Culture in School Learning: Revealing the Deep Meaning

Culture in School Learning: Revealing the Deep Meaning

Culture in School Learning: Revealing the Deep Meaning

Culture in School Learning: Revealing the Deep Meaning

Synopsis

"Culture in School Learning: Revealing the Deep Meaning introduces pre- and in-service teachers to the centrality of culture in school learning. Readers are engaged in a process of constructing an operational definition of culture that reveals its deep meaning in cognition and learning, and in applying a "reflective-interpretive-inquiry" approach to making linkages between students' cultural and experiential backgrounds and classroom instruction." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Herbert Kohl

The central thesis of this book, that an understanding of the cultural dimensions of learning is essential for effective teaching, must become a key component of educational programs throughout the country. Etta Hollins not only convincingly argues the case for this, but shows us how to build programs in teacher education institutions and schools that respect and utilize the cultural strengths of learners. The book takes the reader on a step-by-step voyage through the dimensions of culture that pervade how we teach, what we teach, and how students learn. It enables prospective and practicing teachers to examine their own cultural roots and those of their students. It opens doors for teachers to understand how to remake the curriculum and shape their learning environments to facilitate the respectful communication across culture that can lead to complex learning.

One of the most important aspects of this book is that it rejects, once and for all, any hint of blaming the student for the failures of the system. It proceeds on the assumptions that students can learn complex skills in diverse cultural and intellectual settings, and that reflective teachers can learn how to adapt their work to the character of the classes they teach without any loss of standards or lowering of expectations.

I believe that the ideas, techniques, and strategies described in this book can go far toward providing teachers with the strengths they need to teach in complex cultural settings where they have to know both their own cultural habits and modes and that of their students. Although the demands Etta Hollins suggests we have to make on ourselves require considerable self-

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