Cultural Sensitivity by Allegheny Intermediate Unit

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Information about Cultural Sensitivity by Allegheny Intermediate Unit
Business & Mgmt

Published on March 15, 2014

Author: complianceandsafety

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Cultural SensitivityCultural Sensitivity Presented by thePresented by the Allegheny Intermediate UnitAllegheny Intermediate Unit K-12 ESL DepartmentK-12 ESL Department Through the Title III GrantThrough the Title III Grant

What does it mean to be culturallyWhat does it mean to be culturally sensitive?sensitive?  Cultural sensitivity means beingCultural sensitivity means being aware that cultural differences andaware that cultural differences and similarities exist and have an effectsimilarities exist and have an effect on values, learning, and behavior.on values, learning, and behavior. -Stafford, Bowman, Eking, Hanna,-Stafford, Bowman, Eking, Hanna, and Lopoes-DeFede (1997)and Lopoes-DeFede (1997)

Where do you stand in terms ofWhere do you stand in terms of cultural sensitivity?cultural sensitivity?  Do you make assumptions?Do you make assumptions?  Do you have a conscious orDo you have a conscious or unconscious bias?unconscious bias?  Do you form opinions about studentsDo you form opinions about students or co-workers before really getting toor co-workers before really getting to know them?know them?  Do you have predetermined feelingsDo you have predetermined feelings or notions about a particular cultureor notions about a particular culture without truly having anwithout truly having an understanding of that culture?understanding of that culture?

Activity: Pre-assessmentActivity: Pre-assessment  What are some of the different cultures inWhat are some of the different cultures in my school? (List three to five on yourmy school? (List three to five on your paper.)paper.)  What characteristics come to mind when IWhat characteristics come to mind when I think of each group? (Write a word or twothink of each group? (Write a word or two next to each culture on your list.)next to each culture on your list.)  Where did these impressions come from?Where did these impressions come from? (TV, family, media, religion, travel, etc.)(TV, family, media, religion, travel, etc.)  How do I treat people based on theseHow do I treat people based on these assumptions?assumptions?

3 Minute Discussion3 Minute Discussion  With your group or someone nearWith your group or someone near you, discuss a time when someoneyou, discuss a time when someone had made an assumption about you.had made an assumption about you. This assumption might have beenThis assumption might have been based on a group you belong tobased on a group you belong to -ethnic, religious, professional, age,-ethnic, religious, professional, age, gender, or otherwise.gender, or otherwise. How did it make you feel?How did it make you feel?

The StatisticsThe Statistics  In 1984, approximately one inIn 1984, approximately one in four school children were minorityfour school children were minority students.students.  By 2020, that figure likely will increase toBy 2020, that figure likely will increase to nearly one in two, and many of thesenearly one in two, and many of these students will be poor (Pallas, Natriello, &students will be poor (Pallas, Natriello, & McDill, 1989).McDill, 1989).  In the 25 largest American school districts,In the 25 largest American school districts, minority students comprised about 72minority students comprised about 72 percent of the total school enrollment inpercent of the total school enrollment in 1994 (National Center for Education1994 (National Center for Education Statistics, 1997).Statistics, 1997).

Scenario #1Scenario #1 A sixth grade teacher in New YorkA sixth grade teacher in New York looks over her new class roster andlooks over her new class roster and sees that about half of her studentssees that about half of her students have Asian last names. She says,have Asian last names. She says, “Good, a smart class at last.”“Good, a smart class at last.” What bias has she shown? Why areWhat bias has she shown? Why are her comments inaccurate andher comments inaccurate and inappropriate?inappropriate?

Things to ConsiderThings to Consider  The teacher is subscribing to theThe teacher is subscribing to the stereotype that all Asian students arestereotype that all Asian students are smart.smart.  She is not considering the fact that allShe is not considering the fact that all students are different intellectuallystudents are different intellectually regardless of ethnicity.regardless of ethnicity.  She is also implying that if the studentsShe is also implying that if the students were not Asian that they would not be aswere not Asian that they would not be as intelligent.intelligent.  These are dangerous assumptions to makeThese are dangerous assumptions to make

Scenario #2Scenario #2 A 4A 4thth grade teacher is planning thegrade teacher is planning the yearly field trip that involves a one-yearly field trip that involves a one- night sleep over. She is confusednight sleep over. She is confused when the parents of a child from Elwhen the parents of a child from El Salvador refuse to let their childSalvador refuse to let their child attend.attend. What should this teacher consider?What should this teacher consider? Why might these parents beWhy might these parents be concerned about this trip?concerned about this trip?

Things to ConsiderThings to Consider  Is this an uncommon practice in theirIs this an uncommon practice in their native country?native country?  Was there a history of violence orWas there a history of violence or terror in that country that makesterror in that country that makes parents fearful of sending children toparents fearful of sending children to unfamiliar place?unfamiliar place?  Would a trip of this nature be againstWould a trip of this nature be against the value system of the nativethe value system of the native culture?culture?

Scenario #3Scenario #3 A mother comes to pick up her childA mother comes to pick up her child from a pre-school class to find herfrom a pre-school class to find her daughter without her shoes. Thedaughter without her shoes. The mother is upset and tells the teachermother is upset and tells the teacher that she wants her child to keep herthat she wants her child to keep her shoes on at all times.shoes on at all times. What might be the issue here? WhatWhat might be the issue here? What should the teacher do?should the teacher do?

Things to ConsiderThings to Consider  There are areas of the world whereThere are areas of the world where people contract parasites throughpeople contract parasites through the feet. Is the parent fearful of this?the feet. Is the parent fearful of this?  Is it a sign of disrespect in the nativeIs it a sign of disrespect in the native country to be without shoes in acountry to be without shoes in a school or public place.school or public place.  The teacher should take the time toThe teacher should take the time to understand the parents concern andunderstand the parents concern and be sensitive to the fear or value thatbe sensitive to the fear or value that is behind this issue.is behind this issue.

Scenario #4Scenario #4 A Hmong boy in Mrs. Lang’s class wasA Hmong boy in Mrs. Lang’s class was having a great deal of anxiety. Afterhaving a great deal of anxiety. After some discussion he revealed to hersome discussion he revealed to her the reason why.the reason why. The boy told his teacher that in hisThe boy told his teacher that in his native country that he was told thatnative country that he was told that Americans get big by eating HmongsAmericans get big by eating Hmongs and that certain races of people sendand that certain races of people send Hmongs to Thailand as canned fish.Hmongs to Thailand as canned fish.

Things to ConsiderThings to Consider  We are often not aware of the beliefsWe are often not aware of the beliefs and understandings that a childand understandings that a child brings to this country.brings to this country.  Had the teacher not spoken with theHad the teacher not spoken with the child and asked about his fears, shechild and asked about his fears, she may have never known about themay have never known about the misunderstanding.misunderstanding.  What seems ridiculous to us, may beWhat seems ridiculous to us, may be very real to someone in anothervery real to someone in another culture.culture.

Be Aware of Cultural DifferencesBe Aware of Cultural Differences  Everything we do, regarding time,Everything we do, regarding time, personal space, body language, voicepersonal space, body language, voice volume, small talk, eye contact,volume, small talk, eye contact, hygiene, and eating is shaped by ourhygiene, and eating is shaped by our culture.culture.  When you have a student and/orWhen you have a student and/or parent that appears to have aparent that appears to have a cultural difference take the time tocultural difference take the time to understand the differences.understand the differences.

Cultural AwarenessCultural Awareness  Do notDo not interpret the behavior ofinterpret the behavior of others through the eyes of your ownothers through the eyes of your own culture.culture.  DoDo be aware of how much culturebe aware of how much culture affects language acquisition andaffects language acquisition and behavior.behavior.

What Educators Can DoWhat Educators Can Do  Teachers have the pivotal role inTeachers have the pivotal role in facilitating a child’s adjustment tofacilitating a child’s adjustment to culture.culture.  The key to success encompasses theThe key to success encompasses the learning of behaviors, skills, andlearning of behaviors, skills, and norms appropriate to function withinnorms appropriate to function within the cultural paradigm.the cultural paradigm.

What Educators Can DoWhat Educators Can Do  Express positive value in whateverExpress positive value in whatever appears “foreign” to the native Englishappears “foreign” to the native English speaker.speaker.  Demonstrate a positive attitude of newDemonstrate a positive attitude of new cultures.cultures.  Plan instruction that includes thePlan instruction that includes the integration of cultural histories.integration of cultural histories.  Develop lessons that spark questions,Develop lessons that spark questions, discussions and critical thinking.discussions and critical thinking.  Foster feelings of “being at home”Foster feelings of “being at home”

What Educators Can DoWhat Educators Can Do  Focus on the uniqueness of eachFocus on the uniqueness of each person.person.  ASK the student what he/she needs.ASK the student what he/she needs.  Don't expect one minority student toDon't expect one minority student to speak for the entire minority group.speak for the entire minority group.  Use a checklist for grading papers.Use a checklist for grading papers.  Show samples of good work to theShow samples of good work to the whole class.whole class.

In SummaryIn Summary  Creating a school and/or classroomCreating a school and/or classroom environment that is accepting,environment that is accepting, appreciative of differences, and freeappreciative of differences, and free of stereotypes and judgments willof stereotypes and judgments will benefit ALL students.benefit ALL students.  Knowing how to sensitivelyKnowing how to sensitively communicate with families will fostercommunicate with families will foster their confidence in the school systemtheir confidence in the school system and benefit the student in a varietyand benefit the student in a variety of ways.of ways.

ReferencesReferences Community Health Corp., (2009). Prescription forCommunity Health Corp., (2009). Prescription for Success: Community HealthCorps MemberSuccess: Community HealthCorps Member Training. Retrieved May 22, 2009, fromTraining. Retrieved May 22, 2009, from Prescription 4: Cultural Sensitivity Web site:Prescription 4: Cultural Sensitivity Web site: http://www.communityhealthcorps.org/client/dochttp://www.communityhealthcorps.org/client/doc uments/Prescription-4-Cultural-Sensitivity-uments/Prescription-4-Cultural-Sensitivity- Member.pdfMember.pdf LoveToKnow, Corp., (2009). ESL classroom andLoveToKnow, Corp., (2009). ESL classroom and cultural sensitivity. Retrieved May 22, 2009, fromcultural sensitivity. Retrieved May 22, 2009, from YourDictionary.com Web site:YourDictionary.com Web site: http://www.yourdictionary.com/esl/ESL_Classroohttp://www.yourdictionary.com/esl/ESL_Classroo m-and-Cultural_Sensitivity.htmlm-and-Cultural_Sensitivity.html Ross, Linda (2009). Connect with kids and parentsRoss, Linda (2009). Connect with kids and parents of different cultures. Retrieved May 22, 2009,of different cultures. Retrieved May 22, 2009, from Scholastic.com Web site:from Scholastic.com Web site: http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?

Title III 2007-2008 ConsortiumTitle III 2007-2008 Consortium Kelly A. NoyesKelly A. Noyes K-12 ESL Educational SpecialistK-12 ESL Educational Specialist Allegheny Intermediate UnitAllegheny Intermediate Unit 475 E. Waterfront Drive475 E. Waterfront Drive Homestead, PA 15120Homestead, PA 15120 412-394-5926412-394-5926

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