Bridging Cultures between Home and School: A Guide for Teachers : with a Special Focus on Immigrant Latino Families

Bridging Cultures between Home and School: A Guide for Teachers : with a Special Focus on Immigrant Latino Families

Bridging Cultures between Home and School: A Guide for Teachers : with a Special Focus on Immigrant Latino Families

Bridging Cultures between Home and School: A Guide for Teachers : with a Special Focus on Immigrant Latino Families

Synopsis

Bridging Cultures Between Home and School: A Guide for Teachers is intended to stimulate broad thinking about how to meet the challenges of education in a pluralistic society. It is a powerful resource for in-service and preservice multicultural education and professional development. The Guide presents a framework for understanding differences and conflicts that arise in situations where school culture is more individualistic than the value system of the home. It shares what researchers and teachers of the Bridging Cultures Project have learned from the experimentation of teacher-researchers in their own classrooms of largely immigrant Latino students and explores other research on promoting improved home-school relationships across cultures. The framework leads to specific suggestions for supporting teachers to cross-cultural communication; organization parent-teacher conferences that work; use strategies that increase parent involvement in schooling; increase their skills as researchers; and employ ethnographic techniques to learn about home cultures. Although the research underlying the Bridging Cultures Project and this Guide focuses on immigrant Latino families, since this is the primary population with which the framework was originally used, it is a potent tool for learning about other cultures as well because many face similar discrepancies between their own more collectivistic approaches to childrearing and schooling and the more individualistic approach of the dominant culture.

Excerpt

It is not news to most people that classrooms around the United States are becoming more and more culturally and linguistically diverse. Some teachers have relatively homogeneous classrooms but with students whose primary language and/ or cultural background are much different from their own. Others find themselves in classrooms with students from numerous cultural backgrounds—at various stages of proficiency with English and at multiple academic levels. Still other teachers, working in schools just beginning to become diverse, realize that teaching their new students successfully is going to mean learning about new cultures.

Parallel to these demographic changes and consequent concerns is a renewed recognition that our society has always been diverse. American Indian and African-American students have been part of this diversity, although for many generations they were segregated from the dominant group. More recently, Alaska Native and Pacific Island students have added to the diversity. People from Asian countries (beginning largely with the Chinese and then the Japanese) began arriving in this country 150 years ago, although they were denied citizenship for almost 100 years; and in recent decades, the whole concept of “Asian-American” has been broadened to include immigrants from Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Malaysia . . .

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