Volume 5 (2010), Number 2
Table of Contents
Latino Students' Cultural Models and Identitis in Their Peer Interaction in a U.S. High School
This study explores the narratives of some Latino high school students in order to capture their cultural models of peer interaction and the identities they enact from their perspectives. Academic success depends on good teaching as well as on good peer support. Latino students' peer interaction with other Latino students differs from that which they have with non-Latino students. They have both social and academic interaction with Latino peers and mostly academic interaction with non-Latino peers. Latino students work around the language and cultural barriers they face by seeking the assistance of their non-Latino peers who have a command of English and who are familiar with the educational system. At the same time, Latino students experience negative stereotypes from some of their non-Latino peers and from some teachers who are influenced by cultural deficit theory. Educators should be more informed of Latino students' socio-cultural experiences and design activities in the curriculum that would connect with them. In addition, peer support groups should be formed with non-Latino students to familiarize Latino students with the discourse of the school and to enrich non-Latino students' knowledge of Latino culture.
How Comprehensive Is Multicultural Education? A Case for LGBT Inclusion
Warren J. Blumenfeld, Ed.D.
Iowa State University
Within the discipline of Multicultural Education, discussions, often heated, are currently underway regarding the place (or non-place) of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and heterosexism/homophobia/biphobia/transphobia issues. While some educators, organizations, and textbook writers and editors expand the concept of multiculturalism to encompass LGBT issues under their mantle, others are more exclusive. The author enumerates and refutes the major arguments often used to restrict inclusion of LGBT issues within the rubric of multiculturalism.
Dynamic Assessment: An Alternative Approach for Assessing Diverse Learners
Standardized or static testing traditionally reflects students' misunderstanding of instructions more than their abilities to perform a task. Disillusionment with traditional assessment has led to an examination of alternative assessment procedures that are accurate and appropriate in evaluating diverse populations' learning. The purpose of this literature review is to address how to determine the effect of dynamic assessment (DA) on the identification of students from diverse backgrounds. Through a review of the use of DA, this alternative assessment procedure of testing the limits and pre-to-posttest measurement procedures appears to facilitate accurate classification of academic achievement of culturally and linguistically diverse learners. Implications of using DA as a means of identifying appropriate instruction and intervention will be discussed.
Key Words: Dynamic Assessment, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Special Education, Alternative Approach
An Investigation of the Educational Trends and Recommendations for Curbing the Dropout Rates among Hispanic Students in the United States
This paper intends to present the current and growing concern for the education gap and the inequality in education that exists for the Hispanic population. It will illustrate the disparities between Latinos and other populations in their attainment of high school diplomas and the pursuit of higher education. A review of the literature will shed light on why such inequalities exist and what intervention programs that support first generation Hispanic aspirants to higher education are already in place. Recommendations made to high schools for the purpose of lowering dropout rates will be examined. This investigation will look at current best practices and the benefits and successes of such practices. While intervention programs have been developed and results attained their effectiveness has been inhibited due to lack of funding until recently. A successful literacy program established for the Latino population will be considered. Finally, this paper will present the recommendations of two Latina women who work directly with young Latinas (girls) supporting them in setting goals and pursuing higher education. The women interviewed and the Latinas focused on for this study are not first generation immigrants.
Key Words: Latino drop-out rates; Educational equity; Recommendations
An Investigation of Prospective Teachers on Dimensions of Diversity: Implications for Teacher Preparation Programs
David P. Fuller
Macon State College
North Carolina Central University
In this study, the authors investigated the impact of a Cultural Self-Analysis (CSA) Project utilizing reflections of preservice teachers self-awareness of the importance of their knowledge and understanding of the dimensions of diversity and the how the differences may impact working with families, and all students, particularly those who are culturally and linguistically diverse and those with exceptionalities. Dimensions of diversity encompass differences such as ethnicity, gender, religion, socio-ethnic background, values, beliefs, or self-identified characteristics. Findings indicate participants reported an increased cultural self-awareness after completing the project. They became more aware of their beliefs, culture, and biases in the context of various dimensions of diversity. Findings provide a blue print of how to conduct a candidate self-analysis of the knowledge and understanding of the dimensions of diversity. In addition, the findings are discussed in the context of use self-analysis and awareness approach as an essential for preparing culturally responsive practitioners who are able to relate effectively to the changing diverse school population.
Key Words: dimensions of diversity, preservice teachers; teacher preparation, cultural self-analysis, multicultural education, cultural responsive practices
What Influence the Development of Multicultural Teaching Competencies?
The purpose of this study was to determine factors that influence preservice teachers' perceived multicultural teaching competencies. Participants were 184 preservice teachers of a large urban university in the United States. A questionnaire, Self Assessment Questionnaire: Multicultural Teaching Competencies, was developed to assess multicultural teaching competencies in three areas'knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Seniors' perceived multicultural teaching competencies were higher than those of lower class standing. Volunteer experiences in inner-city programs had relationships with preservice teachers' perceived multicultural teaching competencies in skills and disposition domains, but not in knowledge. Similarly, the more personal experience preservice teachers had with racial diversity, the higher the competency scores in all three domains. However, participants' race was related to the competency only in disposition. Multicultural courses did not have relationships with multicultural teaching competencies in all three domains. The importance of assessing and monitoring professional development of multicultural teaching competencies through periodic assessments during teacher education program was discussed.
Key Words: multicultural education; cultural diversity; teacher education; knowledge, skills, and dispositions
Cultural Competence: Laying the Foundation for Education and Leadership
Latessa M. Johnson, EdS
Leadership 101, LLC
During the latter half of the 20th century until recently, urban school leaders in the United States face a plethora of cultural challenges-political, economic, and pedagogical. This systemic metamorphosis is said to resemble highly centralized and bureaucratic organizational structures, outdated and irrelevant curriculum materials, and changing racial and ethnic demographics. To that end, education leadership failed to evolve at the same pace as these cultural changes. Subsequently, there is a need to hire, support, develop and promote culturally competent leaders in school districts and college campuses throughout the nation.
What Will It Take: A Conversation to Explore the Needs of Hispanic Students in an Anglo Education System
This study explored how relationships with school personnel, from the perspective of a group of Spanish-speaking students, affected their attitudes and insights about education. Eight Hispanic high school students in a semi-rural predominantly white lower middle-class school district participated in a qualitative research projected guided by a Care Theory framework. Participants were asked questions in English and in Spanish about their educational experiences, specifically their relationships with teachers and educational support resources, educational opportunities, and degree of cultural awareness at school. Interviews were audio-recorded and later transcribed. The a priori assumption for this study was that Hispanic students would express negative attitudes toward education when teachers and other school personnel appear uncaring or when they lack knowledge about the students, their cultures and identities. Major findings were that while the participants felt that school staff did not understand their cultures, they still experienced caring relationships with some school staff.
Keywords: Hispanic, Care Theory, Relationships, Engagement
A Preliminary Investigation of Factors that Promote the Development of Racial Justice Allies in Education
This study investigated the willingness of 234 pre-service teachers and school counselors in-training to become racial justice allies in educational settings as measured by the Racial Justice Ally Questionnaire (RJAQ) (Packer, 2007). The relationship among willingness to become a racial justice ally, ethnic identity, conflict-management style, and generalized self-efficacy was examined. The impact of being a student in a training program that has a diversity mission statement, sponsors programs or activities that address issues of multicultural diversity, and offers additional coursework in multicultural diversity training beyond required courses on students' willingness to become racial justice allies was also explored. Findings reveal significant positive relationships between one's conflict-management style, participating in additional coursework, specifically an anti-racism education course, and one's willingness to become a racial justice ally. Implications for training future educators and school counselors are discussed.
Improving Multicultural Education through the Synthesis of Multiple Educational Strategies
Pai Chai University
This paper analyzes problems with past and contemporary curricula designed to provide equal opportunity to diverse learners. Although these strategies for equal education are not intrinsically ineffective, they have had a limited impact in the United States. This is because educators have not yet developed a framework that synergistically integrates the strengths of multiple educational strategies. Most attempts to improve education are implemented through piecemeal approaches, rather than holistic designs. Through the analysis of past and contemporary problems of education for diverse learners, a more effective means of providing multicultural education has been construed based upon curricula, teachers, and the instructional process.
Teaching and Learning About Arab Americans
Julie Anne Taylor
University of Michigan-Dearborn
Over one million Arab Americans live in the United States, yet many students lack an understanding of Arab American history and cultures. With a population that is over 30% Arab American, the city of Dearborn, Michigan is one of the centers of the nation's Arab American population. In Dearborn, the Arab American National Museum is leading educational efforts to promote cultural understanding. This study suggests that the educational staff at the museum is effectively teaching elementary and middle school students about history, culture, world religions, and geography by using varied approaches, including the analysis of artifacts, art, calligraphy, and maps. The diversified instruction offered at the museum is addressing a demand on the part of educators for resources on Arab Americans and for cross-cultural communication.
Key words: Arab Americans, museum education, Dearborn
Training Culturally Competent Counselor Supervisees Considering their Developmental Levels
Wayne State University
Wayne State University
Wayne State University
The United States' population is diversifying and minorities are likely to become the majorities of the future. Therefore, it is essential to address multicultural issues in supervision. Multicultural competence refers to individual' knowledge, skills and awareness about different cultures and the impact of culture on mental health complaints (Sue & Sue, 2008; Sue & Sue, 2003). Supervision refers to intervention of a more experienced professional to a less experienced member or group members. This article discusses facilitating cultural competence in supervisee through individual supervision. Implications are discussed.