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Rose Moore

ED 258
March 18th 2018

I will mention a few of the educators we have been lucky to learn from this week, how

we must appreciate their practice of appreciating the cultures, values and histories their students

bring to the classroom and how they encourage them to apply this information to their work.

Supporting our students personal opinions on the information they are presented with and giving

them opportunities to apply it in a positive and deep way is really the only way to make these

lessons stick with them! Definitions of culturally competent teaching vary depending on the

group of students you are teaching; the same strategies can be taken to incorporate their personal

experience into our curriculum but the curriculum must be tailored for them as well! We see this

tailoring done by these amazing educators and I am so excited to bring this philosophy into my


Peterson approach to being an effective multicultural education is always trying to

integrate our students personal experiences into the classroom. He rejects the idea of students as

empty vessels and truly values the history they bring to the classroom. He encourages them to

ask questions and to find the answers, to discuss issues in terms of how they can relate and

understand someone's struggle. This is an important practice to empower our students and to

hone their critical thinking skills. Doing activities in the classroom that students can relate to and

even get passionate about is a rewarding experience for all.

Christiansen does this while teaching her students how to write; she gives them open

ended assignments where they have the power to choose where their writing goes. She
emphasizes how grading a paper is not enough, we must go deeper in order to have our students

appreciate their writing and grow from it. Her multicultural strength is truly caring about the

quality of her students work on the basis of how the portrayed a personal aspect of their life, not

just their proper use of grammar.

Gorski takes a reformative approach, one that involves truly looking at what biases or

assumptions we bring to the classroom and how to realize the importance of leaving them

behind. Challenging ourselves is necessary and directly relates to Gorski's belief that we are

always students. Though we are teaching our students, we cannot ignore the opportunities they

have to teach us! Whether it be about their personal culture, our biases that may come out

towards that culture or about the personal experiences of their family in and outside of this

country, we should be taking the opportunity to gain new perspective from these things, not just

assume that as “teachers”, our perspective is the only one to learn from.

Bigelow gives students a chance to represent their community in role play, using the

same strategy of making a lesson relatable to students by facilitating personal involvement. This

helps us teach a lesson in a way that sticks with a student. I believe all of these educators are

rejecting a “surface level” curriculum, they want their students to more from a lesson than facts

about events that they cannot necessarily relate to.

For an educator to be culturally competent it is OK for them to be fluctuating through the

stages of the DMIS, as we all are, but it is preferable for them to at least be fluctuating through

the ethnorelative stages. I realize I am still in the acceptance and adaptation stages of the DMIS,

for when I read Kohls article last week I found myself very adamant about some of these values

being the “right” values as well as heavily identifying as an individual, something that is intrinsic

in my culture and stops me from reaching the integration stage of the DMIS! Dealing with
difference is not difficult for me outwardly, but it can be a struggle inside. I am at a point in my

multicultural attitude where I feel it is very important to acknowledge different cultural values

and align myself with them in order to understand, but I still want to put my cultural value on top

of that one when I do not agree with it. This is not the approach to take and I must keep catching

myself in this act in order to get closer to the integration stage and truly understand and

appreciate different ways of life for what they are, instead of only my opinion on them.

The issue I want to keep learning about and eventually address in my classroom is

actually the same as it was last term in ED 259; gender and sexual identity. I have been learning

so much about the trans-identity in these classes and in my community and I want it to be

something that is normalized for young students, as well as other aspect of this category like

same sex parents, feelings of homosexuality and the gay community in general. Historic and

recent oppression of this community has left deep scars in our society that determine the attitudes

towards members of it, this can only be ameliorated by positive education that normalizes this

way of life. Un-teaching lessons of homophobia and mistrust of certain groups in general is very

difficult; I still experience an inner battle with myself about it. Taking a positive approach that

this attitude can be changed through education and activism is the best way to go. I am looking

forward to addressing this issue in my future classrooms and am curious what the atmosphere

around it will be by the time I get there!

We’ve learned about the various stages of multicultural education classroom that a school

falls into, the first step definitely being the incorporation of varied heroes and holidays,

specifically those that have been underrepresented in the mainstream curriculum. These teachers

are taking the next step in big ways; facilitating personal involvement and interest in these new

heroes and holidays and finally being given a chance to discuss some that come from their
culture or community. To me, this is the most important part of being a multicultural educator,

giving our students a voice. Whether it be about something they already relate to personally, or

found a way to relate to personally though research and critical thinking facilitated by us, the

multicultural educators!

Thank you for a wonderful term!