Presentation on theme: "Shelley Zion, Ph.D. University of Colorado Denver"— Presentation transcript:
1 Creating Culturally Responsive Classrooms: a Model of Intentional Professional Development Shelley Zion, Ph.D.University of Colorado DenverCenter for Culturally Responsive Urban Education
2 NeedTeachers’ lack of competency in teaching culturally and linguistically diverse learners correlates to students’ persistent achievement difficulties (Gay, 2000; Harry, et al., 1999; Irvine & York, 2001; Sleeter, 2001)Preparing current and future teachers to teach students from diverse backgrounds and with diverse academic needs is one of the most compelling challenges facing teacher educators today (Futrell, Gomez, & Bedden, 2003; Hollins & Guzman, 2005; Sobel & Taylor, 2006)In response to dramatic demographic changes and a pattern of under achievement and disengagement of large numbers of students, there is a national movement underway to support teachers to critically examine, reflect on, and respond to practices for learners with diverse needs and from diverse backgrounds. The Council for Exceptional Children (2006) calls for the development of programs that promote educational practices that appropriately identify students who are culturally and linguistically diverse for special education services; assessment practices that accurately reflect cultural influences; education services that provide effective interventions for students from diverse cultures; and professional development to improve the cultural responsiveness of all educators. Many researchers (e.g., Gay, 2000; Harry, et al., 1999; Irvine & York, 2001; Sleeter, 2001) have illustrated a connection between teachers’ lack of competency in teaching culturally and linguistically diverse learners and students’ persistent achievement difficulties.Educators today struggle in their efforts to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse urban learners, as evidenced by the gaps between children of color and white children in achievement, graduation, and other indicators of school success. Indeed, preparing current and future teachers to teach students from diverse backgrounds and with diverse academic needs is one of the most compelling challenges facing teacher educators today (Futrell, Gomez, & Bedden, 2003; Hollins & Guzman, 2005; Sobel & Taylor, 2006).National trends indicate that well over 86% of the current teaching force is White, mono-lingual, and female (Darling-Hammond, et al., 2002). Nationally, teacher shortages are a particular problem in urban and high poverty districts (Schive, & Klien, 2001) and Colorado is no different in this respect. The national push for highly qualified teachers through the No Child Left Behind Act (US Department of Education, 2002) raises the stakes further for districts with chronic shortages. Researchers (Darling-Hammond, French & Garcia-Lopez, 2002; Gay, 2000) have identified the lack of available fully-credentialed and highly-qualified teachers as a culprit in creating and maintaining inequitable access to education for students, particularly in urban settings, where a disproportionate number of students are ethnically, culturally and/or linguistically diverse, and/or live in poverty. Yates and Ortiz (2004) maintain that neither special educators nor general educators are prepared to respond to students from these backgrounds.Continuing to expose ethnically, culturally, and/or linguistically diverse students who live in poverty to educators who are not adequately prepared to effectively teach them is likely to further exacerbate the existing achievement gap. More importantly, such practices will result in these children not receiving the high quality services that federal mandates guarantee them.
3 Continuing to expose ethnically, culturally, and/or linguistically diverse students who live in poverty to educators who are not adequately prepared to effectively teach them is likely to further exacerbate the existing achievement gap. More importantly, such practices will result in these children not receiving the high quality services that federal mandates guarantee them.
7 Assumptions Schools are microcosms of our greater society Schools are structured to reproduce the norms of the dominant cultureThe historical structure and purpose of schooling contradicts current law and public policyTeacher Ed programs do not adequately address diversity, and are constrained by state curricular requirementsKnowledge of students home and community contexts is invaluable in interpreting classroom behavior and academic performanceIncreasingly, teachers do not know the neighborhoods, families, and communities in which they teach. In most teacher education programs, including those which place students in professional development schools, coursework includes only minimal treatment of issues of diversity and there is not currently room in the curriculum to include more (Murrell, 1998; Shirley, 1997; Shirley, Hersi, MacDonald, Sanchez, Scandone, Skidmore, & Tutwiler, (2006). Early work by Heath (1982) indicated the value to educators of getting to know students in their home and community contexts. This kind of knowledge was invaluable in interpreting classroom behaviors and academic performance. Later work by Gonzalez & Moll, et al. (2005) suggests the value of having teachers draw on these home and community funds of knowledge in developing their curricula and classroom activities. Given the restrictions teacher educators face in complying with state curricular requirements as well as state standards that do not address the role of home and community in learning, systematic and guided interaction with the community has been a challenge. However, recent research on learning and development that can be characterized as social constructivist and ecological (Edwards, 1999; Guiterrez & Rogoff, 2003; Howard, 1999; Moll, 2000).), suggests that academic programming that places pre-service teachers only in the classroom and school and not in the communities in which their students live is both a disservice to them and their students and not supported by either theory on learning or educational research (Hyland & Noffke, 2005; Locke, 2005). As Dimitriadis (2001, p. 365) argues, “…the institutions that young people traverse are constitutive of their identities—who they are and who they might become. Certain kinds of identities are encouraged and others are foreclosed in particular sites and institutions…” To know their students and encourage rather than foreclose identities as capable learners, teachers must come to understand their students’ complex identities and potentials both in the classroom and in the surrounding community.
8 To engage in critical pedagogy requires a commitment to the construction of knowledge by sharing power and authority between students and teachers, challenging the hegemonic notions of what school is and should be, and giving up control of the curriculum and pedagogy of the classroom. Sharing power with students, and facilitating questioning of the political and social structures of school create a space in which students and adults broaden their understandings of themselves, the assumptions that society operates by, and the ways that the world works (McLaren, 1989; Giroux, 1997).
9 What Teachers NeedSocio Cultural-- teachers have an awareness of and understanding of the impact of social, cultural and historical influences on learning and behavior, ideas of social justice.Affirmative Attitude-- teachers understand the impact of teacher expectation, developing caring relationships, ongoing reflection, respect for student/family/community cultures, and commitment to issues of equity on teaching, learning, and behavior.Collaborative Skills—teachers have the skills to collaborate and problem solve with students, families, communities, and other professionals, and to understand their own areas of influence within the larger educational and social systems.Pedagogy Diversity—teachers have specific knowledge and skills around culturally responsive instructional, accommodation/modification, management, assessment, and curricular strategies and resources. (Voltz, 2007)
10 The processClassroom Teachers engage in a year long intensive professional development and action research project to1)study the impacts of race/class/culture on individual and groups,2) examine the structure of power and privilege in schools, 3) collaborate with families and communities, and4) develop a culturally responsive pedagogy and practice?Data collected during the project documents change in teacher values, beliefs, skills, knowledge, behavior, practice, and impact on student outcomes.
11 Segment One: Race, Class, & Culture in Public Schools this segment focuses on understanding culture and diversity, exploring the socio-cultural histories of self and other, recognizing the role of power and privilege in both individual and institutional interactions, and developing a philosophy of social justice and equity. Participants complete a project that examines their own cultural background, identity, values, beliefs, and biases, an examination of a students background, and a cross cultural analysis of the two experiences.
12 Segment Two: Working with Communities and Families- this segment focus on the importance of understanding and connecting with the community and families of the students in a school, with practical strategies and activities to uncover the rich resources that diverse students and families bring to schools as well as to connect and collaborate with community organizations and activities to increase student engagement and relevance. The project for this course requires participants to further engage with the student from the previous project in an examination of that students family history, community experience, and to identify community resources.
13 Segment Three: Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Practices- this final segment focuses on developing practical tools for creating culturally responsive, inclusive classrooms by examining assessment and instructional strategies, classroom management practices, and curriculum and lesson planning in light of the needs of the diverse skills and background knowledge that students bring to the classroom. The project for this session requires participants to critically examine the above elements of their classroom, critique them in light of their expanding knowledge of the culture and histories of their students, and to make changes to those elements of their classroom practice.
14 Activities Three, 3 Day Training Sessions Weekly Readings, Journal Entries, and Online DiscussionsMonthly Facilitated Discussion Groups3 ProjectsMonthly Data CollectionClassroom Observations
15 Evaluating Impact Four-level model Level one (reactions of participants)Level two (learning),Level three (transfer), andLevel four (results).(Kirkpatrick, 1994)
16 Level One :ReactionsEvaluates participants’ perceptions of the program. Did they like it? Was the material relevant to their work?Outcome measures will be based on a review of written feedback after each classroom session and at the end segment. A four-square form will be used asking participants to complete the following statements: (1) What I learned today…, (2) What I can do with what I learned…, (3) I would like to know more about…, and (4) If I were teaching this class I would….
17 Level Two: LearningEvaluates the extent participants have advanced in skills, knowledge, or attitude.Outcome measures will be based oncomparison of survey data from participants at the start and completion of the program.examination of personal journal entries to learn how their beliefs/values are changing, andonline reflections focused on how knowledge and classroom practices are changing.
18 Level Three: TransferEvaluates the transfer that has occurred in participants’ behavior due to the program. Evaluating at this level attempts to answer the question – Are the newly acquired skills, knowledge, or attitude being used in the classroom of the learner?Outcome measures will be based on comparison of classroom data participants will collect at prescribed times throughout the program. The data sets include: monthly student class maps, classroom observations, and artifact scoops of classroom items.
19 Level Four: ResultsEvaluates the success of the program in terms of student outcomes. Teachers who are more culturally responsive will be more engaging to students, create classroom environments where students will participate engage, learn and behave.Outcome measures will be based on comparison of monthly student data collected by participants including demographics, attendance, homework completion rate, grades, student engagement through class maps, behavioral incidents, and communications with family.