Managing Diverse Classrooms: How to Build on Students' Cultural Strengths

Managing Diverse Classrooms: How to Build on Students' Cultural Strengths

Managing Diverse Classrooms: How to Build on Students' Cultural Strengths

Managing Diverse Classrooms: How to Build on Students' Cultural Strengths

Synopsis

How does the home culture of Latino immigrant students differ from the "mainstream" culture of U. S. schools? Why is it important for teachers to understand the differences? How can educators take advantage of students' cultural traits to improve classroom management, student performance, and school-parent relations? Carrie Rothstein-Fisch and Elise Trumbull answer these and many other questions by drawing on the experience and collective wisdom of teachers in the Bridging Cultures Project, a five-year action research study of elementary classrooms with high percentages of immigrant students.

Excerpt

Unlike other books on classroom organization and management, this book examines the topic from a cultural perspective. Our premise is that cultural values and beliefs are at the core of all classroom organization and management decisions. In parallel fashion, cultural values and beliefs are at the center of students' responses to teachers' strategies and of students' own attempts to engage in and influence interactions in the classroom.

Books and articles on classroom organization and management have only recently begun to address the role of culture. But when culture is addressed in the literature, it tends to be from the perspective of encouraging teachers to recognize cultural differences in parents' orientations to child rearing and schooling. Teachers may be led to examine culture from the perspective of the outsider (that is, “Those people have culture”) but not to regard themselves as people whose values and beliefs are inherently cultural. However, schools and teachers have cultures too (Hollins, 1996; Lipka, 1998).

School culture is relatively consistent across the United States and reflects the individualistic values of the dominant, European American culture. For instance, students are expected to show respect for others and their personal property, to stay in assigned seats, and to keep their hands to themselves (Marzano, 2003). They are supposed to be responsible for their own individual learning, even as members of cooperative groups (Slavin, 2006). Parents are encouraged to participate in their children's schooling in certain ways, such as helping with homework, volunteering in the classroom, or attending schoolwide events . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.