Ways In Which Teachers Can Foster Culturally Responsive Classrooms
An educator is expected to appreciate and understand other people’s cultures apart from thoroughly examining his or her own culture in terms of values and beliefs. Researchers have shown that even though cultures can be different, they still have similarities in thought patterns as well as community behaviors. A teacher needs to read a lot about the different cultural values and practices and spend a reasonable amount of time making observations about the various cultural standards and practices so that they will be of help to their learners in a culturally responsive classroom.
The teacher should attain a comprehensive wealth of knowledge as a first step towards planning to help learners in a culturally responsive classroom. Educators should always be familiar to their students’ traditions, learning preferences, cultural values, relationship patterns, and communication styles so that they discharge their duties accordingly especially in a culturally sensitive classroom.
It is not enough to read about the culture of a people but time should be set aside for interaction and observation of the cultural aspects of a society so that a teacher can be ready to effectively handle students in a culturally sensitive classroom. Howevver, the books on cultural aspects of learners are valuable resources when designing learning materials and during the preparations of lesson plans. It is through a proper understanding of the learners background culture that the educator can be able to interpret the learners’ cognitive behaviors and attitudes from their standpoint of the culture in which the learners grew up. The learners’ cognitive and behavioral patterns are informed by their background culture and therefore it is important for all teachers to appreciate this fact in a culturally responsive classroom setup.
Stereotyping and over-generalization are some of the fears that some teachers have when they begin to apply the knowledge on culture to the culturally responsive classroom. In order to avoid stereotyping and over-generalization,it is important for the teacher to thoroughly examine the general cultural practices of the learners. It is through this evaluation and examination that the teacher can clearly understand how these cultural aspects are expressed in the culturally responsive classroom.
For teaching and learning to be smooth and effective in a culturally responsive classroom it is important for teachers to perceive each student’s attitudes and behaviors as an individualized and dynamic concept. An individual’s culture encompasses a sum of many aspects and as such every teacher should see each learner as an individual with his or her personality first and not as a member of a member of a group in order to avoid stereotyping.