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Teaching in a Multicultural Classroom. Definitions What is Culture? Culture is the relatively stable set of inner values and beliefs generally held by.

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching in a Multicultural Classroom. Definitions What is Culture? Culture is the relatively stable set of inner values and beliefs generally held by."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching in a Multicultural Classroom

2 Definitions What is Culture? Culture is the relatively stable set of inner values and beliefs generally held by groups of people in countries or regions and the noticeable impact those values and beliefs have on peoples outward behavior and environment; it is not something you are born with but something you are born into and learn through imitation or teaching; software programming for out human self; the story we tell ourselves about ourselves; what people need to know to function in any society. Culture is the total accumulation of beliefs, customs, values, behaviors, institutions and communication patterns that are shared, learned and passes down through generations in a indefinable group of people. Culture is the shared assumptions, values and beliefs of a group of people which result in characteristic behaviors.

3 Definitions Cultural Values: Principles or qualities that a group of people will see as good, right or worthwhile. Example: Hard work leads to success. Stereotypes: Usually a negative statement make about a group of people; they emerge when we apply one behavior to a whole group ; an over simplification. Example: All Hispanics are illegal aliens. Generalizations: Looking at a large number of people and drawing certain conclusions from what we see; of ten an oversimplified view; becomes damaging when it is too broad, out of date or the information we use to form the generalization contains biases. Example: All Asian students are good at math.

4 Definitions What Culture is Not Universal Behavior: Those behaviors which apply to everyone, regardless of culture. It is sometimes called human nature. Example: All people eat, sleep, use language, seek shelter, raise children. Personal Behavior: Personal experience guarantees that no two people from the same culture will behave in identical ways. This factor can make cross-cultural understanding a bit difficult because it means that the behavior you might predict or expect from someone, based on what you have learned about a specific culture, may not run true because personal behavior may override cultural behavior. Example: Some Hispanic individuals are very punctual. Personality: A peculiar set of traits or characteristics that a person is born with that set him or her apart from all others. Example: My friend enjoys crowds and loud parties; I prefer a quiet environment.

5 George Bernard Shaw wrote: The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

6 Culture is like an iceberg Above the waterline: Explicit Culture What we observe about others. Behaviors

7 Under the waterline: Implicit Culture What we cannot observe about others.

8 The items listed below are all features of culture. Keeping in mind that observable behaviors belong above the surface of the water, while the invisible aspects of culture belong below the surface. Circle the features that you can observe. "above" or "below." Culture is what makes us all human. Facial expressions Gestures Paintings Values Holiday customs Food Concepts of beauty Eating habits Music Concepts for fairness Child raising beliefs Religious beliefs Language Courtesy Definition of obscenity Importance of time Concept of self Literature General view of the world Work ethic Rules of social etiquette Concept of personal space Style of dress Ideas about modesty Religious rituals Dance Games Tone of voice Understanding the natural World

9 We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are. ~ Anais Nin

10 Use the Iceberg Outline Write five specific items that tell about your explicit culture. Write five specific items that tell about your implicit culture.



13 What is Culture? Working individually draw a pictorial representation of what you think culture looks like. Be prepared to share your drawing and whet is represents with the class.

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17 Instructions: Take ten minutes to write a poem called "Who I Am." The only rule for the piece is that each line must start with the phrase "I am..." It is open to your personal interpretation. You can include statements about where you are they're from regionally, ethnically, religiously, etc., memories from different points in their lives, interests and hobbies, mottos or credos, favorite phrases, family traditions and customs, and whatever else defines who they are. Whats In Your Cultural Suitcase Who I Am Poem Activity From: Multicultural Pavilion: Awareness Activities

18 Who I Am Poem I am I am I am I am I am I am I am I am I am

19 Almost Paradise The digital story tells the story of how a Korean students mother brought her family from South Korea to America, in search of a better life. It outlines the difficulties of growing up in a different culture, as well as the clashes between a mother and daughter. The hyperlink takes you to the Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling at The University of Houston. Select example; then choose Personal Reflections to reach this video.

20 Whats in Your Cultural Suitcase?

21 References A Community of Respect Participant Workbook Awareness Activities: EdChange Multicultural Pavillion Building Bridges: A Peace Corps Classroom Guide to Cross-Cultural Understanding (donwloadable pdf booklet) Culture at Work Fable Vision: The Blue Shoe in Stories that Matter Melting Pot Theater: Teaching for Cultural Understanding My Blue Puzzle Piece Multicultural Pavilion: Awareness Activities Peace Corps: Worldwise Schools: Culture is Like an Iceberg Peace Corps: Whats Up With Culture Teaching Cultural Awareness Triangles Are Not Bad! Lesson Plan

22 Learning About Culture Martha Green MEd. The Office of International Outreach Texas A&M University Visit the World Room http://worldroom.tamu.edu

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