ECE405: Children & Families in a Diverse Society
Instructor: Amy Stone
March 12, 2012
Culture is a way of describing the combination of the various groups to which one belongs- racial, ethnic, religious, and social, among others. It is important that teachers understand how greatly culture affects their students. Culture also shapes the nature of today's classrooms. Though many cultures share particular attributes and values, it is important to remember that major differences exist between and within them (Cultural and Linguistic Differences: What Teachers Should Know).
Culture is a very important factor for all of the students in the classroom, but it is particularly important for a teacher that has students who come from other cultures within the United States, and even other countries outside of the United States. One of the difficulties immigrants have in adjusting to new life arises due to stereotypes and preconceptions. As a result, feeling out-of-place is common and it is something which should be anticipated as normal and likely for a while.
Maria is a 4th grade student originally from Mexico, and her culture is different from the culture of Mr. Bennett and the school. For example, she is use to speaking Spanish where Mr. Bennett is use to English. He states that she is not making it academically. According to the video, Mr. Bennett has tried several ways to get through to Maria and her parents but has not accomplished anything. Some strategies I think that Mr. Bennett should use to help with Maria's academic success includes: recognizing and understanding the cultural differences among the students, use visual aids or hands-on experiences when doing work, and use of a translator to help with the communication.
In conclusion, recognizing culture in the classroom is not just about sharing ethnic foods and holidays with students. Rather, it is about embracing differences in...