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FOROFFICEUSEONLY

ASSIGNMENTCOVER

StudentName

CharlotteBayliss

Programme

B.EdPrimary

CourseCode

LTC7303

CourseTitle

Teachingchildrenfromdiversecultures

AssignmentNo.

WordCount

2996

CourseLecturer

GayleTeKani

DueDate

12/06/16

ExtensionGrantedUntil*

DateHandedIn

11/06/16

ICERTIFY
thatthisassignmentismyownwork,andthatIhavenotpreviouslysubmitteditfor
academiccredit.

Signature: CharlotteBayliss

Date:
11/06/16

IspentthreedaysimmersedinschoollifeattheMangereRefugeeCentreaspartoftheTeaching
ChildrenfromDiverseCulturespaperatBethlehemTertiaryInstitute.Thiscentreisthefirststopfor
allrefugeesenteringintoNewZealand.Here,theyspendsixweekslivingonsitewhiletheyadjust
totheirnewcountryandgaintheessentialsrequiredforlifeinNewZealand.Fortheadults,this
includesattendingclasseswheretheylearnaboutthecultureofNewZealandandgainthe
necessaryofficialdocumentsforlifeinNewZealand.Thechildrenallattendschoolwhereskillful
teachersfirstassesstheenglishspeakingskillstheyalreadyhave,andthenaccordingtotheir
needs,teachessentialenglishandnumeracyskillstopreparethemformainstreameducation.I
spenttimeinbothprimaryclassroomsandtheEarlyChildhoodCentre.IneachofthesecontextsI
sawwhatculturallyresponsiveeducationlookslikeinpractice.Iobservedeachofthepractitioners
teachingfromtheirownpersonalidentity.Iobservedthemgettingtoknowthechildrenevenwith
therealityoflanguagebarriers.Ialsoobservedtheteachersweavingeachofthestudents
ethnicitiesintotheirdailyroutineswhichwasanessentialpartofhelpingthechildrensettleintoa
foreigncountry.Finally,Ihaveusedthreemetaphorstocarefullydescribetheculturallyresponsive
teachingIobservedthroughboththeliteratureandfromwhatIencounteredattheMangere
RefugeeCentre.

Thefirstofthreeguidingprinciplesfortheculturallyresponsiveteacheristo
knowyourself
.
DuringmythreedaysattheMangereRefugeeCentre,Ispent
anafternoonintheEarlyChildhoodCentrewhereIrecognisedthisin
practice.TheheadteacherisofMaoriethnicityandintentionallytaughtthe
childrenwithasmuchTeReoasshedidEnglish.Asayoungrefugeechild
wascompletingapuzzle,Iobservedtheteacherencouragingthemthrough
theuseofTeReo.Eachtimetheygotapieceinthecorrectplace,the
teacherwouldsayhomaiterimatogetthechildtoholdouttheirhandfora
highfive.Therewereothertimeswheretheteacherwouldsimplyclapher
handsandsayhomaitepakipakiandthechildwouldclap,too.Icouldsee
bythechild'sbodylanguagethattheywerethoroughlyengagedand
extremelyproudoftheiraccomplishments.Thechildwaswellawareofthe
teachersencouragementandthismotivatedthemtocontinuewiththe
puzzle.

Theprincipleofknowingwhoyouareasapersonandaneducatorissaidtobejustasimportant
asknowingyoursubjectandknowingyourstudents.Thisisbecauseyouridentityinforms
everythingyoudo(Day,2009Denzin,1984Palmer,1998Whyte,2012).Similarly,Jesusknewof

HisownsignificanceandHeknewthepurposeforHistimeonearth(John13:3,NewInternational
Version).HeallowedthistoshapeHisministry,asseeninthegospels.Jesuswouldhavebeen
distantfromHisfollowershadHenotknownofHisowncallingandpurposeforhumanity.Palmer
(1998)suggeststhesameforteacherswhodonotknowthemselvesandasaresult,childrenare
disadvantagedbyadistantteacher.

TheteacherintheEarlyChildhoodCentretaughtwithenthusiasmbecauseofherpassionforthe
culturethroughwhichshewasfreetoteach.Shehadspentyearsexploringherownidentity,and
thisnowinformshereverydayteachingpractice.Her
passionforteachingtheMaoriculturecouldbe
observedinthecentre,whereshedisplayedtraditional
Maoriartworkonthewalls,aspicturedtotheright.
Researchsuggeststhatateacherwhounderstands
theirownbeliefs,cultureandpersonality,suchasthis,
ismorelikelytounderstandthemethodsand
explanationsbehindtheirprofessionalpractice(Gibbs,
2006).Therefore,theirteachingisstrengthenedandasaresult,allstudentsbenefit.

Thegreatestofteachersaresaidtobethosewhocommunicatefromtheirwholeselftothewhole
child,asintheteacherindiscussion(Hendricks,1987).Throughthis,amoreacceptinglearning
environmentforallstudentsiscreated,throughwhichchildrenfeelmoresafeandsecuretolearn
(Whyte,2012).Childrenarealsoabletoperceiveateacherspersonalandprofessionalidentity,
aswellastheircharacter,values,beliefs,interests,andpassions(Gibbs,2006,p.8).Furtherthan
this,Hendricks(1987)researchsuggeststhatchildrenareabletosensewhotheyareaccepted
andlovedby,andiftheysensetheyarelovedbytheirteacherthentheyaremorelikelytoplease
them.Thelittlechildsengagementandexcitementinmyexampleprovedthisstatementtobetrue.
Italsoinformsmeasateacherthatachildswellbeingandthequalityofmyteachingpracticeisall
weighedonmyownknowledgeandsecurityofself.Tobecompletelypresentwithmystudents,I
needtocommittobothknowingthereasonsbehindmyteachingmethods,andalsounderstanding
whatphilosophiesunderpinmyteaching.Thedevelopmentofmypassionatecreedhelpsmeto
definethese.ThemoreIdevelopit,thebetterIcanservetheneedsofthechildrenplacedinmy
care.Insayingthis,merelyknowingmyselfisnotenoughtotrulyservicetheneedsofeverychild.I
alsoneedtogenuinelygettoknoweachstudent.

ThechangingnatureofteachinginNewZealandisbringinganextensivegrowthofcultural
diversity.Thispresentstherealitythateachclassroomnowhasanassortmentofethnicities,
languages,religionsandbackgrounds(Gibbs,2006Norsworthy,2009Whyte,2012).Inresponse
tothis,registeredteachersinNewZealandarerequiredtobeawareof,andrespondappropriately
totheassortmentofdiversityintheirclassroom(Gibbs,2006EducationCouncilNewZealand,
n.d.).Respondingtotheseneedsbeginsbyintentionallystrivingtodeeplyunderstandthechildren
personallyandlearningtounderstandthereasonsbehindeachindividualsbehaviours(Gibbs,
2006Onchwari,Onchwari,&Keengwe,2008VanBrummelen,2009).Beinginformedinsucha
wayisfundamentalbecausethebetteryouknowthestudents,thebetteryoucanservetheirneeds
(Gibbs,2006Hendricks,1987).

JesusmodeledtheimportanceofknowingHisfollowersinmanydifferenttimesthroughoutHis
ministry.ThegospelsdocumentnumerousoccasionswhenJesusheartwasmovedwith
compassionwhenHesawthecrowdsoflostpeople(Mark6:34Matthew9:36).Hispeoplesensed
Hisloveforthem,sotheyfollowedHim.Inasimilarway,itisateacherscompassionthat
producesthelearnersmotivation(Hendricks,1987,p.82).Whyte(2012)alsoarguesthe
importanceoftakingthetimetoknowastudentsculturalbackgroundbecausethiscangivethe
teacherinsighttothereasonsbehindthewayanindividualmaylearn.

DuringmyexperienceattheMangereRefugee
Centre,Iwitnessedanexampleofthisfundamental
truthinaction.Aspicturedontheleft,theclassroom
teacherisintentionaltohavethechildrencrosstheir
armsontheirchestinsteadofhavingthemputtheir
handsontheirheadwhenshewishestogaintheir
attention.Thereasonforthisisthatforarefugeechild,
puttingtheirhandsontheirheadcantriggertraumaticmemoriesofhostagefromtheirwartorn
homelands.Theteacherhasactedinaculturallyresponsivemannerandshowngenuine
compassiontowardsherstudentsbysimplyalteringthewayshegainstheirattention.

Asateacher,thispresentssomeconvictingimplications.ItisessentialthatIavoidprejudice
towardsculturaldiversityinordertoprovideafaireducationforstudentsofallbackgrounds.Since
myvisittotheMangereRefugeeCentre,andthroughouttheTCDCpaper,Ihavebeengenuinely
challengedtotreatallculturesequallyfromourfirstpointofmeeting.Ihavealreadyexperienced
anenrichmentandagenuineconnectionfrombeingreceptiveofwhatothercultureshaveto

impart.Thishasshownmethatevenasubtleprejudicecanputupabarrierbetweenteacherand
student,whichwillhavedevastatinglongandshorttermeffectsonchildrenslearning.To
communicateadeeperknowledgeof,andgenuineinterestineachstudent,ateachercanintegrate
eachethnicityintotheclassroomcurriculum.

Furtherthansimplyknowingthestudentsthatareplacedinateacher'scare,itisessentialthatthe
teacherintentionallyunderstandsabout,andteacheswiththestudentsethnicities.Itispossibleto
teachaculturallydiversechildandaccepthimorherbutnottotallyunderstandthem.Likewise,itis
possibletounderstandthechildsculturewithouttotallyacceptingthem(Fish,2014).Thisalarming
truthcanhelpusunderstandthatteachingwiththestudentsethnicitystronglycommunicatesboth
acceptanceandunderstandingofaculturallydiversechild(Gibbs,2006).Manychildrenlivingina
countryastheminoritygroupfindthemselvesrestrainedfrombeingtrueto
theirownculturewhilstatschool(Macfarlane,Glynn,Cavanagh&Bateman,
2007).Althoughthismaybethecaseformanychildren,thebibleteaches
thatallchildrenarepreciousintheeyesofGod,allculturaldiversitiesaside.
Inthegospels,Jesusteachesthatanyonewhowelcomesachildfromany
ethnicbackground,welcomesJesusalso(Matthew18:5).Therefore,itdoes
notmatterwhatdiverseorculturalneedsastudentbrings,theteacheris
instructedtotreatthemthesameaseachotherone.Thiscallrequires
teacherstoweaveeachstudentsbackgroundintotheirteachingpractice.

Aswellasacceptingallcultureswithopenarms,Whyte(2012)suggeststhatteachingwiththe
childrensethnicityhelpsmaketheexperienceofbeingatschoolmoremeaningfultostudents(p.
218).Fromthisitcanbeunderstoodthatanimmigrantchildseducationwouldbesignificantly
enrichedthroughtheinclusionoftheirowncultureintotheclassroomplanning.Incontrast,alack
ofknowledgeaboutastudentsethnicitycouldresultinaninadequateunderstandingofthechild.

DuringmyimmersionexperienceattheMangere
RefugeeCentre,Isawmanyexamplesofteaching
withthestudentsethnicitiesbeingmodelled.Inthe
class,therewereasmanyasfivedifferent
ethnicities,allwithdifferentdialects.Asseeninthe
picturetotheright,theteachersusedeachofthe
languagestoengageandincludetheirstudents.For
example,Iobservedtheteacherusingapuppet

showtoteachthegreetingsfromeachoftheirethnicities.Thechildrenweretoallrepeatthe
greetingsafterthepuppets.Throughdoingthis,thechildrenwerehearingtheirownlanguage
beingspokenwhichnotonlybuiltagenuineconnectionwiththeteacherandoneanother,butit
alsocommunicatedtothestudentsthattheyhadbeenrecognised,understood,andaccepted.By
establishingthiscultureinthefirstweekofschool,thechildrenweremorelikelytohavea
meaningfulexperiencefortherestoftheirtimeatthisschool(Whyte,2012).Alloftheteachersat
therefugeecentreare,naturally,wellpreparedforteachingchildrenfromotherculturesand
especiallythosewhomarrivewithlittleornoenglish.Therealchallengearisesinthemainstream
classwherechildrenfromaminoritygroupareoftenoverlooked(Macfarlane,Glynn,Cavanagh&
Bateman,2007).

Mychallengeasaclassroomteacherinmainstreameducationistoavoidoverlookingthechildren
thathaveauniquestorytocontributetotheclassroomculturethroughtheirdiversity.Itisessential
thatIweaveachildsethnicityintomyclassroomcurriculum.Bydoingthis,thechildrenaretreated
withequalityanddignitywhichultimatelycommunicateslove.Equality,dignity,andloveareall
requiredbyNewZealandlaw,theNewZealandCurriculum,andgoverningscripturefromthebible
(Mark12:31Matthew18:5MinistryofEducation,2007MinistryofJustice,n.d.).Totrulynurture
thebesteducationforthediversechildreninmyfutureclassroom,itisessentialthateachethnicity
isacknowledged,treasured,andexplicitlywovenintothecultureandthecurriculumofthe
classroom.Thiskindofnurturecanbereferredtoasculturallyresponsiveteaching.Theteacheras
gardenerisametaphorwhichcanbeusedtodescribethisapproachtoteachingdiversestudents.

Teacherasgardener

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10205845962537492&set=a.10203035064546799.1073741833.1510692186&type=3&theater

Theteacherasgardenercanbeusedasametaphortodescribetheculturallyresponsiveteacher.
Justasagardenertendstoandnurturesallkindsofseeds,ateacherwillnurtureeachoftheir
pupils.Whenaseedisplanted,thegardenerputsitscareintothegrowthprocesswiththeprimary
purposeofseeingitgrowintoaseedlingthatwilleventuallyproducefruitorflower.Thereisan
expectationthateveryseedwillproducesomethingvaluableandthegardenerwillspendtime
investingintotheseedinordertomakethishappen.Thegardenerwillusetheirknowledgeofthe
varietyofseedtheyhaveplantedtodecidewheretoplantit,howmuchwatertofeedit,what
nutrientsitwillneed,andwhenitisreadytopick.Inthesameway,theculturallyresponsive
teacherwillexpectthatallchildrenwillsucceed,nomatterwhatculturetheyarefromorwhat
diverseneedstheyhave.Inordertoseeeachstudentsucceed,theteacherlearnsabouttheir
studentsindividualneedsandthennurturesthemaccordingtowhattheyhavelearned.The
culturallyresponsiveteacherinputstothediversestudentslearningdaily,fortheirlearning
dependsondailystimulationtobesuccessful.Scripturesuggeststhatthosewhocarefullytendto
theirfieldswillreapanabundanceofproduce(Ecclesiastes5:9Proverbs28:19).Soitisthesame
withtheteacherwhotendsdailytotheuniqueanddiverseneedsofthechildren.Thiscanbedone
byusingtheappropriateresources,asdiscussedbelow.

Teacherasthebaker

http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/660/media/images/58286000/jpg/_58286375_cooking_large.jpg

Theteacherasbakercanbeusedasametaphortodescribetheculturallyresponsiveeducator.In
baking,eachutensilservesadifferentpurpose,thereforethebakerneedstohaveknowledgeof
eachutensilinordertouseitappropriately.Theyalsorequireknowledgeoftheirrecipeinorderto
havethetoolstheyrequiretocompletethebaking.Inasimilarway,theculturallyresponsive
teachertakesthetimetolearnabouttheirstudents,andtobecomefamiliarwiththeirneeds.Heor
shethencarefullyselectstheappropriateresourcesandstrategiestouseinordertomeetthe
needsofeachstudent.Tohavetheincorrectutensilinbakingorcookingmaydothesamejobbut

itwillbetimeconsuminganditwillproduceasubstandardresultattheend.Forexample,usinga
knifetomashpotatoeswouldstillresultinthepotatoesbeingbrokenupsmaller,butitwilltake
muchlongertomashit.Theywillstillhavealumpyconsistencywhenfinallyserved.Thesamecan
besaidintheclassroomforthelearningofchildrenfromdiversecultures.Iftheincorrectstrategy
orresourceisused,thechildislikelytoprogressmuchslower,andtheendresultmaystillbe
belowstandard.Alternatively,usingthecorrectstrategiesandresourcesinteachingissaidto
increasethemotivation,successandbeliefofselfforthestudentsfromdiversecultures(Van
Brummelen,2009).Adifferentutensilwillberequiredforeachtaskinthebaking,aspertheneed.
Theculturallyresponsiveteacherwillneedtouseadifferentstrategyofteachingforeachstudent,
thereforetheculturallyresponsiveteacherteachesstudentsfairlybutnotthesame(Van
Brummelen,2009,p.214).

Teacherasartist

Allculturalidentitiescometogethertoformamasterpiece.Theteacherastheartististhefinal
metaphorusedtodescribeculturallyresponsiveteaching.Theartisttakesablankcanvasandis
skillfulinusingavarietyofcoloursandtexturesthat,ontheirown,arerathersimple.Asthecolours
andtexturesarepulledtogether,theartistformsamasterpiece.Theendresulthasfarmore
meaningandpurposethantheblankcanvasandtubesofpaintinthebeginning.Theculturally
responsiveteacheracknowledgesthateachstudentbringshisorherownuniquegiftsandtalents
thatcantrulyenrichthecultureoftheclassroomwhentheyaredrawnout(VanBrummelen,2009).
Thismethodofteachinggoesbeyondsimplydemonstratingculturallyappropriatebehaviours
(Gibbs,2006,p.8).Rather,itistheviewthatisprimarilydrivenfromknowingthestudents,and

encouragingthemtobetruetowhotheyareasindividuals.Thismeansinvitingthemtoshare
openlyabouttheirhomecountry,languageandtraditionstoenrichtheclassroomculture.

ThepictureaboveisofacollaborativeartpiecewhichmycolleaguesandIcoordinatedforthe
studentsattherefugeecentre.Eachchildtracedaroundtheirownhandandthendecorateditin
theirownway.Oncetheyhadallfinished,wegluedthehandsintheformationofabeautifulflower.
Eachhandrepresentsoneindividualandtheiruniqueness.However,thesignificanceiscreated
whentheyareallcollectedtogetherandcarefullyarrangedinaspecialway.Here,awholenew
meaningiscreated,onethatcouldneverhavetakenplaceindividually.Thechildrenintherefugee
centrehaveallcomefromdifferentbackgroundsandeachhaveauniquestorytotell,butthey
haveallarrivedinNewZealandtogethertobeginabeautifulnewlife.

Insummary,anenrichingimmersionexperienceattheMangereRefugeeCentreenabledmetonot
onlyobserve,butalsopracticemyselfwhatitmeanstobeaculturallyresponsiveeducator.Here,I
waschallengedandinspiredinanticipationofthediversestudentsinmyfutureclassroom.The
journeyofknowingmyselfmustcomefirst,forifIknowmyselfthenIcantrulyknowmystudents
andweavetheirculturesintomyclassroomcurriculum.Ihavealsobeenenrichedbytheprocess
ofarticulatingthreemetaphorswhichdescribetheculturallyresponsiveteacherthatIstrivetobe.

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