Chapter 3: Culturally Sensitive Instruction

Do not expect students and parents to adjust to the needs and expectations of the school and dominant culture. Teachers must build bridges between the cultures of home and school. 4 Important Features to Providing this Instructional Approach  Capitalize on student·s strengths, view the cultural ways of learning as resource to be used  Diversify instruction in response to students· interests, personalities, and abilities  Adhere to the ´principle of least changeµ which suggests that a minimum number of changes need to be made in order to produce desirable learning effects. (Don·t make the classroom that child·s culture but find a mutual accommodation)  Maintain high expectations and high standards for ALL students regardless of culture (KEEP) Kamehameha Early Education Project  Found students in Hawaii were performing low on assessments  Observed learning in school and homes  Found that children learned chores, roles and traditions from peer models.  Changed instruction to be more cooperative and teacher-independent group oriented  Dramatic achievement gains in 4 years of implementation Tips of Implementation Continue to teach using child·s strengths but also attempt new and encourage new skills to keep a balance in the classroom. Alternate on a day-to-day basis, classroom time between mainstream and culturally sensitive modes of teaching. Ensure that teaching standard English does not hinder the teaching of other content areas. Instructional changes are kept small, within the capabilities of the teacher. Be cautious when identifying and using cultural traits for instruction. Do not give undue emphasis on cultural differences as this may make the child feel singled out.

Chapter 4: Culturally Sensitive Classrooms
When teachers and students share similar culture and linguistic backgrounds, making connections is easier. All teachers should work to make a connection. Having these connections does not define an effective teacher. A culturally responsive teacher does not become an expert at all cultures, but has an understanding of the basic beliefs, values, traditions and norms the diverse group holds.

such as asking students to summarize points previously made  Shorten the length of segments of teacher talk  Using strategies that are student focused and active (small group tasks. role playing. and correct their own rules of classroom discourse  Honoring students· natural learning styles and ways of learning as much as possible  Selecting two classroom monitors and allowing them to work cooperatively  Allow students to help each other with vocabulary  Allow students to work in small groups to ´previewµ homework assignments. the challenges for teachers is to modify instruction so that learning can take place in the most effective way What Can Teachers Do  Focus on the ´whatµ and ´howµ  Extended wait time and changing take-turn rules to honor participation styles  Using alternative cues to indicate attending behaviors. dramatic readings. and cooperative learning)  Provide opportunities for students to establish.Questions to consider  Is culture the primary variable that influences learning styles of students of color? Are there other significant variables?  Do characteristics of the cultural group apply uniformly to individual members of the group?  What is the relationship between teachers· instructional methods and students· learning styles?  Should students of color always be taught using their preferred learning style? Once identifying cultural differences. monitor. not how it is delivered . discussing possible strategies for problems and assuring all understand the assignment  Use choral reading as well as independent reading  Share clean up of the whole room at once instead of certain groups cleaning up certain areas before starting a new activity  Allow ´jointµ ownership of classroom supplies instead of each student having their own set of supplies  Simplify directions given so each student can understand what is expected of them  Do not comment on the linguistic construction but expand by giving feedback  Accept students· answers in any language  Focus on the content of the response. simulations. manage.

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