Developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) is a tool that teachers use to create active learning experiences in culturally diverse classrooms. Some issues that teachers may encounter are communication problems where some children in the classroom use English as their second language, keep some children engaged in learning, and having difficulties getting some families involved in the children’s education (Goldstein, 2012). These cultural challenges will be addressed using the sociological perspective conflict theory and Piaget’s preoperational stage development to offer more insight on how to manage these challenges. We will then discuss on a teacher can increase the child’s cognitive advancement and academic success.
Identifying the challenges
Teachers may encounter communication problems with some of the students who do not speak English as their first language. This could cause the child to have low self-esteem because he does not understand the instructions or is unable to read the material. The teacher can partner pupils with other students who speak the language and interpret for the child until the child can grasp the understanding on his own, also having the material or instruction in the child language will ensure the uses the material and learns from it. A child that is not given the material in his language can result in the child quitting school, or become underachiever, or not doing the work therefore not learning. By having the material in the child’s language and utilizing the child culture the child will gain respect for the school and his teachers. He will want to show that he understands the assignment and will become a well balances member of society.
Some children may be loose interest in learning because the teacher was delivering information to the students instead teaching needs to be active and involve not only transmission of knowledge, but also transactional relationship between learning of the student and the teacher (Bojczyk, Shriner, & Shriner, 2012). Disengaged student are distracted, passive, do not try hard, give up easily in face of a challenge, express negative emotions, fail to plan or monitor their work and withdraw. When they are in class their attention wonders. When students engage in the classroom, the teacher’s behavior plays a very important role in the initiation and regulation of engagement (Kana`iaupuni, Ledward, & Jensen, 2010). To understand student engagement, we can look at teachers’ in structural style, classroom management, and interpersonal style with students. Teachers’ instructional style should provide autonomy support not controlling the child and provision of structure not allowing children to be disruptive (New York University Steinhart School, 2008).
When teachers focus on students autonomous motives to guide their learning and activity; these instruction acts support students engagement by presenting interesting and relevant learning activities, providing challenges, highlighting meaningful educational goals, and supporting students to choose to endorse classroom behaviors (Goldstein, 2012). Furthermore, when teachers can offer structure by expressing their expectations and focusing on students’ learning activity with easy to understand directions and guidance, these types of instructional acts reinforces students’ engagement by keeping the students interest on the project, developing their behavior and advoiding. Teachers provided structure that creates a positive classroom environment promoting effective teaching and learning by giving directions and providing information National Association for the Education of Young Children, n.d.).
The third and final challenge that teachers face in the diverse classroom is parent participation these can result from cultural differences, not knowing how to get involved and job-related issues. The school administrators, teachers and parents can participate in joint planning, goal setting, and definition of roles, needs sensing, and setting school standards with a written policy (Plevyak, 2003). Teachers can encourage parent involvement by sending letters home inviting parents to visit to classroom and have parent- teacher day where they communicate and plan their child’s educational goals. The school administrators can have an in-service day for training their teachers in communicating with parents that may have difficulty understanding English and the importance of participating with their child’s educational needs. Children that have their parents’ involvement in their education will enhance their child’s intrinsic motivation by offering them choices and the opportunity for self-direction by setting their own educational goals (Bojczyk, Shriner, & Shriner, 2012).
Social Perspectives in the diverse classroom and inequality
The conflict theory stresses that education reinforces inequality in society because our educational system is linked to social class (Theatrical Perspectives on Education, n.d.). The challenges faced by teachers in a culturally diverse classroom is communication issues, keeping children interesting in learning and getting parents involved in their children’s education. The conflict theory suggests that these students will be left behind because they will not be given the same status as a white child. Minorities may have issues with speaking English and communication, their parents do not speak English, and the child can lose interest in learning and develop low-esteem because their teacher’s behavior or lack of cultural awareness. Schools cause the minority students and poor white children to be placed on a lower track than that of middle and upper class white children.
Some school place their student on a track which will determine the value of their education, these common tracks are college bound, vocational (job ready) or general. My brothers and I was placed on the general track because my family was considered poor and my mother was Cherokee. I can relate to the social perspective from the conflict theory of inequality. Children that are placed on the general track often have lower self-esteems, lose interest in learning, and their parents often is not involved in their education because they work, or have also been placed on the lower track leaving them a negative view of education. Conflict theory defines a social structure susceptible to to constant change. Here teachers can change the way schools place students on a track some leading to college and other heading for jobs not careers which is really unfair.
Teaching strategies that engage all students and resist stereotyping are DAP or Culturally Responsive Classroom Management (CRCM), these approaches use students cultures, social experiences, prior awareness, and learning styles so that all children are enabled to be successful in their educational goals (Teaching Tolerance, n.d.). The power to change the conflict theory into teacher developing appropriate teaching strategies rest with teachers, administrators, students, and parents or society by adjusting the way we view others.
With DAP teachers can engage the students in learning by giving them a challenge in the classroom that will force them to work harder but is not so far advanced that the students will not be able to perform. This could help students that have lost interest in learning. They can also get parents involved in their child’s education by have parent/teacher conferences where the teacher explains to the parent the role and importance in their child’s education.
Piaget’s Theory of Preoperational Stage of Cognitive Development
Jean Piaget’s was interested in how children think; younger children they think differently from older children and adults (Furth & Wachs, 1975). Piaget theorized that babies’ motor skills control behavior throughout the life. Paget’s theory has four stages of cognitive development are sensorimotor, per-operational stage, concrete operational stage, and formal operational stage. In the pre-operational stage child’s behavior is established with the use of symbols, language uses mature, and memory and imagination are developed, but thinking is done in a purely illogical way. Egocentric thinking dominates this stage. Preschools are often modeled after Piaget’s theory, which stands provide part of the function for constructivist learning (Furth & Wachs, 1975).
Exploratory learning and symbolic play support the emerging interest of the child. Parents and teachers should challenge the child’s capacities, considering the child’s age and should not make thing over complicated (Bojczyk, Shriner, & Shriner, 1012). Teachers should use a wide variety of concrete experiences to help the child learn such as working in groups so that the child a get experience seeing from another’s perspective such fieldstrips, play games to force the child to develop her self-regulation skills, and thought processes are being developed. At the end of this stage children start to replace imaginative thoughts with realistic ideas of the world.
The challenges that teacher face in the classroom is communication, lack of interest, and parent involvement. Teachers can help students that are experience issues communication skills with reading aloud and then asking questions about the story as well as playtime, sharing, taking part in their cognitive. Techers can ensure that children remain attentive by giving the child just the right amount of challenges when learn new thing. As far as parents being more involved in their child education teachers and students can discuss their role in the child education ad PTA meetings.
Preschoolers with developmental delays in cognition and language are in the preoperational stage according to Piaget’s stages of cognitive development. Parents can be involved in the child education by attending school functions such as PTA meetings, parent/teacher conference that will allow the parent to help set their child educational goals, and allowing the parent to overcome their negative view of reduction. Teachers can challenge their students by giving them assignments that cause them to work harder, and not be too difficult that the child fails and gives up. In addition, the challenge of communication that some children may have because English is their second language is by reading aloud and asking each child what the book was about.
Bojczyk, K. E., Shriner, B. M., & Shriner, M. (2012). Supporting Children’s Socialization: A Developmental Approach. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Retrieved from Ashford Edu Furth, H. G. & Wachs, H. (1975). Thinking Goes to School: Piaget’s Theory in Practice. Cary, NC: Oxford University Press, Inc. Retrieved from ebrary http://site.ebrary.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/lib/ashford/reader.action?docID=10103507 Goldstein, L. (2008). “Teaching the Standards in Developmentally Appropriate Practice; Strategies for Incorporating the Sociopolitical Dimension of DAP in Early Childhood Teaching.” Early Childhood Education Journal 36(3), 253-260. Doi: 10.1007/s10643-008-0268-x Retrieved from EBSCOhost http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=8713255e-4978-4509-a75c-c3e4affbd6a1%40sessionmgr114&vid=2&hid=103 Goldstein, D. (2012). An Interview with Lisa Delpit on Educating ‘Other Peoples Children.’ The Nation. Retrieved from
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