Cultural Understanding Is Love Expressed Through Spotlighting Its Art
Solving classroom cultural issues are often mistaken for a need to understand race matters. Race does matter in being able to better understand your students, but does not fully help in understanding culture. Race and culture are connected, but can point in different directions, wrapping around an experience at one end and joining back together on the other side.
Embracing a student’s culture helps them to embrace learning.
Back in undergrad I remember reading a professor’s research article that was inspired by her son’s experience as an elementary student. This little boy, we’ll call Tommy, stormed out of school and walked home one day following his first grade teacher’s explanation of a holiday thematic unit. Acting out in this way wasn’t unusual for the little guy as the story was told. The article depicted him having a strong personality that was often misunderstood in school.
If you can’t explain something you may not understand the person holding it?
Students bring their ethnicity with them to school every day. An effective teacher will find ways to embrace her student’s ethnicity in as much of the lesson planning as possible without losing integrity for achieving the overall mission. Tommy’s teacher accomplished that by adopting her student’s culture into classroom art design and lesson planning not just as it related to activities, but as a respect for the community’s culture.
An engaged student equals reduced classroom management issues.
The article reported her student’s curiously engaged subjects with a passion for learning new things after planning the community’s culture into the lessons. Tommy and the other students needed to be affirmed through their cultural identity. Culture looks through a set of lenses that blurs racial characteristics and brings shared beliefs into focus. Understanding culture guides effective teachers to explain concepts and ideas through the eyes of the students, from their world, where they live. Now, let learning begin.
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