The importance of culturally proficient teachers in the education field in america

Allyn and Bacon, c Description Book — xxxii, p.

The importance of culturally proficient teachers in the education field in america

Foreword [Page vii] Educators are called upon to teach every child, regardless of race, class, gender, disability, or other markers of difference.

This imperative has become more important in the rapidly changing contexts of U.

Culturally Proficient Schools |

No longer a monolithic society dominated by a single race, the United States is now populated with individuals from numerous races and ethnicities. So too are schools in every context—urban, rural, and suburban. Thus, race and culture have increasingly become a central focus in the education of children in U.

The increased diversity in schools raises numerous questions about how teachers teach, students learn, and leaders lead. Among these questions are: What are the most effective instructional techniques needed to educate students from diverse backgrounds?

What levels of cultural knowledge do teachers and leaders need to educate children from diverse backgrounds? What levels of cultural competency do teachers and leaders need to educate children from diverse backgrounds? In what ways can schools fulfill their responsibility to educate every child? These and other questions are addressed in this book.

CampbellJones and colleagues clearly articulate the bottom line for meeting the social, emotional, and educational needs of all children: In my own experiences as a teacher, administrator, and now as a university professor, I have seen teachers and leaders struggle with how to effectively educate all children, and particularly children from diverse backgrounds.

This has especially been the case in districts with a significant number of schools where students of color [Page viii]represent the majority of the populations, and school districts with large influxes of immigrants.

The importance of culturally proficient teachers in the education field in america

These issues point to the need for cultural proficiency at all levels of education, but especially in the classroom. This book is timely and much needed.

The cultural proficiency framework represents a foundation for gaining knowledge and skills that will help teachers and leaders not only to become culturally proficient, but to view cultural proficiency as integral to good teaching and effective leadership.

The practical examples, the exercises, and the opportunities for reflection all serve to guide the reader to a better understanding of the importance of cultural proficiency in instructional and leadership practices.

Rather than a one-time professional development exercise or the next new buzz word, the book emphasizes that cultural proficiency must become part of the philosophy and mission of schools.

Armed with these commitments, teachers and leaders can fulfill their responsibility to educate every child. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

This moral position springs from the knowledge that prior efforts in public education provided educational rigor for a few and sorted out the rest into a predetermined lower societal class.

Moreover, schools overtly participated in establishing and maintaining a tradition of societal elitism and poverty along the lines of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and ableism.

As the authors, we understand and acknowledge that educators are the products of our societal context, hence shaped by the education they received. We further understand that without critical self-reflection on the values and beliefs that define our morality, teachers and school leaders are inclined to continue in unquestioning fashion the educational traditions they received.

In this book, we approach cultural proficiency as a moral framework that helps educators respond in ways that educate each child to achieve high academic standards.

The path of cultural proficiency is an inside-out approach that professes a transformation of values and beliefs that affect the actions of all members of the school community—administrators, counselors, teachers, students, parents, psychologists, custodians, technicians, secretaries, office managers, and so on.

The cultural proficiency [Page x]journey is an examination of what comes prior to our outward behaviors—the principles that guide our actions. Traveling this path requires a mindset and a way of being that esteems the culture of others as you esteem your own culture, while positively engaging, adapting, and responding to each new situation.

In Part I of this book, we describe the framework for understanding cultural proficiency as moral discourse and action. First, we introduce you to Oakland Hills as a setting for case analysis throughout the book.

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Although a fictional school district, it represents a composite of school systems with which we have worked throughout North America. Second, there is a review of the four tools of cultural proficiency into a conceptual framework that demonstrates the tools as interrelated components.

Also in this section, you will find models for discussing morality and the implications for schools. This is particularly important as we venture into proficient dispositions for cross-cultural communications.

Part II of this book presents cases for you to apply your understanding of cultural proficiency as a framework for moral action. Each case has thought-provoking dilemmas for critical self-reflection and group discussions.

We invite your active participation in probing and understanding the dilemmas presented in each case."This new application for cultural proficiency is a testament to the educator-student relationship based on respect, understanding, and a common purpose, no matter what the background or culture of the student happens to be.

Multiculturalism was a hot issue on college campuses in the s, and it was a confusing issue, especially for English professors. Making Multiculturalism ventures into four college English departments to explore how professors made sense of multiculturalism.

Culturally competent teachers contex-tualize or connect to students’ everyday experiences, and integrate classroom learning with out-of-school experiences can increase educators’ cultural competence: 1) preservice education, 2) ongoing professional development, and 3) licensure.

Cultural competence is a key factor in enabling educators to be effective with students from cultures other than their own. Cultural competence is having an awareness of one’s own cultural identity and views about difference, and the ability to learn and build on the varying cultural and community norms of students and their families.

Ensuring that all students have access to high-quality learning opportunities in STEM subjects is a priority, demonstrated by the fact that dozens of federal programs have made teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering, and math a critical component of competitiveness for grant funding.

Teach for America also launched a pilot program, Education for Justice, that helped college seniors interested in teaching learn more about culturally relevant instruction—though the.

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