Culture and Diversity in the Classroom

3 Things I Learned

  1. The 5 dimensions of multicultural education – a) content integration, b) the construction of knowledge, c) reduction of prejudice, d) and equity pedagogy, and e) an empowering school culture. These are all things that need to be taken into account with multicultural education practices.
  2. Stereotype threat – “ the idea that when stereotyped individuals are in situations where the stereotype applies, they bear and extra emotional burden.” (p 205). I never before realized that students who are even just aware and conscious that the stereotype exists feel burdened and anxious about it.
  • Gender Roles and Biases in Children’s literature – before this week’s lecture, I never really payed much attention to the gender roles and biases portrayed in children’s literature. Male characters are more widely represented than females are. However, when they are present, often times, they carry very strong biases and gender roles. I think that it is important for children to be able to ‘see themselves’ in or be able to relate themselves or their families to the characters of some books.

2 Connections I Made

  1. One connection I can make is taken from my experience throughout elementary and high school. I can remember many times where my male classmates got pulled out of class to help the principal/ teachers with assembly set up and take down and other chores around the school. I remember that especially in elementary school, all the students always wanted to help and, in more cases than not, the boys were chosen over the girls. I remember my friends and I being disappointed that we didn’t get picked to help, but then also didn’t think too much of it because we thought that was what the boys were “supposed” to do.
  2. A second connection I can make relates to the idea of stereotype threat. In elementary school, the idea that boys were better at phys ed than girls were was a big thing. Personally, I am not an overly athletic person, and I thinking back on it now, I definitely felt the emotional and cognitive affects of being subject to this belief.

1 Question I still have

  1. How can I incorporate multiculturalism into my future classroom, where all my students can learn about different cultures while also feeling that their own culture is acknowledged and accepted?

Education Psychology and Cognitive Development

3 Things I Learned

  1. Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological systems Theory- Children have different social systems and they all connect and impact the child in some way, whether they have direct or indirect contact.
  2. Piaget’s Cognitive Theory- Children develop cognitive skills which are influenced by multiple different factors. The child organizes thought and gathers information using schemas, assimilation, and accommodation. Piaget’s theory also outlines the various stages in which a child ‘should’ be at according to their age. However, the stages don’t always line up with the age group associated with it and may underestimate a child’s abilities.
  3. Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Perspective- States that children build knowledge together through shared activities. Teaching and learning tools such as scaffolding and ‘private speech’ allow the child to learn and grow with help and without it. The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) is the area where a child can be successful at completing a task with help from an adult or a more knowledgeable peer.

 2 Connections I Made

  1. How to use/ keep in mind these strategies as a teacher. How they can help me to understand a child’s development. Keeping these strategies in mind as a teacher can help us to understand approximately where a child is at in terms of their development. They can help us to understand why a child is thinking the way they are or why they may be acting in a certain way. I think that they may also be useful to keep in mind because they can help us to know how to help a student and what techniques might be the most beneficial to the students’ learning and growth.
  2. Nature vs Nurture in relation to the theories. A child may not be good at a task by nature but could potentially develop a stronger grasp of a subject or concept through nurture. For example, a child may not be skillful at/understand how to perform a certain task (nature), but through use of scaffolding, the child may develop a better and stronger understanding of it (Nurture).

1 Question I still have

  1. I believe that both nature and nurture have an impact on a child. My question is if there are certain situations where either nature or nurture is stronger and if one has a stronger influence on a child than the other would have. In what areas would nature play a bigger role? And are there other areas in which nurture would be stronger factor?