Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Week 11 - Equity

1.         One incident that I have seen in the classroom was a definite difference between the abilities of some of the students. Even though they are only in kindergarten, the ability levels between students is sometimes a very large gap. In one instance that I noticed in particular, the teacher was reading a book and sometimes she would pause and ask the students questions, to make sure they were actually comprehending the reading. Sometimes she would ask them about a certain word and then have the students think of other words that rhyme with it. She would then call on various students who were raising their hands, and occasionally call on students who hadn't answered yet. Some of the students had no issues with rhyming and finding new words, whereas others struggled to even find simple rhyming words, such as cat and hat. The levels that each student are at differ incredibly in certain areas.

         This issue can definitely affect the motivation of the students. The teacher needs to make sure that they avoid evaluative praise, because this can affect the motivation of those students that are at a lower level than some of their peers. They want to avoid showing favoritism to students who do well. It causes the other students to question their abilities and may make a student develop a performance avoidance behavior. It may also cause those students being praised for having the answers right to develop a performance-approach behavior. The teacher must do their best to reduce the competitiveness of the activity, and use different types of praise to benefit all of the students.

2.       Delpit believes that one way to combat educational equity is to realize that many parents just want their students to be able to have success in larger societies, not just whatever the culture of power is. Teachers shouldn't be teaching students how to exist in  white culture, but should know how to succeed in any type of culture and environment. This means that they need to teach children content from all areas, and from all different types of cultures, not just the dominant cultures in that area. Teachers also need to realize that not one teaching approach will work for all students, and that they need to listen to their students and respond to them in order to give them the best education possible.

        Gay makes the suggestion that we should create culturally relevant curricula by first developing culturally diverse knowledge bases. Once a teacher has that knowledge, they can create formal plans, symbolic curriculum, and societal curriculum. Formal plans are usually lessons that are based off of the standards, and teachers can make changes to their lesson plans to create a more diverse lesson. It is ok to teach about various controversies that are generally avoided in classroom settings. Symbolic curriculum are when images, icons, symbols, and other similar modes are used to teach knowledge, morals, skills, and values. To create culturally relevant curriculum, teachers should use these symbols to educate their students. One example would be showing authority in the symbols of both men and women, of all cultural identities. Teachers should also create culturally relevant lessons through what is known as societal curriculum. Societal curriculum is how mass media portrays ethnic groups and the knowledge and impressions people gain from this. Culturally relevant teachers will attempt to reverse what popular culture has taught and show students critical analyses of different cultures and ethnic groups to educate their students.

1 comment:

  1. The part that caught my attention was the part about symbolic curriculum. I like that you used the symbols to educate the students culturally. When I was younger, almost all the picture books had white characters. There were no black or Latino's at all. My first thought was disgust because looking back on it we were not being culturally and ethnicly educated. However, one of my professors told us a story about how she raises her daughter. My professor is African American and while studying race in the class she told us that she only buys storybooks with black characters as well as only buys her daughter black skinned dolls. After school one day, though, her daughter asked her why all the characters in the books at school are white. This is why teachers should incorporate culture and ethnicity in the classroom. The students need to feel that they belong, instead of being segregated or put into a different category. I think by knowing the different types and backgrounds of the students in the class, the teacher can create appropriate curriculum with cultural symbols to educate and benefit the students.


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