shall we teach about them?
Multicultural Education One of the most controversial aspects of multicultural education is the use of language What labels and terms are acceptable for designating various groups? Consider cultures in which women are treated as chattel, as well as the drug culture, the culture of street gangs, the culture of poverty To what extent does every culture have a right to perpetuate itself? How should we respond to some members of the Deaf culture, who reject the prevention of deafness or procedures and devices that enable deaf children to hear, preferring deafness to hearing and wishing to sustain the Deaf culture deliberately?
Implementing Multicultural and Bilingual Special Education Exceptionality group- a group sharing a set of specific abilities or disabilities Multicultural special education- focuses on 2 main objectives: 1.Ensuring that ethnicity is not mistaken for educational exceptionality 2.Increasing understanding of the microculture of exceptionality 3.Disproportionate representation of racial minority students in special education classes points to the need to make strong academic programs for all students, implement effective special education policies, increase level of home/school involvement, and use diverse community resources
Assessment Traditional assessment practices have often violated the U.S. ideals of equal opportunity regardless of ethic origin Educators and psychologists assessments- criticized as being biased because of misrepresentation of the abilities of students and useless because they only result in labeling rather than educational programming Traditional standardized tests have serious limitations- do not take cultural diversity into account, they focus on the individuals deficits, and they do not provide useful information Curriculum-based assessment (CBA)- A formative evaluation method designed to evaluate performance in the particular curriculum to which students are exposed
Instruction Objective of multicultural education is ensuring that all students are instructed in ways that do not penalize them because of their cultural differences If students differences are ignored, the students will probably be given instruction that is not suited to their cultural needs Classwide peer tutoring- helpful for elementary children who are not proficient in English Four instructional goals: 1.Teaching tolerance & appreciation of difference 2.Working cooperatively with families 3.Improving instruction for language-minority students 4.Adopting effective teaching practices
Teaching Tolerance and Appreciation/ Working with Families We can do so by learning more about ourselves and our heritage Teaching tolerance includes differences of all types, including disabilities More information on tolerance: –http://www.tolerance.org/teachhttp://www.tolerance.org/teach Parents have different views of disabilities and different ways of accommodating these differences in their children Parents of low-income and minority children may feel alienated from schools
Improving Instruction for Language- Minority Students Students for whom English is a second language face demands of learning a new language and mastering traditional subject matter Those with disabilities also have to cope with additional hurdles imposed by their disability Different approaches to teaching language- minority students: –Native-language emphasis- students are taught for most of the day in their native language and later make a translation to English –Sheltered-English approach- students receive instruction in English for most of the school from the beginning of their schooling
Six Components of Effective Teaching 1.Scaffolding and strategies- the teacher assists the student in learning a task and then phases out the help as the student learns to use the strategy independently 2.Challenge- All students need to be given challenging tasks 3.Involvement- Students must be engaged in extended conversations, in which they use complex linguistic structures 4.Success- Students at the highest risk of failure and dropping out are those who have low rates of success in daily school activities 5.Mediation and feedback- Provide frequent, comprehensible feedback on performance 6.Responsiveness to cultural and individual diversity- The content of instruction must be related to students experiences
Socialization Involves helping students develop appropriate social perceptions and interactions with others Teaching about different cultures and their value may be important in reducing ethnic conflict and promoting respect for human differences. Cooperative learning- A teaching approach in which the teacher places students with similar abilities together to work on assignments