Engaging families in culturally relevant ways - Essay Example

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Culturally relevant teachings is a term that primarily describes a pedagogy that helps to empower students both socially, intellectually, politically, and emotionally by utilizing cultural referents to impart skills, attitudes and knowledge. Taking part in culturally relevant…
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Engaging families in culturally relevant ways
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Engaging families in culturally relevant ways Culturally relevant teachings is a term that primarily describes a pedagogy that helps to empower students both socially, intellectually, politically, and emotionally by utilizing cultural referents to impart skills, attitudes and knowledge. Taking part in culturally relevant ways means that the teachers try to bridge the gap between school lives and student’s home lives, while meeting the state and district curricular requirements. Schools which adopt culturally relevant ways of teaching use the knowledge, experience and backgrounds of their students to inform the methodology and lessons of the teacher.
According to recent statistics, the United States population is increasingly becoming more ethnically diverse. However, the teaching staff is mainly made up of a white population. Teachers have to understand that a lot of their students in their classes will be made up of different ethnic, cultural, racial, social class and linguistic backgrounds that will differ from their own. Teachers must be prepared and ready to teach the heterogeneous composition of students in their various classrooms. Engaging families in culturally relevant ways was found to academically provide for the success of Latino and black American children not served by the public schools of America, the term was coined in 1992 by Gloria Ladson. However, various other socio linguists, teacher educators and anthropologists looking for ways and means to find and create links between the school and student’s home culture, stated that this type of schooling was culturally congruent, culturally appropriate, culturally compatible and culturally responsive.
After several attempts by Phelan (1991) in identifying exceptional educators in low socio economic, composed of mostly Latino and African American schools, Knight et al (2004) spent a lot of time trying to explain and observe their success with pupils who are normally pushed to their limits by the public education. He found out that most of the tutors shared a common trait; commitment and pride to their teaching professions. Additionally, all of them (teachers) believed that all students have a potential to be successful. These teachers had equitable and fluid relationships with their students. Moreover, they always attended community events so that they could showcase their support for their Latino and African American or poor students. Moll et al (1992) states that inclusive academic institutions or schools that are successful over time have a very significant commonality: they all engage student’s family members in class room and school activities which are meaningful. As such, family involvement is a vital component or element in nurturing the environment of a school to be both acceptable and full of support. Consequently, teachers have to show some form of respect for their students and comprehend the major needs for the student body to operate in both worlds of their school community and home community.
Culturally relevant pedagogy is basically imperative since it uses prior experiences, cultural knowledge, performance styles, and frames of reference of a diverse student body in order to make learning more effective and relevant. The power of Understanding and caring is the major component of engaging families in culturally relevant ways. The school administration should understand the families the students come from. For example, parents from the Latino community have low to non-existent school participation. This is simply because they have negative attitudes of the school administrations, mistrust of bureaucracies and the differences in parent expectations in their home countries and the United States. The school administration should use other means other than sending them (Parents) letters to attend school events. For example, the school administration should create interest in these populations by encouraging learning of English or literacy.
Work cited
Knight, Michelle G., et al. "The power of black and Latina/o counterstories: Urban families and college‐going processes." Anthropology & Education Quarterly 35.1 (2004): 99-120. Print.
Moll, Luis C., et al. "Funds of knowledge for teaching: Using a qualitative approach to connect homes and classrooms." Theory into practice 31.2 (1992): 132-141. Print.
Phelan, Patricia, Ann Locke Davidson, and Hanh Thanh Cao. "Students multiple worlds: Negotiating the boundaries of family, peer, and school cultures." Anthropology & Education Quarterly 22.3 (1991): 224-250.Print. Read More
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