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EDUP3073 Culture and Learning

The term multicultural society means a situation where a there exists people from
different culture background and ethnics living in a society (edglossary, 2013). In a mainstream
classroom setting, a multicultural society exists when the pupils in the class are from different
cultural backgrounds, ethnics and also races. In a mainstream classroom, a culturally friendly
classroom is set by the teacher in order to make sure that the teaching and learning session
carried out in the classroom is culturally friendly. In addition to that, this also means that the
classroom setting is not triggering any culturally sensitive issues that might offend the
multicultural background of the pupils in the classroom (Amany, Densmore-James, &
Macfarlane, 2013).

As an educator, in order for a teacher to device a teaching and learning session in a

multicultural mainstream classroom, a culturally relevant pedagogy must be taken into
consideration. Culturally relevant pedagogy utilizes multiple teaching and learning strategies
in order to make the session more meaningful to the pupils. In addition to that, it also stresses
on knowledge, basic skills as well as moral values integration (Ladson, 1995). This will help
the pupils in their holistic development suitable to their cultural background. In the context of
sociology, the concept of culture is said as the norm or the way of life inherited from one
generation to another. Due to this, it is the teacher’s responsibility to fulfil the pupil’s needs
without being a prejudice to the different cultural background of the pupils. Moreover, this is
also relevant to the concept of cultural modal where one are referred to be practicing a certain
culture when one inherits the cultural values from their family, the society and also the school.
Due to this, one’s achievement or level of proficiency in school are closely related to the
cultural background of their parents. Due to this, a teacher must utilize the suitable techniques
or strategies according to the pupil’s cultural background as well as the state of the classroom
society (Keirns & Strayer, 2013).

One of the culturally relevant pedagogy that a teacher can use in order to create a
culturally friendly classroom is by utilizing the cooperative approach. Using this approach, the
teacher will benefit from the small group created by the pupils in order for them to achieve a
similar goal. This also means that the teacher will benefit from the naturally forming groups
among the pupils from the process of them finding a peer that can help them to achieve the
same goal or to solve the same problem (Ladson, 1995). In this situation, the pupils will
maximize their learning process by being a learner and also an educator in the group at the
same time through the process of sharing and also listening. Why is this method relevant to
the culturally relevant classroom that the teacher are trying to set? This is because pupils are
different from each other, both culturally and also proficiency level. By utilizing this method,
teacher can help pupils to benefit from a multitude of learning context and styles through the
process of discussion among themselves. In addition to that, the pupils will also develop

EDUP3073 Culture and Learning

interdependency among themselves as they are trying to achieve goals set by the teacher for
them. However at the same time, they are also benefiting from the process of sharing life skills
and also interpersonal ability among themselves. What this means is through the setting of
same goals, the pupils can share among themselves, various attributes and at the same time
self-teaching themselves using the shared attributes.

One way a teacher can utilize this method is by manually mixing pupils that have
different abilities, levels and also culture. After that, the teacher can present to them a goal or
a problem that they must solve together as a team but will be individually marked. This method
is called the Teams-Achievement/Division technique. After doing that, the teacher will then
provide a solution for the pupils and they will manually check their work and do amendments
where possible. This will give the pupils the pupils a chance to both discuss in a group, give
arguments and also judgement while at the same time work on their individual development
by manually checking their own answer. This method is suitable to be carried out in a culturally
friendly classroom as it promotes the sense of unity among the pupils. In addition to that, the
pupils will get to interact with their peers for help in terms of ideas or arguments strengthening
the concept or peer-to-peer learning method in the classroom. This will indirectly help the
pupils in developing their skills in intercultural relationship with their peers thus planting a
sense of respect among the pupils (Ismail, 2013).

Other than that, one other method that the teacher can utilize in a culturally friendly
classroom is called the jigsaw technique. This activity is suitable as it promotes unity among
the pupils. This activity works in a way where the teacher will break down a problem into
different parts. After that, the teacher will then give one part of the problem to each and every
pupil in the classroom (Fazidah, Rahaya, & Juhaida, 2014). After that, the teacher will then
continue with the usual teaching and learning session. In the end of the session, the teacher
will then have the pupils to present their part of the problem to the rest of the class. This will
help the class to get a bigger picture of the problem and also at the same time figure out the
solution. This method is very effective as it give the pupils the chance to both work individually
and also as a team. This activity helps in promoting a culturally friendly classroom because it
help the student to develop both their interpersonal as well as their intrapersonal skills in
solving problems (Fazidah, Rahaya, & Juhaida, 2014). In addition to that, this will also help
the pupils develop as a team in the class. This is because this activity will give them the feeling
of needing in each other as they slowly complete the task provided to them by the teacher.

In conclusion, a culturally friendly classroom setting is a situation where the society

created in the class are sensitive to the cultural differences among themselves. This will make
them more aware of their actions as well as their thoughts. As pupils in a mainstream

EDUP3073 Culture and Learning

classroom, they will not only learn new things during school time but they will also learn about
unity and also moral values related to cultural differences (Amany, Densmore-James, &
Macfarlane, 2013). The cooperative approach really emphasizes on the benefits of working
as a team. Both the Teams-Achievement/Division and the Jigsaw technique help the teacher
to create a culturally friendly classroom among the mainstream pupils in the class. This is
because the activities focuses on the value of working as a team as well as the pupil’s
interpersonal and intrapersonal development. This in return will help the pupils to understand
more about the differences among themselves and at the end of the day, learn to both accept
and respect the differences that they have learned (Ladson, 1995).


Amany, H., Densmore-James, S., & Macfarlane, S. (2013). A Culture of Care. The Role of
Culture in Today's Mainstream Classrooms, 171-180.

edglossary. (2013, August 29). Multicultural Education. Retrieved from The Glossary of
Education Reform:

Fazidah, A., Rahaya, Y., & Juhaida, Z. (2014). Pedagogi Relevan Budaya dan Kepelbagaian
Kelompok. Kuala Lumpur: LinkedIn.

Ismail, S. (2013). Konsep Pedagogi Relevan Budaya. Kuala Lumpur: Scribd.

Keirns, N., & Strayer, E. (2013). Introduction to Sociology. Houston: Rice University.

Ladson, G. (1995). Toward a Theory of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy. New York: American
Educational Research Journal.