Honoring Diversity Development

H1 – Honor student diversity and development.

Teacher candidates plan and/or adapt learner-centered curricula that engage students in a variety of culturally responsive, developmentally, and age appropriate strategies.

The ability for a student to succeed in a diverse environment is a success beyond measure. Students should be exposed to a curriculum that entails content they would not learn anywhere else. In my 2nd grade classroom, our students learned about Chinese New Year’s and all of its traditions and celebrations in its full affect. There was at least one lesson taught a day in a week worth of material covering the history, facts, and festivities that the holidays contain. Our students read books about children like them celebrating the holiday along with arts and crafts activities and readings pertaining to each celebration (of the many that are carried out). One way our class fully engaged in the holiday celebrations was when my mentor teachers and I gave students “red money” envelopes containing “money” earned in class. Students earn “money” through participation, completeness of work, and other random acts that are award worthy. It is a tradition for children to receive money from adults during the Chinese New Years. In the end, our students learned more about Chinese culture as a whole and the way celebrations are carried out during New Year’s. As evidence, I have attached a picture of the “red money” envelopes (front and back) our students received%22Red Money%22 Envelopes%22Red Money%22 envelopes back

and the crafts that were produced during the weeklong learning and celebration of the holidayChinese New Year's class crafts.

In the changed national, regional, and global contexts, the concept of culturally appropriate education is drawing much more attention of educators in curricular reforms across the nation. Curriculums should contain content that raises awareness of the positive value of cultural diversity and be able to promote a realistic and positive inclusion of history, culture, language, and identity. In “Culturally Appropriate Education Theoretical and Practical Implications,” Navin Kumar Singh highlights two key tasks for educators to consider when choosing a curricula: 1) deciding elements that are likely to affect education and schooling and 2) culturally appropriate pedagogy that focuses on educational competence in the global context as key to understanding learner centered-curricula. Kumar’s key points uniforms elements that were kept in mind when planning the weeklong lessons covering Chinese New Years. In order for the knowledge to fully sink into the student’s brain, it was important that 1) students experienced what they were learning and 2) understand the cultural concept behind the lessons (Singh).

By teaching our students about traditions of a holiday celebrated in a world different from theirs, they gain knowledge, respect, and awareness of the holiday. These gained insights will allow students to be culturally responsive in a diverse setting. Cultures and traditions are constantly mixing. It is important students are exposed to those different from their own. In the future, I would incorporate more celebrations of traditions as they are learned in class and less of the arts and crafts.

References:

Reyhmer, Jon. Gilbert, Willard Sekiestew. Lockard, Luise. Sing, Navin Kumar. (2011). Honoring Our Heritage: Culturally Appropriate Approaches for Teaching Indigenous Students. Culturally Appropriate Education Theoretical and Practical Implications. Arizona. Northern Arizona University. Retrieved February 26, 2015.<http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/jar/HOH/HOH-2.pdf>.

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